I grew up in a household of accountants and penny pinchers. Little did I know these two things are usually synonymous. I believe that accountants see why other people fail financially and try to do the opposite. My parents always taught me how to live frugally and that I have to work hard for every dollar that I earn. Now that I am a new father I hope to pass on the same teachings to my children. I want to share the ways they taught responsible saving to me.
At a very young age my parents opened a savings account for me and started it with $40. They told me that was all that they were going to put into the savings account and that it was up to me to save. I didn’t know my parents had other savings for me. Every time I was given allowance or given a check I would have to go to them and ask to put into my savings account. Sometimes I would and other times I wouldn’t want to save it. It all depended on what I wanted to buy at the time. If I wanted to save it, my parents would not just take it from me and go deposit it. They made me fill out the deposit slip and would take me to the bank to deposit it so that I understood the process. Over time I was able to watch my account grow and I knew one day I could buy something big. I can’t remember what I bought, but it was probably Ninja Turtles considering I had a fairly good collection.
Like I mentioned, my parents taught me that I had to earn every dollar. We weren’t just given allowance because we were good kids. We had to earn it by doing chores, but each of us kids weren’t assigned specific chores for a specified weekly allowance. The fridge had a list of chores on it every week with dollar amounts assigned to each chore. It was up to us to choose what chores to do and how much we wanted earn. The harder chores were worth more like pulling weeds, but sweeping the kitchen was worth much less. At the end of the week we were paid for whatever chores we finished with the approval of our parents. If the chore wasn’t done to their satisfaction then we didn’t get paid for it.
These are things that I will teach my children. They will have a savings account and will learn to save. They will also have to earn their allowance through chores. I recommend teaching your kids the responsibility that comes with money at a young age. It will only pay dividends for them in the future. It has obviously helped me because I love to teach others how to save and I am a penny pincher just like my parents.
Are there other ways you teach your children to save? Leave a comment and let me know.