5 Ways to Teach Your Child How to Save

by Muobo
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During the holidays, my nephews were over at my place and while watching a movie featuring a very rich and generous young man, we has a small conversation.

The younger one, who is seven and already knows a thing or two about money, sadly has what I would term a comical view about it.

He saw the rich man in the movie spending lavishly on women and had a ‘better’ idea of how he’d have spent all that money instead.

His idea? He would buy one thousand biscuits, ice creams, and fruit juice packs and live grand by eating these all alone.

While I laughed at his innocence, it also got me thinking that he needs to learn about money and the fact that not every kobo is to be spent, especially on biscuits or sweets.

A lot of kids are quite intelligent and you’d be amazed at how fast they’d learn if you’re willing to teach and guide them on the right money habits to adopt.

If you would like to teach your kids how to save, here are five money saving habits you can start with.

1. Make Use of a Piggy Bank
I got to know about piggy banks when I was just 15 or thereabout. In my case what I saw were those square wooden boxes we call “kolo” and I was instantly fascinated by them.

I remember saving with one of these then, happy to put a five naira here and a ten naira then. You can imagine my joy when the kilo was broken a few months later to reveal a “rich” little me. I was the new ‘Dangote’ in town and walked tall for a week.

We can teach our kids to adopt this savings method. It’s pretty easy and you can start immediately, even the next day.

However, because they are still kids, it’s usually advisable to make them save just a portion of their allowance and not the whole, that way they don’t get to see saving as a stringent exercise or in a bad light.

2. Open a Savings Account
You can walk into any bank of your choice and request to open a savings account for kids.

My bank runs a programme where a marketer is permanently stationed at the ATM booth. He profiles you when you come to make withdrawals and calmly approaches you to introduce any of the several saving plans for kids to you and I remember opening a savings account for my daughter this way.

Those little money our kids get gifted by strangers which we see as our very own dividend of motherhood, can be put to judicious use for these kids.

3. Reward Them for Saving
Since the very first instinct of these kids is to spend every kobo that comes their way, we should reward them if they take the initiative to save on their own.

This reward can be in any form; monetary or otherwise. The idea is to create a good aura around saving so they are more encouraged to save.

4. Live by Example
Our kids learn a lot by watching, you’d be amazed just how much. If you’re constantly going on about saving; how this habit makes them good little boys or girls but they don’t see you doing the same, they’ll never be tempted to take you serious.

You should set the pace by saving and making them aware every time you do so.

You can get this act going by having a kolo or piggy bank of your own and dropping money into it in their presence.

Make it a fun time when you all drop money into your piggy banks at the same time and then go on to have some ice cream or some other treat and they will come to love saving time with mommy.

5. Use Their Money Judiciously
I heard a child complain once about how his mommy ‘borrowed’ his entire savings from his piggy bank and never paid back.

If he reminded her, she would turn around to remind him of how she carried him for nine months in pains, or the fact he was being fed for free.

Needless to say, this put paid to his zeal for saving.

Your kids savings should be put to good use. If and when you are ready to break their piggy bank, be sure to do it in their presence and make a grand gesture counting the accumulated earning and praising them for the discipline to save such a ‘huge’ amount.

Every kid would feel good and more encouraged about this.

You can then go ahead to get them something sensible, but which would also appeal to a child that age, if that is what you or they want or transfer it into their savings account.

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