Kick Start Your Children into Saving Cash Now!
That title sounds all wrong, somehow, doesn’t it? But with the state of pensions these days we’ll all probably enter our old age wishing our kids were a bit more like Alan Sugar. If you are to stand any chance of being kept by your children in a style to which you could become accustomed, you need to start them young when it comes to good money saving habits and understanding the value of money. It’s no easy task, as any parent will happily tell you, but The Spy is on to it.
Spending to Save
• The first rule of pocket money is that it should be earned. Most kids will act like Scrooge when it comes to spending their own hard earned cash, but they’ll act like a Celeb when it comes to spending yours. Depending on the size of the child you’ll need to come up with appropriate chores and appropriate payments. Pay them the lowest rate you can get away with but then surprise them with a bonus for jobs well done.
• Smaller kids need visual stimulus to keep them interested in anything; design, build or purchase an attractive money storage facility – often known as a Piggy Bank. You can create expendable ones for yourself using the Papier-mâché and balloon trick, which provides messy stimulus for the kids in the process. When the bank is full they can break in merrily and spend the loot.
• Creating a wish list of things to buy can help them to focus more clearly when they’re cleaning the toilet, emptying bins or clearing the drains. For smaller kids a colourful wall chart, on which they can tot up how much they’ve earned, and how close they are to the desired object, will keep them keen. It also works well for older kids too but be prepared to see cars on there.
• If the older kids are breaking your own bank with their ridiculous hourly rates and complaints about minimum wage, then consider outsourcing them to other families. Suitable jobs include dog walking, garden cleaning, car washing and baby or pet sitting. Obviously you’ll need to check out who they are working for, but friends and family are usually a good, safe source of employers.
• Once your kids are in their teens a bank or savings account is a good idea. This teaches them about managing their own money and is really valuable if they are planning to go to college or University. Teaching them how to find bargains, discounts and offers to make the most of their savings will also instil some very good habits in them.
Finally, when it comes to teenagers and part time jobs make sure they aren’t taking on too much work which conflicts with study. Consider some financial rewards for study and/or exam success. This is basically bribery, but it’s hard for many younger people to understand that qualifications do actually turn into money, in the longer term. There’s no harm in illustrating that to them in a way they can understand in the here and now. Good luck!
Written by The Spy, 20 April, 2012 - 06:20