Get your kids excited to save with these printables
We want our children to be advanced readers, so we start early and small, teaching them their ABCs. We want them to be good at math, so we start early and small, sneaking in simple lessons involving addition and subtraction into conversations about how many cookies they can have.
So what should we do when we want to teach them about money? Start early and small, of course!
In an interview with CNBC, famed American businessman and investor Warren Buffet was asked what he thinks is the biggest mistake parents make when teaching their kids about money. The billionaire said, “Sometimes parents wait until their kids are in their teens before they start talking about managing money — when they could be starting when their kids are in preschool.”
There are many lessons to impart about money, such as the difference between needs and wants, that money must be earned, and how to look for value when you shop. You will also want to teach them that being patient with their money — specifically, by saving it toward a goal — can really pay off.
Fun fact to tell your kids: The U.S. Treasury says that Americans hold about $15 billion in loose change!
Of course, being patient isn’t something that comes naturally to most children, which is why it helps if you can turn this important lesson into a fun one. We created these two printable documents to bring joy and provide a visual reminder to your kids that saving money is a worthwhile goal. We recommend that you tape our customizable labels onto the lid of a clear jar, which will allow your child to watch their savings grow (something an opaque piggy bank doesn’t offer). As for our “Road to Savings” game, you might find it so fun that you print one for your child and one for yourself, and then go on a journey of savings together!
So how can your young children earn money to achieve their goals? Perhaps they will become motivated to include money for college on their birthday and holidays lists, instead of just toys and video games. You can also reinforce the lesson that money must be earned by paying them small amounts to do chores, rather than giving them an automatic allowance. Your kids might be able to do more than you think! Here are some age-appropriate chore suggestions:
Kids 5 and under can:
- Make their beds
- Fill a pet’s water and food bowls
- Water plants
- Set the table
- Help carry light groceries
- Match socks in the laundry
- Use a dry Swiffer, damp mop, or small broom to clean floors
6- and 7-year-olds can do all of the above, and:
- Clean the bathroom (with help and non-toxic cleaners)
- Fold and put away laundry (with help)
- Help prepare food
- Empty trash cans
Kids ages 8 through 11 can do all of the above, and:
- Clean bedroom
- Wash dishes
- Wash car
- Prepare easy meals
- Rake leaves
- Learn to use the washer and dryer
- Take the trash can to the curb
Kids ages 11 through 15 can do all of the above, and:
- Change bed sheets
- Change light bulbs
- Change the vacuum bag
- Dust, vacuum, clean bathrooms
- Do dishes
- Clean mirrors
- Mow the lawn (with supervision)
- Prepare an occasional family meal
If you’ve coached your child into a habit of earning and saving money, once they are 15 or older they’ll likely be ready to go out into the world to find a job of their own. Then watch them kick all of those lessons learned into high gear!