Teach your kids to save at every age
Every April is Financial Literacy Month, and April 22 is National Teach Children to Save Day. Florida started its celebration in late March when the governor signed legislation to mandate a financial literacy course for high school graduation. (The new law will apply to students entering ninth grade in the 2023-2024 school year, and require that they take a half-credit course in personal finance before they graduate.)
Clearly, signs are all around that it’s a good idea to sharpen your kids’ financial smarts. Here are some simple refreshers on how to teach them about money at any age. You can also click here for a printable “road map” to help your child set savings goals and stay motivated to reach them
When they are little
- Introduce them to coins and cash. Let them see you making purchases with cash sometimes. When you pay with a debit or credit card, explain that purchases still cost money and show them the receipts.
- Recognize that you’re always setting an example for them, so model now the behavior that you hope they grow into.
When they are medium
- Teach them to value saving by demonstrating that you value saving. Give them a piggy bank or savings jar where they keep their own deposits.
- Tie allowances to chores, or at least allow them to earn additional funds through some kind of work.
- Give them separate jars for spending, saving and giving.
When they are big
- Help them find a way to make money — whether it’s a part-time job or an entrepreneurial endeavor — and open a savings account of their own.
- Teach them how to do a budget, even if the income they bring in is small. Explain how credit cards work and to avoid buying things they can’t pay off every month.
- Teach them about interest and investments. Show them your financial statements from your Florida 529 Prepaid Plan or Florida 529 Savings Plan, to show that slow and steady contributions really do add up.