Saving and Giving: Planning for Kids

posted by TAG Guest Blogger

January 2, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

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Saving. As adults we know it’s critical, but the lesson is still sometimes hard to learn. In looking at our culture, in 2010 43 percent of American workers had saved less than $10,000 for retirement. We can actively help our children learn about the necessity and benefits of saving at early age – and the concept of planning for sharing is the same.

It’s New Year’s! What better time to begin following these three easy steps to help your children build healthy saving and sharing habits.

Step One: A trip to the bank or credit union

Take your children to your bank or credit union to open or add to a savings account. Discuss the monthly statement so they can start to become comfortable with it and, as they age, see the gradual effect of time and interest on their balance.

Step Two: Set goals

Teach your children about the expression “pay yourself first,” which means setting aside a percent of their money for savings before putting it toward anything else. Financial advisors recommend saving 10 to 15 percent of income. At first children can build their savings from an allowance or cash gifts in a piggy bank. Then plan regular trips to the bank or credit union to make a savings deposit.

Further, children can also determine the percentage of their income that they would like to set aside for sharing. Help them determine what they care about and where they would like those proceeds to go. Make the give real for them and if possible, physically take them to deliver the donation.

Step Three: Keep talking

Parents should consider their financial choices — big or small — as opportunities to demonstrate smart money management to their children. By sharing information specific to saving, spending, investing and giving – how financial decisions are made and how income is spent, children are exposed not only to financial habits that will benefit them personally, but help them learn to plan for a special purchase, a rainy day and charitable giving.


About the Author:

As president of S.C. Economics since 2003, Helen Meyers leads initiatives that provide K-12 teachers with resources for teaching economics. She brings extensive classroom experience to this role in addition to non-profit leadership experience includingJunior Achievement of Central South Carolina, the National Association of Economic Educators, the SC Jump$start Coalition,Women in Philanthropy and serves on the Talk About Giving Advisory Board.

Meyers received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary/special education from Western Illinois University and a Masters of Education from Southern Illinois University.

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