Teaching our kids about the importance of saving and giving starts so early! Our daughter Siena is 2.5 and I have already started incorporating certain habits into her life that I know will have an impact on her as she grows up. I feel like there are different approaches we can take as parents with kids of every age. Here is what I am currently doing with our daughter:
- Siena knows what “money” is. She knows we have to pay for things. She understands that if we need anything, we go to a store, we buy things, and we have to pay for them either by credit card, cash, or phone (yes she knows about ApplePay). Sometimes, she wants to open things before we leave a store, I try to teach her that first, we have to pay.
- She understands that money is earned. The other day I asked her where her father was and she said “my dada is making money for me.” Pretty amazing at 2.5:)
- Siena already has a piggy bank. My daughter was gifted two piggy banks when she was born (I guess my friends know me). And it’s been so great because she finally understands what they are and can use them. Now, when she finds change around the house, she says “piggy bank” and asks to take them there and put them in, and then is always excited to say “I saved mommy.”
- I think gifting is also as important as saving. From time to time, I have been taking our daughter Siena to Starbucks where I purchase gift cards for her daycare teachers to show our appreciation for their hard work. Together, we buy the gift cards, we “sign” the card, and I make Siena hand the cards to her teachers. It makes her so happy to do that when she arrives at school. She truly enjoys the act of giving as well!
These are just baby steps we are taking for her foundation at her age. As she grows older, we will ensure she learns how to “earn” money and save money, and take different steps. Ultimately, for me, raising children who understand the importance of making and saving money, and also care about and want to give to those in need is the goal!