Parents have plenty to teach their children about financial responsibility and wellness, but that doesn’t mean the grown-ups can’t learn a trick or two from the kids. After all, understanding kids’ relationship with money can be a real education. Check out our five saving tips for some pint-sized practical advice:
Change is good. It may be easier to throw away the nickel and dimes that you accumulate from daily purchases, but most kids wouldn’t dare! After all, 35 more cents could mean an extra pack of gum. Putting loose change in a jar or cup on your nightstand can turn into a considerable amount of money quicker than you think. Pro tip: Cash in the jar at the end of each month and use it toward your next gas fill-up or grocery run — you’ll be surprised how far it can get you!
Don’t spend what you don’t have. For kids, putting their monthly purchases on a tab isn’t an option — once allowance is gone, it’s gone. It’s tough, but the pay off is the fact that there’s no bill waiting for them at the end of the month, either. Spending only what you have in your wallet (that means leaving those credit or debit cards untouched) is a good way to spend within your means. After all, spending is inevitable (and even enjoyable!). Try withdrawing a weekly cash allowance at the start of each week and don’t overspend.
More, please. Give your kids ten dollars to spend at the community carnival and you know what happens next – they’re back asking for more in no time. Give a mouse a cookie, amiright? Here’s their secret: Kids know that every once in a while, you’ll actually give them more! Consider the same attitude when you’re shopping. Asking for a deal won’t always work, but you just might get more than advertised. It’s always worth asking — you never know what you might get!
Save and it will come. It’s nearly impossible for kids to save money unless there’s something they really, truly want. Then the reward (a new video game, fresh jeans or a fancy bike) is worth the sacrifice. Take a page from the kids’ book. Set a savings goal for yourself and focus on it. If that dream vacation is the payoff, open a sub-savings account and name it “Hawaii” or “Italy” or…you get the idea. You can easily set up automatic payments to it in our Online Branch, too. You could find yourself putting aside more than you even thought possible.
A little bit louder now. More or less, if your children want something, they’re probably not shy about letting you know. Do you do the same? Whether you think it’s time for a raise or you’re concerned about an unfair fee, it never hurts to leverage your inner child and speak your mind — just remember to be polite about it. Chances are you’ll get something in return plainly in the vein of customer service. At the very least, you might save the next person a few bucks, and good karma never hurts!
Well there you go, savvy savers! Take a few notes next time your kids are showing their spending habits and turn financial learning into a two-way street! In the mean time, we’re always here with our savings and investment options to jump-start your goals.