Money is a tool for living. Managing money wisely is a life skill, one of many that we hope to master and pass along to our children. The downturn has surely changed our ideas about managing money. One of its biggest lessons is that we should be prepared for sudden changes in our finances. We are finding new ways to budget and live within our means. Many people have actually adapted to living beneath their means. Whether through a catastrophic illness or unemployment, or – you name it – life happens. The kids are watching and taking their cues from you. This one thing you can teach them about money that will benefit them in good times and bad. That lesson is to “save the savings.”
We will be better prepared for a mishap if we “save the savings” when times are good. By shifting our focus from spending money to how much we can save – and keep – we are preparing a safety net for ourselves. Accumulating savings instead of debt can provide a safety net when times get tough. Saving money for the sake of having money when you need it most is a skill that children can develop. The biggest benefit is that it teaches one to be self sufficient.
First, clip coupons and shop for items on sale. We can stretch our spending dollar by getting the lowest price on purchases. That is a great start, but there’s more to it. The next step is that we accumulate the money by growing our savings in an emergency account. One of the biggest mental challenges to overcome is that we are keeping our savings for an emergency, not for the next item that is “on sale.” Talk about savings with your child, and have them open a savings account, whether it is in a piggy bank at home or in the bank. You are your child’s best role model when it comes to managing money wisely.
We can save ourselves if we learn how to “save the savings.”
Candi Sparks is the author of the “Can I Have Some Money?“ kid money book series sold on Amazon.com. She is on FaceBook (Candi Sparks – author) and on Twitter (Candi Sparks). Her website is www.can-I-have-some-money.com