Most parents and grandparents want their children to be independent and in good financial shape by the time they become a young adult. To help jump start your grandchild’s financial intelligence, provide them with a solid education on budgeting, saving, and responsible spending as soon as possible.
Whether they’re collecting an allowance or they have a part-time job after school, teaching your grandchildren the importance of earning their money will not only build a strong work ethic, but form better spending habits as well. Discuss with your grandchildren ways they could earn money, whether it be chores around the house or babysitting and mowing lawns. By working and receiving a monetary reward, they’ll take how much work they put in into consideration when spending the money. This will ultimately encourage positive spending habits.
Once your children are able to get a job, it’s essential they know how important it is to have a weekly and monthly budget. Take some time to sit with them and discuss their income and expenses and build a budget that sets them up for success. While creating this budget, also make sure to include wiggle room and determine the appropriate amount of spending money for them each month. Since they probably don’t have many expenses or bills to pay, a large portion of the money they’re earning can be put into a savings account and earn interest.
Getting the Right Bank Account
Other than learning to budget, knowing the importance of good saving habits and putting them into use is one of the most beneficial money practices you can teach your grandchild.
To make sure they’re getting the most out of their savings account, shop around and inquire about the different programs and interest rates banks and credit unions offer to teens. In most cases, financial institutions offer special rates specifically for students and children under 17 to kickstart their college savings. For example, Bank of America has a few programs dedicated to growing your child’s savings through certificates of deposit and 529 college savings plans.
Making it a priority to save a portion of the money they’ve earned is essential when teaching children about finances. While the saying is true, “the earlier the better,” saving is something that can be taught at any age. The best way to create successful saving habits is by setting a savings goal. With every allowance or pay check, encourage them to save between 20-50% of their earnings and allocate the rest for essentials and spending money. This is a great way to set them up with a successful savings plan for their future and make a habit out of preparing for the unexpected.
Saving goes hand-in-hand with responsible spending habits. Chat with your grandchildren about the possibilities they have as savers versus the problems they can face with being a spender. To make this idea of saving easier for them, talk about the differences between wants and needs. Encourage them to ask themselves before making an impulsive purchase if that item is something they need and if that purchase is going to affect their ability to pay for their other needs.
All of these topics are a great place to start when teaching kids about finances. As a grandparent, you don’t always need to write a check to teach a lesson about money. By simply sharing your experiences and the practices you’ve found successful, you have the potential to make a big impact on their financial future.