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Children and money: Saving is learned!

Posted on Thursday February 13, 2020

Children and money: Saving is learned!

If money grew on trees, we’d have to teach kids to climb! But money is earned and saving is learned. With the School Caisse program, you can help your child learn that singing Elsa dolls and Darth Vader light sabres don’t magically appear out of thin air. Here are four tactics that will help your child learn to put money aside.

Set goals they can relate to

Unless their dream is to swim in a sea of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck, your child will almost certainly want to use their savings to buy something. They’ll be more motivated to reach their goal if it’s something specific.

Encourage your child to think about what they want by asking them to make a wish list of items and activities. That will make it easier to discuss whether it’s doable and how to save up enough money. Developing a game plan will keep them focused on their goal, plus they’ll find out how important it is for them to be involved!

To help them set realistic goals, you’ll find a ton of useful information and tips in the Financial and Consumer Services Commission Parent’s Guide. It has a financial glossary, budget-tracking sheets, and educational activities to help them along the road to adulthood.

Respecting commitments: Consistency pays off!

Tonight’s math lesson is brought to you by Wall Street: using a chart, show your budding economist how money adds up week by week so that you have what you need by the end of the school year. For inspiration, watch these educational videos with your kids.

If they deposit $1 every Friday, your child will have $32 by the end of the school year, but if they put $10 aside each week, they’ll save $320, and so on.

This educational exercise is a way to keep your child motivated all year long. Depending on how old they are, you can also introduce the concept of interest. Columnist Daniel Brassard of Acadie Nouvelle suggests a number of financial principles that can be introduced to children at various development stages (French only).

Encourage your child to keep track of their progress by checking their account balance, recent transactions, and statements. Habits and attitudes based on the notion that it’s easy for anybody to save will stick with them when they switch to an adult bank account.

The cost of goods and services

As adults, we often forget that money is an abstract concept (especially when it’s time to pay the bills!). To help your little ones learn about the how much things cost, use real-world examples that illustrate the amount of money they want to save. For example, $32 is the cost of a family trip (2 adults and 2 children) to the Magnetic Hill Zoo in Moncton, lunch for two at a restaurant, or 10 games of laser tag at Kingswood Entertainment Centre in Fredericton.

Then have them compare the cost of these leisure activities to the cost of basic needs like groceries, personal care and household products, eye and dental care, electricity, heating, and gas. The weekly cost of groceries adds up to 6 family trips to the zoo! Without being preachy, these exercises help young people understand that these (sometimes hidden) expenses are also significant.

Raising awareness about cooperation

Money isn’t just for acquiring the latest electronic gadget. There is a bigger picture. Show your kids that saving with the School Caisse is socially responsible and a way to support their community one dollar at a time.

By having an account at UNI, your children help us raise money that is reinvested in the form of donations, sponsorships, and scholarships. They are helping support creators of social, economic, environmental, and cultural value in New Brunswick!

What does that really mean?

It means that your little Clara is helping her cousin Jonathan attend university, making it possible for her classmate to have a proper breakfast each morning, and encouraging her grandparents to participate in meaningful activities that make them happy.

Make learning fun with UNI

A picture is worth a thousand words, so now that you’re well equipped to guide your children in all things financial, why not have a movie night and watch a few educational videos!  Whoever said that paying bills, spending money, offering cooperation, having bank accounts, and enjoying popcorn don’t mix?

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