Introduce saving savvy to youth early

Published 3:20 pm Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Consider introducing the seeds of wealth building with young consumers as early as elementary school, or even sooner.

Preschool age children are curious about money and actually want to accept some responsibility for establishing good habits, like saving.

There is never a better time to teach children than when they really still listen to and believe what we grown-ups have to say.

Setting kids on the path to becoming good savers is not difficult.

In fact, it can actually be fun. The following are a few things parents can do, even if they do not feel financially informed themselves.

Make a piggy bank or any type of savings container. This engaging activity will help your child feel connected to the effort.

Piggy banks are great for children because they enable immediate action, a place to save gifts or allowance right away.

Remember to move what you have saved into an insured, interest-bearing account.

Help your children set and work toward a modest, short-term savings goal. For young children, it can be something like a special toy, a goal they can reach easily.

For teens, the goal can be more significant, like saving for a class trip or the prom. Resist the temptation of starting with goals that are too big and too far in the future.

While you are at it, consider setting a family goal for something fun like a vacation. This is an easy opportunity for parents to set a good example, regardless of how they have managed money in the past.

Sure, most families should also be saving for more serious needs, but families can work together-pooling loose change or maybe having a yard sale to establish saving as a good habit.

Remember, if your child’s first saving experience is fun and successful, he/she is more likely want to do it repeatedly.

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