It’s important to get your kids excited about saving, especially when you have a little extra time on your hands. What better time to start than now?!
The value of saving is something that some parents instill into their children at an early age.
“As far as ages go, as young as three and four is when children can start recognizing what money is and that money has value,” said Two Rivers Bank & Trust Online Sales and Service Representative Dawn Pratt.
Set up a plan
There are many ways to get children to start saving their money. But first, it’s important for them to be making money in order to put some of it away.
“Whether it’s picking up cans, or maybe mom and dad have some kind of an allowance program, where you get paid so much for each chore. Somehow they need to recognize that they have to work to get money to be able to spend it on what they want.”
Chores around the house are a great place to start. Maybe it’s $1 if they make their bed in the morning or for taking the dog for a walk. Adjust the dollar amount as you see fit for your family and your own budget. Is your child old enough to have a job? Babysitting in the neighborhood or paper routes are great options for kids who aren’t old enough to drive.
Once you have your child earning money, it’s time to incorporate the savings aspect, which is different for different ages.
“Preschoolers – make sure they’re putting their money in a clear jar so that they can see it grow,” said Pratt. “For elementary to middle-school aged children, have them try a three jar system — spending, saving and giving—making sure they understand that at least 10% should be saved.”
Pratt also thinks that it’s worthwhile to get the whole family involved.
“Some people have even considered matching what their children save. If their children saved 10%, mom and dad kick in another 10%. So for every dollar saved, they put a dime away and their parents match it. So it’s like their own little family 401k.”
The Two Rivers Bank & Trust in Mediapolis partners with its schools to create a Bulldog Savings Bank.
“We go to the school once a week and have our Bulldog Savings Bank members come in and deposit. Now, they can only deposit up to $20/week, but if they deposit $20/week throughout the whole year, that adds up to be quite a bit. Even $5, that’s a lot more than what they had before. And the children, they have fun. They come in and they get waited on by our 5th graders that are our bank tellers and it’s a great way to integrate children into the banking system.”
Based on what their earning potential is, set goals for your child to meet every week. For example, if they are earning around $10 per week, make it exciting for them to set aside $2 for savings.
It’s important to figure out what they are they saving for. Set a goal for your child as far as what they can spend their savings on. Have they been wanting to go to Chuck-E-Cheese every time you’re driving around for errands? Do they love going to the pool during the summer? Give them a payoff and it’ll make it more exciting!
Two Rivers Bank & Trust believes in teaching good fundamental savings habits, which is why they have a savings account for your child. The Jr. Banker Savings account only requires a $5 deposit to open an interest bearing account, with fantastic rates on account balances in two tiers. The account even converts into a regular savings account when the account holder turns 18! Stop into your neighborhood Two Rivers Bank & Trust to get your little one started with savings today.