10 Ways to Help Your Kids Save Money

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Parenting experts agree: teaching kids good money-saving habits is time well spent. You can start them young — whenever they’re old enough to understand that money has value (and wise enough not to swallow any coins!).

Here are 10 ideas for teaching your kids how saving can be fun:

  1. Get a jar, piggy bank, or coin sorter, and have your kids “deposit” all your spare change into it. When they ask you to buy a toy, you can show them how much they need to save to buy it themselves: “The jar needs to be this full,” or “The quarters in the coin sorter need to reach this level.”
  2. Encourage your kids to help clip coupons and shop for groceries. Explain how much money they’re helping you save, and reward them with a small treat for their hard work. As your kids get older, you can teach them to compare price-per-unit costs over just retail price.
  3. Chores are a great way to earn money. After they’ve completed their tasks for the week, give them an allowance with the rule that they can spend half, and save the rest.
  4. When your kids want to buy something with their money, make them wait a week or two before taking them shopping. The urge may come and go, teaching them impulse control. If they still want the item after their “cool down period,” they’re more likely to value it.
  5. Take tweens and teens to a local bank and open a savings account for them. Then they can deposit their allowance, birthday, and holiday money, and watch their savings grow.
  6. For teenagers, consider giving them a monthly or quarterly allowance instead of a weekly one. But they have to be responsible for ALL the things they buy — school lunches, snacks, clothes, movies, event tickets, EVERYTHING. While you’ll have to determine the right amount to give them, it will force your kids to learn to budget, and face the consequences if they run out of money before their next “payday.” It might help your kids think twice before making impulsive purchases.
  7. You can also have your teen invest some of their allowance in stock (or simply have them track gains and losses on paper), to get them thinking about how the stock market works.
  8. If you have a business, “hire” your kids to do office chores — filing paperwork, delivering mail to the post office, or cleaning the office. “Withhold” a portion of their pay as savings and tie it to a concrete goal, like seeing a show, taking a school trip abroad, or making a major purchase.
    Bonus: You might be able to write this off as an employee expense — consult your tax advisor.
  9. For kids of any age, give them an added incentive to save by offering matching funds. You could do a dollar-for-dollar match, or a percentage, like “For every $5 you save, I’ll throw in another $1.”
  10. Teach your kids life skills to help them save money in the future: cooking, laundry, ironing, researching utility providers. Anything you do yourself to economize. The savings may be indirect, but it can add up to big money in the future.

Dime is here to help you and your family make the most of your finances. Let us know how we can help you reach your financial goals by stopping into a local branch, or chatting with a representative at 1-800-321-DIME (3463).

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