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'How I Teach my Kids to Save' 8 Tips from Real Parents

Community 3 min read

17 Sep 2021

Studies* show that giving kids hands-on, real-world experience with money is essential to prepare them financially for adulthood.
In a focus group of Irish parents conducted by the Irish League of Credit Unions and insights company Parents and Brands,* many parents confirmed that physical experiences – like putting coins in piggy bank or savings account, or shopping with a list, was the best way to teach children about money.

Want to find out more about why opening a savings account in a community-owned, ethical financial institution could be a great step for your child? Read our blog here, and contact your local credit union here.
Below are eight tips given by parents when teaching their kids about money:


1. Use a shopping trip as an education experience about money

'I think the best ways are talking to them when in the shops. Sometimes I ask my boys to find the cheapest price for a product and then ask them if I should pay more or less for something.'


 2. Use ‘Wanted’ items as a savings Goal

 'Teach them That savings = nice things. I can buy them trainers in Dunnes for €10 - but if they really want the brand ones at €50 then a few weeks waiting and saving can get them the ones they want. Usually when they make it and get the better brand or the one they’ve waited on they value it much higher.'


3. Incentivise with Prizes

'Reality e.g. a loose change jar, let it build, let them count and bag it, guess how much is there and the winner gets a prize so engage them in the process. Encourage them to save.'


4. Use Real-life Scenarios

'Our discussions can start from a TV ad like the PTSB one where they buy the house so that brings up a mortgage broker and what they do... or just questions if a house goes up for sale etc.we don't use apps or rewards charts. We have never played games. I try to show them real life, whether we can afford something or not and that we need to budget.'


5. Let Them set up an Honesty Stall

'In the summer she had helped me plant flowers seeds then what we did not use in garden she sold with honesty stall outside our home some of the money she saved and some she bought an item she really wanted.'


6. Play ‘the big put back’ when shopping

'I take them shopping and tell them the household budget before we start. We do the “big put back” at the end a la Eoin McGee when we are over budget!!! One of the girls really enjoys the programme how to be good with money with Eoin McGee.'


7. Let them Waste Money

'Let them save if they set their sights on something. Let them waste money (small amount) on what you know is useless in the hope that they'll be more careful in future.'


8. Use physical money, like monopoly and piggy banks

'We play Monopoly at home and I've also sat down and showed them the different coins and notes. Both boys have a piggy bank and we used to put money into it regularly when they were helping with chores.'

If you want to kick start your child's saving journey, why not contact your local credit union today and see how they can help?

*Parents and Brands, 3 day online panel with 60 parents, July 2021.