I am sure that most of us have received a “piggy” bank from our parents when we were young. I still remember my very first ‘Mickey Mouse’ piggy bank which came together with a savings account. (P/S: My DW.. buds has Donald Duck) As a young child, my parents have always instilled good money handling habits to me and my siblings. They have always expressed the importance of spending wisely and the real value of money. I have heard countless stories from my parents of how people in other parts of the world went through hardship due to poverty. At that time, my parents also explained to me and my siblings about the process of how they obtained money to support the family.
At a very young age, I had the basic knowledge that my parents had to work hard to get money from their employers. After receiving money from their employers, they would then spend their hard earned money on me and my siblings’ education as well as pocket money. This helped me to appreciate whatever little pocket money I received from my parents and the occasional red packets which I got from the new year….
I was motivated to save as much as I could and fill up my “piggy” bank right to the brim. When it was full, I recalled the excitement of counting the money in the piggy bank (Just like Scrooge Mc’Duck in Ducktales) and writing down the amount on a little “555” note book to monitor what I have saved. I also enjoyed the occasional trip to the bank to deposit my savings and receiving a sticker or stamp on the savings passbook every time a deposit was made. My siblings and I used to have our very own little healthy competition to see who had the most stamps or stickers. To up the stakes, my parents also decided to award us with extra “one for one” contribution into our bank accounts, if we did well in school… (This idea came way before the government’s CDA account).
In the event that I wanted to get something that I liked eg: Toys, Books etc.. They would allow me to get it using my own savings. This helped me to treasure the items which I bought from my own personal saving.
In schools, children are taught about good spending & saving habits through subjects such as Social Studies and Civics and Moral Education at the primary and secondary levels. I have also heard about extra-curricular activities such as interactive board games and inter-school financial literacy competitions to promote good saving & money handling habits. Very soon, our children will grow up in a society that is increasingly cashless. They are also likely to have access to credit earlier in life. It is thus important that we anticipate such developments and prepare them. In my opinion, it is never too early to get started.
Instilling good saving habits early during childhood, begins a child’s life-long journey in financial education. Children who grow into adulthood without learning to appreciate the real value of money very often face the consequences later in life when they find themselves unable to manage their finances. In my line of work, I have seen many young adults whom have succumbed to the temptation of easy credit and excessive spending, forgetting that financial independence comes with heavy responsibilities. They had to learn their lessons the hard way, through their struggle to free themselves from financial embarrassments. Hence, I feel imparting such critical life-skills early is essential for preparing our children for the challenges of a constantly changing future.
As parents, buds are I am aware of the importance of instilling good saving habits among our children. We are still keeping to the tradition of keeping a “piggy” bank for both our DDs. We also make them write down their cash flow in a little journal for them to note their own expenditure in an effort to promote good spending habits & teaching them the value of money.
To date, I still have a piggy bank for all the coins which I empty out of my pockets at the end of the day’s work. Both my DDs enjoy emptying the “piggy” bank when it is full & counting all the shiny coins with me. Of course, there wouldn’t be much money in the piggy bank but enough to give the entire family an outing or dinner treat…
Here are some tips which I read from an article which would help motivate and instill good spending/saving habits in children:
For every dollar your child saves, offer to put in a matching contribution. When they are little, you might be able to match 100%. Once they are older 25% or 50% might be reasonable to encourage them to save.
Open a Savings Account:
Encourage them to deposit a portion of money he/she saves into a savings account and track the interest earned on his/her account.
Encourage Them to Set Goals:
If they want to purchase an expensive toy, hang up a drawing of an empty thermometer. As they save their money, color in the thermometer. They’ll be able to track their progress visually.
Give Non-monetary Savings Rewards:
Young children may not understand that $10 tomorrow is better than $5 today. Consider rewarding children with things special to them for saving their money: stickers, toys, and special outings can be helpful.
Make a Wish List:
Encourage children to identify fun things to spend their money on. For older children, prioritizing the list can be a helpful challenge.
Display a Picture:
Hang a picture of a wanted item off their wish list on the wall. If your child is saving for a special purchase, hang up a picture to remind them of what they are working towards.
Save Money in Front of Your Children:
Keep your own piggy bank or deposit money in the bank when you are with your children. Explain what you are saving for and your children will mimic your behavior.
Help Them Spend Money:
Occasionally, children will get so focused on saving their money, that they won’t spend any money along the way. Help them enjoy their money by spending some on small purchases or surprising them by buying something they’d like.
Praise your child
Keep encouraging your child to keep saving even if they spend all their money on a purchase. Praise them for their effort in saving up for something and eventually achieving their goal by affording it.