This year, celebrate America Saves Week by learning how to save money as a family!
Running from February 22-26, America Saves Week encourages everyone to learn more about the importance of savings and consider how they can achieve better financial stability. America Saves Week is also the perfect excuse to talk about money and savings as a family – in fact, the America Saves Week theme for Friday, February 26 is Save as a Family.
What’s the best way to kickstart the money conversation in your home and make some savings commitments that involve every member of the family? Here’s a few ideas to get you started on saving money as a family.
Involve Kids at a Young Age
Saving money is an important life skill, so don’t leave out young kids from the conversation! The internet is filled with age-appropriate ideas to teach kids about money and savings, in a way that’s constructive for their various developmental stages.
As soon as kids start learning about numbers and math, ask them to help you count coins and start reading price tags together when you come across one. If you choose a less expensive option while grocery shopping, share that decision with your kids. All these small steps are a great foundation for kids to learn about the fundamentals of money and the importance of saving it.
Emphasize the Excitement of Saving
The idea of saving money may sound difficult, boring or limiting – for kids as well as adults! As a family, try to think about saving in terms of the great benefits it will give you. After all, saving money now means you get to spend more money on something special in the future.
Sit down as a family and ask every member to list out three personal savings goals and three family goals. Your targets might be a new toy, or a pizza and movie night for everyone. Help your kids create a star chart to track money saved, so kids can literally see their savings growing and feel the excitement of getting closer and closer to their goal.
Get Creative as a Family
In order to save, you often need to cut back on spending. Ask your family members for their suggestions on how to creatively reduce spending as a family. Can you rent films from the library rather than paying for Netflix? Do a clothing swap with friends? Repair a piece of sports equipment rather than buying a new one?
As you’re talking about creative saving ideas, this may also be a good opportunity to discuss the money struggles faced by many families. Remind your kids about the difference between wants and needs, and give examples of how some people must survive on less. This is a good way to open up the broader conversation about not only saving money, but also how to give back to people in need when we have more than enough money saved.
Let Kids Manage Money
The best way for kids to truly learn about money management is to try it for themselves! Agree as a family on what’s an appropriate amount for kids’ weekly or monthly allowance – even a small sum can be a powerful financial teaching tool. Some families tie this money to household chores or base it around success at school.
Beyond just giving kids their own money, be sure to give them support on how to effectively manage it and save it. For young kids this could be a piggy bank and a star chart to track their savings, while older kids may be able to open a joint account with their parent or guardian – an especially good option if they have an after-school job and need a place to deposit their earnings.
Talk About the Future
A savings mindset emphasizes making good choices now, to get a benefit later on. This idea can be more difficult for kids to understand, so it’s a good topic to tackle as a family during America Saves Week.
With younger children, remind them about why the family is making certain choices that feel like a sacrifice now but will have a benefit later. With older kids, start talking about saving for college and after college; and explain investment concepts. The teenage years are a good time to learn where savings can go and what it means to manage risk and return with an investment.
Happy America Saves Week!
Looking to teach your teen valuable money skills? Our Varsity life Account is a great place to start!