Teaching Children about Saving Money

Children are great learners. Maybe it’s because they have not yet developed the attitudes and behaviors that many of us have. They control or have some input, as consumers, on a lot of household spending. They do not need as much help learning to spend as they do learning how to save.

Teaching children about saving money and giving children a better understanding of what is at stake is essential for their growth and development with money. Therefore, consider introducing saving and teaching your children about saving money, as early as elementary school or even sooner. Preschool-age children are curious about money and actually want to accept some responsibility and may welcome the opportunity to save money. There is never a better time to teach children about money and saving. Even if your kids are a bit older, there is no time like the present.

Setting kids on the path to becoming good savers is not difficult and can actually be fun.  The following are a few activities that parents can do with their children, even if they do not feel financially well informed themselves.

  • Buy or make a piggy bank and decorate it to help children save money. This can be an engaging activity for the parent and child. This activity can also get your children excited about saving. Let them get as creative as they like, this will help them feel connected to the saving effort. 
  • Help your children set and work toward a modest, short-term savings goal. For young children, it can be something like a special toy, or video game. Something that they can reach fairly 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. If you can afford to, offer your kids age-appropriate extra jobs to earn money.
  • Encourage your child to put coins and savings into the piggy bank. If the bank is transparent, the child will be able to track progress visually. Piggy banks are great for children because they enable immediate action, a place to save gifts or allowance right away. 
  • While you are teaching your children about saving money, consider setting a family saving goal for something like a fun vacation. This is a great opportunity for parents to set a good example, regardless of how they have managed money in the past.  Additionally, initiate a conversation with your children about money and finances. You and your family can also work together collecting loose change or maybe having a yard sale to help establish saving as a good habit and a family value. 
  • You can also help kids become good savers by reading money related stories and playing money games with them. Any experiences with money, and how to do good things with money will help teach children. Additionally, there is a wide array of financial education programs and resources available to help you teach your children about money and saving. 

Remember, when teaching children about saving money, if your children’s first saving experience is exciting and fun, they are more likely to want to do it repeatedly. And they can never be too young to learn something about money. Remember, they are great learners. Take care.   

How To Avoid Making Mistakes Managing Money

The way to not make mistakes like this is to have a plan for money coming in and going out, a spending plan.  And then strategies to help you follow the spending plan. 

I do not tell lots of stories on the blog, but I am going to tell a little story today.  And my reason for telling this story is that I believe it can help readers avoid mistakes managing money. 

We All Making Mistakes Managing Money 

Prior clients of mine recently made a huge, several thousand dollars mistake managing their money.  Without giving you lots of details, this husband and wife will be paying for this mistake for a little while.  As I discussed the issue with them, we eventually figured out what happened.  What it boils down to is not managing money well, because they had no clue where they were spending it.  I see this with clients often, where they are spending money and not keeping track of where they are spending it and no plan.   

As a financial coach, I believe knowing where your money is going or where you are spending your money, is critical and helps people manage money better.  That is what I teach my clients and others.  And knowing where your money is going helps you to cut and prioritize your spending when you see fit.   

The clients that I am speaking of will recover, but I tell this story to hopefully, stop others from making similar mistakes with money.   The way to not make mistakes like this is to have a plan for money coming in and going out, a spending plan.  And then strategies to help you follow the spending plan. 

A Spending Plan Will Help You Avoid Making Mistakes Managing Money

Having a spending plan to help you manage your money is of paramount importance.  With all the competing demands for your money, if you do not create a spending plan and then put that plan into practice, the competing demands will spend your money for you. 

And Now What

As I said earlier, I will work with them, and they will regroup and recover.  One thing is for sure, my clients are more convinced and fully persuaded that a spending plan is crucial.  And then following the spending plan is also very important.  What is the point in having this tool, that can start you on your path to financial freedom, and not follow it?

I am a financial coach.  Contact name here.  I can help you create and stick to your spending plan.

Consistency in Managing Finances

Consistency and money management, like all things, begins in the mind with thought.  All of our beliefs, feelings, and behaviors begin in thought.  You can create neurological pathways that reinforce the notion that you are capable of managing money well.  And practicing these thoughts consistently builds the pathways.  Each thought has the capacity to help us follow through with the appropriate behavioral response automatically.

Consistent thoughts are, naturally followed by consistent behaviors that are conducive to managing anything, including money and finances.  For example, just because you have created a spending plan or budget does not mean that you are set, and your finances magically improve. 

Now comes the part where you have to stick to that spending plan. 

Being consistent in doing the things you need to do to manage your money well will get you to the financial freedom you desire.  It is already difficult enough managing money and all the competing demands that money commands, but to consistently do the things to manage that money well, takes more effort, which makes it more challenging.  Let’s face it, money is time. 

However, spending time managing money well is time well spent.   

Think of it this way, it is quite difficult for businesspeople and financial statement users to make projections and plan when the data, is not organized and therefore measured in the same way over time.   A lack of consistency over time can distort the financial trend and create extreme uncertainty in evaluating a company and its performance. 

How about this, let’s say we have an accounting entity that is not using the same accounting procedures from period to period.  Would you make financial projections and financial decisions about the business with unequal financial data?  Not me. 

Apples are not oranges – consistency.

And Your finances are the same way.  The lack of consistency in managing your finances can distort where you are financially and be unproductive.  Constituency in your financial management practices and behaviors will allow you to plan, compare, and make good financial decisions. 

What is Consistency? 

According to Dictionary.com, consistency is steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, or form as consistency in a particular pattern of behavior.  So, consistency or staying the course is a critical aspect of success, no matter what the endeavor.  Managing finances well is not a one-time thing; it is like a job and commands consistency.  It’s not a project that has a beginning, middle, and end. It is an ongoing way of being.

Consistent Thought

Developing the right mindset for any endeavor requires consistent thought.  Managing money well is a way of being that stems from developed thought.  Each time you have a thought, neurological pathways are reinforced.  New thoughts lead to new pathways.  Which leads to strengthening pathways and a habit is formed. 

Consistency and money management, like all things, begins in the mind with thought.  All of our beliefs, feelings, and behaviors begin in thought.  You can create neurological pathways that reinforce the notion that you are capable of managing money well.  And practicing these thoughts consistently builds the pathways.  Each thought has the capacity to help us follow through with the appropriate behavioral response automatically.

Though this process may appear to be quite easy, it is important to note that some of the thoughts may not be supported by your underlying belief system.  Therefore it will take some time, and practice to build the neurological pathways for the things you want to achieve.

You are no different from any person that manages money well.  Managing money well can be a matter of perception.  Take a few moments each day and:

  • Learn, embrace, and practice good money management
  • Believe that you can succeed
  • Be grateful
  • Look at your goals often- keep them in front of you

With the use of other tools such as a spending plan, gradually, the process of managing money well becomes second nature, allowing you to achieve the goals that you visualize every day.  Your thought processes naturally lead to behavioral follow-through that is consistent with your ideas.  Focus on what you can accomplish, and you will begin to improve, fundamentally and consistently, your finances.