Sara Says: Spend, Save, and Share

Young Americans Center for Financial Education General Leave a Comment

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2014_Sara_Says_Piggy_BankIf you’ve ever seen a budget, you know all those categories can be intimidating to some people, especially children. On the other hand, you probably know how important they are to financial health.

As a parent, you try to instill positive habits in your child that will lead to successful adulthood, right? Learning to budget money and save for the future is a positive habit that leads to success in adulthood, but many parents wait until their kids are in high school to teach budgeting.

My parents never taught me how to budget even though my dad worked as a financial analyst! I can say as an almost-30-year-old, I’m doing ok. That wasn’t always the case, though. I really, really needed some budgeting guidance as a kid.

Some great tools

OK, so budgeting is wonderful, but how do you get a kindergartner to think about the cost of things like insurance, groceries, and gasoline? The simple answer is: You don’t. The goal in budgeting at such a young age is to simply get accustomed to it.
When I talk about budgeting with kids, I tell them they only have to split their money up into three categories: Spend, Save, and Share.  Some places even sell piggy banks that are divided into these sections. (View another option here.)  Young Americans Bank also sells the Money Savvy Piggy Banks for $18.

Since kids are thinking about saving money when they start budgeting, you could also introduce the idea of SMART Goals at this time. SMART Goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. If you want more information on how to present SMART Goals to your kiddo, read my post on the subject.

If you followed the link to see the Money Savvy Piggy Bank, you likely noticed the “investment” section. Investing is really hard for youngsters to understand, so it will be fine if you ignore that section until your child is in high school.




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