As a parent, I believe that teaching children about saving money and the value of saving vs. spending is just as important as teaching them to read and write, tie their shoes, and ride a bike. Knowing and understanding how to be frugal and save money is an essential tool that I hope my kids will retain throughout their childhood and into adulthood. That’s why teaching them is an ongoing process that requires creativity. Here are five simple ideas to teach your kids about couponing and saving—my kids love them and I hope yours do too!
1. Show, don't tell
Children tend to learn best by hands-on teaching, and learning about saving and money is no exception. Take them grocery shopping with you, and as you shop, explain to them how the coupons work, how much you’re saving, and even how much each item is (especially for younger children who are still learning their numbers).
2. Saving chart
If you're setting a goal for your savings, try a saving chart for your kids. This idea will teach them about the importance of saving their money for something special (like a new toy or game they've been wanting) instead of spending it on frivolous items like candy or other things they want on a whim. A saving chart can also help younger kids learn numbers as well as addition and subtraction.
3. Family coin jar
If you don't already have one, recycle an old mayonnaise jar or other large container to start collecting all of your family's loose change. You can get the kids involved and decorate the jar together while explaining what the jar is for. You can also think up different ideas on how to spend the change once the jar is full. A decorated family coin jar will be used much more than a plain glass one!
4. Try a fundraiser
For older children, suggest they start their own fundraising, such as making their own crafts or jewelry, setting up a lemonade stand, or even a bake sale. Tell your child to take their earnings and save some, donate some, and spend some. This is a great way for children to learn the value of not only saving money, but goal setting as well.
5. Match your child's funds
Just like some companies do for their employees, offer to match your kids' funds when they save their allowance or chore money. For example, you can match it 50/50 or perhaps 20/80 if they decided to spend more of their money than they had wanted.
This is a guest post by Kristy from Catawba, VA.