Saving money and the holidays do not usually go hand in hand. This holiday I am taking the time to teach my kids the value of creating a Save, Spend, Give plan. In our paperless society it is difficult for kids to understand the concept of money.
Having discussions and working on it at home can help kids understand how important money management is. This easy money craft and list can help get the money discussion started with your kids.
What you’ll need:
- 3 Mason Jars
- A roll of burlap
- Letter Stickers
While we purchased our items at a local craft store, you can also repurpose items from home, make your own labels, etc.
- Wrap jar with burlap
- Write Spend, Save, & Give on your labels. Use stickers, colorful markers and paper. Let the kids be creative and put their own twist on it.
- Apply your label to the jar
After your project is complete, take some time to talk to your kids about managing their finances in this way. Ask your kids some questions. Here are a few to get you started but you may be surprised at the questions and conversations that will start.
Where does your money come from?
- Weekly Allowance.
- Gifts from birthdays and holidays.
- Earned from jobs or chores.
Take time to talk about where they get their money and ways they could earn money. Explain that parents work and earn a wage. This wage has to be divided between all the things we need at home and want. This is a good time to discuss needs vs. wants.
What do you spend your money on?
- Games and Toys
- Entertainment-movies, restaurants
We made a list of needs vs. wants for our family on my laptop. I made two columns and we started sharing ideas. Of course the kids had lots of wants like video games, smart phones, trendy clothes, etc. There is no wrong answer here. If your child wants something expensive that is okay. Writing it down will help them see how money earned and cost relates.
When we worked on the needs column they started to discover what was necessary like school supplies and groceries. Look at the list and discuss what we typically spend our money on as a family. Then discuss what they would need to do to earn enough to pay for it.
Why save your money?
Kids and young adults don’t always realize the importance of saving. Talk to them about what you and your family have saved for. For the younger kids discuss small things they may consider saving for. With my middle school children money discussions often lead to college discussions.
We have a MEFA U.Fund College Investing Plan in partnership with Fidelity. It’s been a great tool to help us keep this important savings goal in mind. The MEFA.org site has some great ideas for planning starting as early preschool.
How can your money help others?
Helping others especially during the holidays can go a long way. Does your child have a favorite hobby or interest? Many organizations have a charity or are doing something special this holiday season. Search the internet for reputable charities.
Our family loves pets. We have a rescue dog from our local shelter. My kids love to purchase pet food, toys and beds to donate several times a year. We also helped raise money to contribute to their rescue efforts after storms in the south.
My kids really enjoyed this activity. It gave them the opportunity to think about how we use money as a family. They had a great time coming up with ideas of where to give their money. I love that it gives them the skills needed to organize and take control of managing their money in the future.