Helping our kids understand saving

Lifestyle | May 2022

Knowledge is empowering for children. They like to feel like they are 'in on things'.

So, if we are talking about the importance of saving, giving them real-life examples to relate to often helps.

Lisa Dudson, author of highly rated books such as The New Zealand Money Guide, suggests talking to your child about choices.

"You can do small, like 'we can do pizza or we can go to the movies, but not both'," she says.

"Ask them what they think and let them get a little bit invested in it."

As a child gets older, they can better understand how money going into a savings account can contribute towards achieving a goal.

It is helpful to check in regularly on how their saving is going. Seeing savings grow helps build excitement and momentum. Talk with them about what they want to save for. If you can, perhaps offer to match what they save, to help encourage their savings.

It's a great idea to try and normalise putting money aside. Try talking about your own savings to model good behaviour.

If they put their money in a money box, you can help them count it out, choose the shop they want to go to and assist with paying and getting change. It all helps build responsibility and a sense of pride in saving money.

As their curiosity grows, clinical psychologist Sara Chatwin encourages parents to think about any curly questions your children may have - like where your own money comes from and how much you earn.

"Answer in a way which feels comfortable and appropriate for your family."

"You might say, 'We earn enough to pay for nice food, your school uniform, and the heaters and showers. We make sure you're okay and the house is okay.' Keep it tangible and simple," she says.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the individual featured, speaking in their individual capacity and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of State/IAG New Zealand. These advertisements do not offer specific advice and you are responsible for your own decisions about financial planning, investment and risk. All information presented is of a general nature, merely for informational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for professional and/or financial advice. Should you decide to act upon any of the information presented, you do so at your own risk.

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