Teaching children how to save money early
By Madhurie Singh, March 05, 2012
My son came to me and said he wants an IPad.
I was busy with my own financial investments to really give any attention to anything else but this was not something I could pass off. I looked at him and asked him, how did he plan to buy it.
He was a bit surprised that I am asking him how he could buy when its me who buys everything for them. But I do not know why but he played along and said that he will save from his earnings. I closed my lappy immediately. Really was it actually the words saving and earning that I heard from a 7 yr old? So I kept a straight face and asked him again. Again he replied the same thing.
Now I knew I had to dig a more about how and where he heard these words knowing very well he must have heard me or mu hubby talking.
But it turns out something different.
A few months back I had started to pay both my sons for the daily chores they did to take the stress out of my life of shouting and running after them to do even something as simple as brushing their teeth. So I wrote down all the activities that they were normally supposed to do, added a few more that I wished they would do and transformed the sheet into a pay sheet for them. Every activity would pay them Rs1 to Rs 10 based on their frequency or importance. Then to encourage a few value based earning was also added, where any bad words, useless fights, demanding untimely chocolates, chips and cold drinks would be a negative earning in Rs 100 per instance. Then a magnetic sheet was converted into a spreadsheet and placed on the fridge door. Everyday I would calculate and write down their daily earning. So that is where the word earning came about in my kids’ vocabulary.
Then each week we would convert all the points into cash and deposit into their bank accounts. So last weekend when we checked it was a good sum for everyone’s’ surprise. Both kids were ecstatic as they were earning doing what they were anyways supposed to do!
So I told them that their saving is this amount which will grow to double in 6 months time if they do not spend it as I will add a few hundred as bonus.
I forgot about that but I guess the saving part started growing in their heads.
That’s when my younger one came up to me and asked me that he wanted to buy an IPad but out of his own savings. So we sat down to calculate how many months it would take for him to save that much amount. Just to encourage him more, I added that if he wished he would keep that money for longer period and can buy a bike when he is in college out of his savings.
He went and discussed with his brother who is also 8.5 yrs only. Both came back and said, can we together buy an IPad ? I told them ofcourse as both are saving same amount separately. So they again went and came back with their decision.
“We will buy the IPad with half our money put together and the other half we will save to buy a bike. But since we will become bigger after a few years, will you increase our weekly pay?”
Needless to say, I think I have sowed the seeds of earnings and savings into their minds.