Society is changing rapidly and if we don't teach kids to save money, who will? It definitely won't be taught in our government funded school systems.
Our national debt is astronomical and our children will be impacted. They need to know how to save money and about the negative impacts debt can have on your life. You don't want your kids to have to go down the same path as you, struggling to get debt under control. You want to start teaching your kids smart ways to save money and why borrowing money does not need to be an option in their life early on.
As I'm sure you have noticed, the values of our nation have changed. In our current society, borrowing money is a way of life. Credit card swiping seems to be the norm now days and children are learning to borrow at a very young age.
Without a parents intervention to teach kids to save, the cycle will continue and grow worse for every generation to come. Don't count on the school system to do this for you. If they were to have a personal finance curriculum, it's probably sponsored by a credit card company that just happens to be friends with one of your state legislatures.
Here are some starter tips on how to teach kids to save money
When a child asks for a new toy or to go on a class field trip, it's a perfect opportunity to teach them to save money. Sit down with your child and help them setup a savings plan on paper or on the computer. The plan will show them how much they need to save each week to reach their goal. Then brainstorm with them on how they can earn and save the money for the new toy.
Make it real for them, define what chores they do just because they live there and then define chores they can do to earn money. Brainstorm with them on some creative ways to save money such as saving aluminum cans. They can go through the neighborhood asking the neighbors if they have cans they can have.
This teaches a child what it takes to make money outside the home and that all money doesn't come from parents, it has to be earned. You don't want a 30 year old asking for chores to earn money. We have to teach kids to save before they are 30.
Teens and Credit Cards
Lots of parents give their teenager a credit card for emergencies when they first start driving.
Bad, bad idea. This teaches them that the credit card is easy to use and they never earn the money to pay the bill. Give them a prepaid debit card or better yet, provide them a cell phone so they can call you during an emergency. This gives you a chance to explain having an emergency fund for the unexpected things in life.
Debt Interest and Savings Interest
Teach your kids the difference in savings versus debt interest.
If they want a new toy and opt to borrow the money from you, sit down with them and show them the difference between borrowing the money from you or saving for the new item. Borrowing the money will cost them more while saving for the item will earn them extra money because they are accruing interest instead of paying it.
Teach your children smart ways to save money and what living frugal means early in life, they'll thank you later when they can stand on their own two feet and be debt free.