One of my favorite accomplishments when it comes to parenting is having taught my children the importance of saving money. I remembered those days when they were still in the pre school and that time, I was still working in the Philippines. I would always buy them a piggy bank or anything that could practically be used to save money. Of course that time, they just started saving for some coins which they saved from what was left from their school allowance. That time, it's quite small because we normally don't give pre school aged kids tons of money to bring to school. Normally, they would bring a lunch box to school containing their sandwiches, drinks and fruits.
I remembered so well how my son would invent ways to earn money for himself at such a young age. He would normally hand me a list of tasks which he is able to perform within his limit and he would charged me a small amount for that. His favorite and my favorite too is the soothing head massage. During those times, I'm always attacked by migraine due to the pressures from the job perhaps. So going home getting a massage from those "tiny hands" while lying on the sofa at the living room watching my favorite "teleserye" from the "kapamilya" network would always bring me to a "relaxed mood". Of course, that's not the best massage to get as it's being performed by a kid who doesn't know anything about what he is doing actually. But, the "touch therapy" and the sweet thoughts of getting it from a small kid compensated for all those "imperfections". I'm happy and pleased even if I need to pay him for the amount he charged me which is included on his list of tasks (lol). That's his way of earning extra money and I support him for that. At least, he is making an effort to earn and would not simply ask from me just like the other kids. Happy as he is, he would keep his earnings on his piggy bank and watch his money grows day by day.
A year after I began to work abroad, I managed to open a bank account for each of them from which I started by depositing the start up savings amount, actually far more than what the bank requires as an initial deposit. After I opened the account for each of them, I explained to them that I will be depositing their monthly allowances on their bank account which I told them was computed with a little bit extra from what they actually needed to sustain their daily expenses in school. I explained further that I intentionally did it that way so they would be inspired to save money and see their savings grow month by month. Also, another contribution to their growing savings is when they are able to get a scholarship for doing good in class. Their Dad is the one providing their school fees every year and when they able to get discounts or free tuition in school because of the scholarship, we still give them the same amount of the tuition fee which they would deposit in their savings account. It's cool! Everytime I go back for my vacation, I would check on their pass book and I'm happy to see that their savings keeps on growing.
For me, it only means three things:
They have already mastered the skills of saving money.
They became financially literate and able to control their spending habits at such a young age.
They are disciplined and they never overdo or abuse the fact they they are on their own and that nobody controls them on a day to day basis.
For me, this is great. It's not easy to discipline children especially when you are not with them physically especially so when it comes to "money matters". This is the reason why I said that this is one of my favorite accomplishments as a parent.
Again, I am sharing how I managed to do this for years and how I become successful at it. To sum up, I have summarized those tips in few simple steps:
First, don't be scared to give your kids some cash. Kids won't learn to manage their money if they don't have it in their possession.
Second, Show them how to budget. By being an expert in managing your home finances and involving them or giving them a lesson or two, would help your kids to successfully master how to budget and prioritize.
Third, Make it a condition to save from their allowance. In my case, I let them know that I gave them extra with a condition that it would be put on their savings and that they would add up to that amount from what they saved from their day to day expenses.
Fourth, Offer to match their funds. I've done this with my daughter. I challenged her to save a specific amount and commit to her that I will match up what she has saved so her savings would be doubled. She was happy with my proposal and tried to save as much as she could. Believe me but it works!
Laying down these simple steps will give you an idea on what money lessons to teach your kids. If you don't show them, no one will do. So I guess, it's an obligation for us, parents, to teach them the value of saving money and prepare them to become responsible people as they grow up.
That's for now friends, I'm still going to prepare my home budget for next month. Christmas season is now in the air so I have to work on my budget now.
See you around!
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