For most people, the holidays are a time of abundance, from extra pay to bonuses to the feast of all kinds of Filipino Christmas food. While ‘tis the season to be grateful for the blessings, it’s also a teachable moment for kids about saving.
Receiving aguinaldos from ninongs and ninangs and perhaps winning cash from Christmas party games for kids, they’ll experience for themselves an ‘abundance’ of money. That said, financial lessons should start now. As they say, start ‘em young.
Here are some meaningful ways to teach your kids the value of saving money this Christmas:
Discuss the Importance of Saving
Your children need to understand the reason for saving money. It will be hard for them to resist spending their money on candies and chocolates at the grocery store if they don’t have a compelling motivation. In explaining why they should save, let them form their own financial goals. Perhaps they want a new tablet that they can play on, or a bike they can use for going around the neighborhood. Let them know how much they should save more on top of their aguinaldo to get what they want.
Aside from their own financial goals, share your own family’s goals and values. Perhaps you’re saving money because you’re looking to buy a new house this coming year. Knowing what it entails to get a new place, they might get themselves involved in your home buying project. In this case, you didn’t just teach them about saving money; you also taught them a sense of responsibility. When you move to your new house, they will realize that little things can contribute big.
Lead by Example
If you’re preaching saving, yet spending so much on holiday decorations and Filipino Christmas food, it will be hard for kids to follow money lessons from you. It’s only a matter of time before they tell you: talk the talk. Lead by example, especially in your buying decisions this yuletide season.
Instead of getting new ornaments for the house, go for do-it-yourself Christmas trees. Reuse egg cartons and paint them green. Stack them up and form a tree. Do the same in your gift-giving traditions. Make your own presents to give to your loved ones and friends: baked goods, jewelry, soaps, or face masks. Involve your children in these DIY projects. Make sure to tell them why you’re doing it: saving money.
Set Up a Place for Savings
Now that your kids are convinced that they need to save, they must have a place to keep their money. If you have younger children, a piggy bank would do. Look for options in online stores. As they grow older, however, it’s best to create a bank account for them.
In this case, you’ll be able to level up your teaching moment. You can explore more matters, such as how banks work, why it’s more secure to save in banks, and more. When the situation is safer, take your kids to the bank. Include this in your New Year’s resolutions.
To remind them to use their money jars, set up your own for the home you’re saving up for. While you won’t necessarily put all your money in here, it will serve as a good reminder, not just for the kids, but for you (to be mindful of your online shopping spending).
Give Them Incentives
Reward your kids’ good behavior when they set aside their aguinaldo and party prizes. For instance, you can give them half the amount of the gift every ninong or ninang gives. Or, if they’re able to save a certain amount, they get a “freebie” from you. It’s easier to hold off spending when you know that it will have better returns in the long run, right?
While you’re giving them incentives now, teach them that ultimately, the reward of saving is financial freedom: they’ll have the cash they need for what they want in life even without ninong’s aguinaldo or the prizes from Christmas party games for kids. Although they’re young, let them envision buying bigger things, such as a house. This will help in planting the seeds of financial responsibility.
Remember, this season of abundance is a time for teaching kids how to save. Instill in them the value of setting aside money to achieve financial goals. When you start ‘em young, they’ll be on Santa’s nice list through and through.