Can you teach your kids to save money? What about if your love-language is to “give” and you have trouble doing this yourself? Take it from me it is possible and while I love to spend on my kids, teaching them to save money has been such a gift for all of us.
With so many adults who struggle with debt, this is a valuable lesson for your family. Children love to spend our money. Setting up a simple allowance for chores or extra chores, and the ability to earn money will help your child regulate spending. If they don’t have any money of their own they won’t understand the concept.
Here are some more ways to teach your kids to save money:
Have them spend their OWN money on something.
How often are you shopping when your child asks you to buy them something? I know we have all been there! When your child points to things they want you to buy, you smile lovingly at your darling child, okay, stay with me here, and you say in your sweetest voice…
“Oh, what a wonderful choice! I can see why you would want that bubble machine or whatever it is they want, it really looks fun! How about this, why don’t you spend your own money on it?” All of a sudden your child’s face goes from looking hopeful to shocked.
Kids change their minds very quickly about a “want” especially if they have to spend their own money. Before you head to the store you need to set the rules. Tell the kids what you are doing and what you expect from them.
For example, “We are going to the store and we are only buying the things on the list.” Make sure they know that the list doesn’t include a bunch of cheap junk that is going to break the second you get in the house. When they ask you to buy something, you can say it is not on the list.
Role Playing with Need vs. Want:
Start with role-playing for the younger ones and teaching the difference between wants and needs for the older kids. The idea is to explain the difference.
Need vs. Want:
- A need is something like food, shelter, and clothing
- A want is something like toys, electronics, entertainment.
Once your children understands that simple terminology you can quiz them when they ask you to purchase something for them. Use this as a test for things they want you to buy. Ask, “Is it a ‘need’ or a ‘want?'”
Consistency is the key.
As with any parenting we try to do, being consistent is the key. If we give in at a moment of weakness and buy the item, it will be ten times worse the next time. I had a child melt-down on the way out of a big box store because I would not buy a two-dollar toy at the checkout counter. This was my second oldest who was two at the time.
You can be sure we had some major role-playing at home on how we could have acted. It never happened again, and this child who is now an adult with eight children of her own is one of the most frugal people I know.
Teaching kids to save money works and you will be so blessed by the results and so will your children.
FREE Character Counts Planner:
For more ideas on teaching your kids how to save, my latest Character Counts Planner is on the topic Thriftiness. I create a Character Counts Planner each month with a new theme. It includes lots of free printables and studies on that character trait with lots of family activities. This planner is delivered to your inbox each month when you sign up for our email newsletter.
You can get new planners that change each month by subscribing to my eZine at the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.