By Rachel Caballero, Community Development Manager at TruWest Credit Union
Learning the concept of savings at an early age may seem a bit advanced, but with financial education being so important, why not start early? Even if a child doesn’t know math or currency values, savings can still be taught!
Set Sights on Success
While traditional piggy banks are great for savings, they usually don’t offer a visual for your child to see the growth of their money. Instead, opt for a glass jar, a digital piggy bank that shows the value, or any other clear container to see their money in. As an added bonus, allow them to “mark” their money each week with a dry erase marker so they can see it growing regularly. Having the ability to visualize the growth will bring excitement and encourage them to keep saving.
Create Opportunities to Earn
It’s great to talk about saving money, but without earning any it’s difficult. Create opportunities for your child to earn through incentives like helping with household duties, completing acts of kindness, or doing well in school. You can set an amount for each item so they can learn the value of that item and how good behaviors can lead to more incentive, which gets them closer to reaching their goals.
Make it Fun
Setting goals can be a great way to get kids excited about saving. Explain what a goal is and give examples of positive steps to reach it. Tie in spending and explain that if they choose to spend, it will take away from reaching their goals. Allow them to choose a toy, a new book, or a treat to work toward and give them the freedom to make the choices to either save and reach the goal or spend and delay it.
Be an Example
One of the best ways for children to learn something is by watching their parents do it. This is a great time for you to make some new goals for yourself so you are doing it together. You can even make it more fun by getting a jar to place next to theirs and marking your money together each week. Seeing you be consistent in the process will help them do the same.
Trade Up That Piggy Bank
As your child learns more about saving and establishing good financial habits, make sure to adjust the goals. Having a savings account for your child to make a deposit in regularly, and have record of, can set them up for future financial success. There are many savings programs for youth out there – find one in your area and help them continue their journey to a bright financial future.
About TruWest Credit Union
TruWest Credit Union is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, and operates as a cooperative providing its members with a lifetime of quality financial services and a culture of caring for its members, employees and communities. TruWest is a strong and sound financial institution with more than 93,000 members and assets totaling more than $1.5 billion. TruWest® Credit Union has 12 branch locations – eight in metro Phoenix and four in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit truwest.org.