Following on from the last month’s article, we will now take a look at saving, spending and sharing. The best way to educate children about saving is to teach about value first. A practical example might be when they have something they want to buy but don’t have enough money to buy it right now. Get them to write down the value of the item they want to buy, then break down the cost of the item into amounts they can realistically save each week. Example: If the item is $50, break it down into $5 amounts on paper so that they can tick off each amount over 10 weeks until they have enough to buy it.
If they get a lump sum as a birthday present or from Grandma, then they could tick off four or five weeks worth. This introduces the ‘save now, buy later’ concept. They will soon understand the concept of saving. Waiting can be a hard concept for children to master, but once they do, it can set them up to be life-long savers. Help them make a fun chart to track their saving and set a goal they can reach with their hard work.
When spending, encourage children to make thoughtful decisions on their spending. Encourage them to think about the consequences of buying worthless items as opposed to putting the money towards their savings goal. Encourage them to think about ways they could make a different decision. For instance, instead of going to the movies, could they get a DVD free from the library and watch a movie at home. Learning to spend money wisely is a great habit to encourage and is something a lot of adults could benefit from later in life.
Sharing is a concept which, when taught young, brings benefits later in life. Not just sharing or donating money, but sharing time and talents with others. Helping those who need a hand, passing on your knowledge to others or volunteering for a good cause. These skills, when learnt at a young age, set children up well for future job and employment situations. It turns kids into well-rounded decision-makers with good people skills. There are a number of ways you can practise these concepts with children. They can share their time helping planting, a community project, fundraising for school, donating toys or clothes, or spending time at a rest home doing a job. If your child has more than one thing they would like to save for, then get them to make labels for three jars and then they can put some money into each jar and go about saving for each item separately.