Younger than 5
- Use coin savers to help children learn how to identify coins and count money.
- Introduce the concept of money by giving children small change to spend occasionally when you go to the store. Limit options to save time and reduce conflict.
Ages 5 to 10
- Give a weekly allowance to offer hands-on money management experience. Because children know they’ll regularly get a set amount of money, this makes it easier to learn how to save.
- Let children save for, and buy, something they really want. Rewards reinforce young children’s savings habits, so tie saving to spending.
- Use three containers labeled “Spend”, “Save” and “Share”. Suggest that children contribute a portion of their allowance and cash gifts to each to teach how to spend wisely, save regularly, and give to others.
- When the “save” container builds up, take children to the credit union to open a savings account, if they don’t already have one. (We offer our Kids Savings School account starting at age 3!)
- Provide children with opportunities to earn extra money by doing jobs not included in their regular responsibilities.
Ages 11 to 14
- Include children on shopping trips to teach them what things cost and smart shopping techniques. Let them help compare product qualities, prices, return policies and warranties.
- Encourage odd jobs: babysitting, yard work or pet care.
- Encourage children to use their own money to buy beyond-the-basic clothing and accessories.
Ages 15 and older
- Discuss savings plans for long-term goals, such as education and cars. (We offer our Edge Teen Savings Account starting at age 13!)
- Consider giving teens a seasonal clothing allowance beyond their regular allowance. After setting guidelines and limits, let them make their own choices. Consider helping financially responsible teens open a checking account.
- Include teens when planning a large purchase, such as a car.
- When your teenager begins driving, review car insurance, maintenance, and repair costs.
- Consider encouraging financially responsible older teens to use a debit card with their checking accounts.