Do you spend most of your Saturday or Sunday clipping coupons, sorting through grocery store circulars, and carefully making out your grocery list while your family goes off to games or other fun activities? Then this blog post is for you! Getting your family involved with saving money is essential to keeping your budget on track, and also for teaching kids all about money, saving and even couponing. Here are some great ideas and tips to getting your family involved in all areas of saving money.
1. Start a change jar.
This is a simple idea, and especially effective if you have younger children who are just starting to learn about coins, change and saving money. You can purchase (or recycle) a mason jar or cleaned-out mayonnaise jar (you can also decorate it however you like too) and then make a hole in the lid large enough for a quarter to slip through. Place it where you and your family can easily see and access it, such as on a counter in the kitchen or by the front door on a table so everyone can easily deposit their change into the jar and keep their keys in one place as well.
2. Give a weekly allowance.
Most kids learn their first lessons on money and saving through a weekly or monthly allowance; your child's allowance amount and when you give it to them is totally up to you, as it generally varies from family to family. Younger kids learn valuable lessons from allowances, such as how to count, all about coins and their differences, and the significance of saving money to buy something they've been wanting (a game or a new doll, etc.). An allowance also helps kids realize the importance of how some goals require a sacrifice; to buy that new game, song for their iPod, or doll they want, they might have to do extra chores around the house.
3. Set a family goal.
A summer vacation to Disney World or the beach, saving towards a new pool, or even a small goal like dinner out are all great ways to help your children and spouse start saving. By having a goal in mind, your family will (hopefully) be more eager to save money and use coupons to help the budget.
4. Get competitive.
Dare your family to save up a specific amount of money; for instance, have your daughter save say, $25 or your son $50, depending on their ages and what it is they're saving up for. Smaller kids will need a lesser amount to save, while older kids won't have a problem with saving up higher amounts of over $50 or more.
5. Open a savings account.
Young and older kids both can benefit from opening a savings account! Take them on their next birthday, and have them deposit a portion of their birthday money into the new savings—then challenge them to keep depositing a portion of their allowance money. You can also help them track any interest that accrues on the account.
6. Encourage younger kids with a non-monetary savings systems.
Because younger kids don't yet know the difference between, say, $10 today versus $15 tomorrow, give them savings rewards that aren't money. Instead, reward them with small toys or stickers for saving up their money.
7. Be a good example.
Let your kids see you depositing your own money, or tell them what goals you have for your own savings account. If they see you saving, cutting coupons, or shopping sales at the grocery store, your kids will most likely follow your good example.
This is a guest post by Kristy W. from Catawba, VA.