It’s never too early to start healthy saving habits, and there are plenty of ways to make it fun and manageable for children to save. By teaching them at an early age to save money, they learn to value the worth of a dollar, and also understand how important it is to plan for the future.
To encourage saving, help them think of something special they would really like to own. This should be something expensive enough that they cannot already go out and buy it. Hang a photo of the item in their room where they can see and think of it each day. Motivation is key!
For kids who earn steady money each week, either through work or allowance, try out one of the following challenges. These challenges make saving money a little more fun, and it’s easier to maintain dedication because of the routine.
The Daily Penny Challenge
This challenge is pretty straight-forward. On Day 1 you save a penny, and each day after you add one cent to the amount you put away. Save one penny on Day 1, two pennies on Day 2, three pennies on Day 3, and so on. Continue this for the duration of a year, and on Day 365 you will add your last contribution of $3.65. In total, you will have saved $667.95. Keep in mind that your weekly contributions will continue to rise. The last week alone you will save about $25, so for younger kids, they may only be able to do the penny challenge for 6 months or so before starting over at the beginning. The full year plan is better for older kids who babysit or have a higher weekly income.
The Dollar Challenge
For kids who only get a weekly allowance, this challenge may be a better fit. Save one dollar every week, and by the end of the year you will have $52. This is a great challenge for young beginners. Let them buy something special at the end of the year to show them how beneficial saving up can be.
The Quarter a Day Challenge
Give your children part of their allowance in quarters. Each day the kid saves a quarter in a jar. You may need a few jars by the end of it! By the end of the year your child will have a total of $91.25. What great savings for a kid!
Remember, encourage saving to be a fun and important aspect of your child’s life. Let them reward themselves at the end of the challenge by spending some of their savings. Don’t let them overcommit- consider what they are capable of and what daily or weekly amount may be a good fit.
There may be tough days when children really want to spend the money on ice cream or a new toy at the store. Help them resist using all their savings. Although the ice cream may be an immediate fix, they will be so proud of themselves if they save! Another way to encourage them is to participate in the challenge alongside them. Your good attitude and dedication will be a great example as you save together!