Professor Pig has teamed up with Consumer Savings Expert, Lauren Greutman, to bring you practical tips for teaching kids about money while being an effective role model. Read on to learn how starting at an early age also instills important life lessons like goal setting, budgeting, and the value of hard work. You can learn more and Lauren at www.laurengreutman.com.
Professor Pig: Why is it so important to teach kids about saving?
LG: The most important thing about teaching kids to save is that it delays the instant gratification that culture instills in our children. It helps a child to pick a goal, save for that goal, and then purchase the items included in that goal. I think it will help them when they become adults to not go into debt just because they want something.
Professor Pig: What are the most important lessons to teach kids about money?
LG: The most important lesson to teach kids about money is that in order to have money you need to work for it. Delaying purchases is one of the greatest gifts I can teach my kids. It gives them time to think about their purchases and save money for them, instead of going into debt. I also think it's so important to teach them how to budget and pay bills.
Professor Pig: How do we teach our children to give money to charity while also teaching them to save money?
LG: We teach our children to give money to charity while teaching them to save by doing it ourselves. Kids do what they are modeled more than what they are told. By me saving and giving to charity and sharing the process with them, they will see the benefits of it.
Professor Pig: How can you make saving fun?
LG: I love to make savings charts that kids can fill in when they save their money. Set a goal for a toy and show them that in order to get that toy they have to do x,y, and z. When the saving chart is all colored, they get to buy the toy.
I also have savings jars in my kitchen. They have a battery-operated top and when you put money in the jar, it counts it for you. That way it’s fun to see!
Professor Pig: When is the best age to start teaching kids to save?
LG: I think age 6 is the best time to teach saving. They can learn the value behind it at this young age.
Professor Pig: How do I teach my older children to save?
LG: By showing them the value of hard work. I have a 14-year-old son and he wants things that are not in my budget. Teaching him to go and rake lawns or shovel driveways will help him earn money and making him put it in savings before spending it is beneficial.
Professor Pig: What are other things we can do to help our kids have good spending/savings habits?
LG: By teaching them the word NO. My kids hear the word NO a lot when asking if they can get something. The best thing I can do is model good financial behaviors for my children. Telling them "it's not in the budget" is something that they hear often. Impulsive buys are something that don't happen in our home and we talk about why we don't make impulsive financial decisions.
Please note that Lauren Greutman was compensated by Sallie Mae for providing this content. All opinions expressed herein are her own.