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Kids' savings: Keep it simple, visual

MARIE MCNAUGHT
Last updated 05:00 04/04/2014

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To teach our children to save today, we need to keep it simple and visual.

Growing up with my now teen there was not a lot of money to fling around on the flash toys, I was and am a single working mum, so my son learned to do extra chores to earn pocket money.

He was allowed a fraction to spend instantly as he needed to see the instant reward, a simple bag of lollies was quick gratification for a job well done. The flash toys were saved for, a big bright picture and a clear goal of the amount and we tracked the thermometer until we reached the goal, then we didn't just buy it we scoured for the best price and put the difference into a "holiday money tin".

This carried well into the teens, when video games were the long sought after reward, the instant spending lessened as we were able to grasp and see the thermometer get closer to the goal quicker if we saved it, the increase and want to do more chores increased as we again learned the more work we did the sooner we could earn the money for the goal.

Last year he had the opportunity to go to Japan for 19 days, this is where the savings and respect for money really kicked in. We fundraised and worked hard, he contributed half the cost and we had great elation when the cost for the trip was met and we could build the money up for spending, and a 16-year-old 19 days in Japan by now had the skills and was able to budget his money to last the trip.

This year he has a part time job, he has just obtained his learners licence and had the opportunity to buy a car at a great price, so he borrowed the money from Grandad, he hates that he is paying it off and not able to save - so again he has been taught a money lesson, that its better to watch your money grow and spend it than having to earn it to pay someone back. He has internet banking, and loves the mobile log in to check his balance - he can transfer to savings but needs me to transfer it out.

By keeping it visual and simple my teen son understands and respects money, he has learnt to earn it, watch it grow, reap fabulous rewards from saving hard and is set up with fabulous respect for the earning dollar. Keep it visual, Keep it simple and ensure they can see the rewards are great foundations to teach kids how to save.


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