Teaching Children How to Save
This can be tricky. For many people, they have memories of their parents collecting any money given to them by neighbors, family friends and relations, when they were younger, for “safe-keeping”. Many a time, these “safe-keeping” memories end with talks of “who has been paying your school fees? Who has been buying your clothes?” and its likes, whenever attempts were made to enquire about the whereabouts of the “safe-kept” money.
Should children handle their money gifts by themselves? No and Yes!
“No” because children are INDEED children, and expectedly lack a sense of financial responsibility, thereby requiring adult guidance. And “Yes” because what better time is there to teach your child about financial responsibility and saving, than when he is a child, and like a sponge, ready to absorb knowledge?
How can parents go about getting children ready for this great responsibility, you ask?
1) Get them a saving box/piggy bank. Get them to start saving those little Kobos and Nairas with an aim of getting their grandma a birthday gift or getting a bicycle for themselves. With an aim in mind, they will feel better about saving.
2) Remember that kids notice things a lot, even when you think they don’t. So please, try to save alongside them, thereby encouraging them and showing them that it’s not a form of punishment.
3) Make them earn commissions for little tasks. This will teach them to value, understand and learn ways of earning money and understand its worth early in life.
4) If your child is in his or her late teens (16,17,18,19), open a bank account for him/her and monitor the money there, encourage him or her to save a particular amount monthly.
5) Please teach your children to give. They shouldn’t be tight-fisted. You can encourage them to religious institutions, charities or individuals of their own choices.
Without a doubt, these steps will open up the possibilities of a great financial future for your child. What methods have you used or devised? Which ones worked for you and which ones did not?