Choose a traditional piggy bank or any other saving's tool.
The last time you looked in the mirror, you were pretty sure the letters “ATM” weren't tattooed on your forehead, although your kids might have a different viewpoint. As a parent, you're torn between the desire to satisfy all of your children's needs, no matter how minor, and teaching them about saving money and responsibility. Unfortunately, your benevolence is robbing your children of a major life skill: the ability to earn and handle money. A good old fashioned piggy bank and a goal are the best tools available to teach your kids about responsibility.
1Take out a quarter, dime, nickel and all other forms of paper currency and tell your kids what each is worth. A younger child probably won't be able to make the connection that two quarters can purchase a package of gum, but an older toddler or preschooler will. It's important to teach your children about money as soon as they're able to count.
2Allow your child to pick out his own piggy bank. Encourage him to choose a bank that features different compartments for "saving," "spending," "investing" and "donating" but in the end, the final decision is his.
3Create a goal for your child's money. For instance, if your preschooler has had her eye on a new Dora the Explorer video; provide her with the price of the DVD and let her know that in order to purchase it, she must have 19 one-dollar bills, or 3 five-dollar bills and 4 one-dollar bills. Attach a picture of the coveted item to your child's piggy bank to help her keep her eyes on the prize.
4Keep a running tally of the money in your child's bank. Each time your toddler or preschooler receives birthday money or is rewarded with money for a good school report or performing a chore, place the cash or coins directly into the piggy bank. Take the money out and periodically count it and let your child know how close he is to the goal item.
5Take your child on a much deserved shopping trip once she reaches her goal. Bring along all the money and help your child hand the coins and bills to the cashier. Once home, praise your child for her excellent money managing skills and let her start saving for that next dream toy.
- Continually praise your child's progress while saving his money. Give him a hug and high five each time he deposits his loot instead of spending it.