Saving money is something that we all want to become better at. It doesn’t matter if you’re struggling to get by every month, or you just want to put some extra cash aside for future investment, the more you can learn how to save comfortably, the easier it’s going to be to accomplish your goals.
Unfortunately, ask anyone what the most challenging part of becoming financially healthy is, and they’ll tell you that it’s trying to handle all the stress on their own. Even if you consider yourself to be the most frugal person in your family, it can be hard to be the person responsible for getting everyone else to follow suit.
That’s why it’s so valuable to get everyone involved in your money-saving strategies – even your kids. Here are our top tips for getting the little ones involved in the saving cycle:
Take Your Children Food Shopping
Food is a necessity in life, but there’s a big difference between buying the food that you need to survive and buying the kinds of treats that your kids want to add to the cart. Taking your kids to the grocery store with you so that they can see exactly how each item adds to the total price at checkout could be a great way to show them how far money goes.
You could even show your child how expenses even out in a way that they can understand. For instance, if your children are asking you for an expensive bar of chocolate, show them how they could get even more sweets if they’d be willing to swap for a non-branded item. This introduces your child to the concept of value, and how sometimes the products with the best labels or names aren’t always the best choice.
Plan Free Adventures Together
If you’ve got an upcoming time in your schedule when your kids are going to be away from school and you need a way to keep them entertained, why not get them involved in planning free things that you can do together. For instance, you could consider printing out a list of “free things to do” from the internet, like visiting a local park or having a movie night in.
Sit down with your kids and highlight the things that you most like the idea of. Then, once you’ve got a selection of things that you’d all like to do together, you can add them to a schedule that you can all see – like a calendar on your fridge. That way, your kids have something to get excited about, and they’re less likely to ask for expensive outings to theme parks and cinemas instead.
Teach Them the Basics on Loans
As your children start to get older, they’ll need to learn more lessons about how money works, and how people can borrow cash to manage long-term expenses. The most important thing that you can do if you decide to take out a loan when your child is old enough to understand money, is to teach them how that loan works.
This isn’t the time to scare your children into thinking loans are terrible things that they should always avoid. Instead, you should be introducing children to the pros and cons of loans, and how they can decide whether they’re a good idea.
You might even allow your children to “borrow” money off you for a game or an expensive item and pay it back over time with interest in the form of things like extra tidying up sessions or tasks around the house.
Do The Budget Together
Although younger children won’t be able to help you much with the more complicated parts of budgeting, you can get kids of a reasonable age involved in the budget.
Show them how much you earn each month, and how you divide that cash into crucial things like money for food, your living expenses and so on.
Introducing your children to the concept of budgeting and saving during their early years could help them to understand a lot more when you tell them that you can’t afford to buy them the toy that they want, or a bar of their favorite chocolate when you’re out shopping.
The older your kids get, the more they might be able to offer extra assistance with your budget, like giving you advice on where you all might be able to cut down, or where they might be able to help you save.
Remember, not all learning is done in the classroom! Did you find this article helpful? Read more: