The concepts of generosity and saving are often neglected in our culture and not taught to our little ones. Once they reach their adult years, many will struggle to develop a real budget, save for anything long term, or experience the joy that comes from being able to give to a great cause.
I want something better for my kids, don’t you?
If you have little ones at home, now is the time to lay the foundation for the concepts of saving diligently to create a better future, and using your wealth to generously give to those in need.
The times I am most proud of my children are almost always when they chose to share, give with an open and willing heart, and put others needs above their own.
Here are some simple tips that have really helped us to instill these character traits in our kids. They come from years of wisdom (not from myself) but rather from older wiser women that I have gleaned from! They are the ones I listen to, because they have walked the walk.
Being a mom of young kids means I lack the experience, but I still have access to the wisdom. And all it takes is a little bit of effort (and repetition!) on our part to make sure our kids grasp these important concepts.
Just picture your little one in 10-15 years. Don’t you desire to give them a great start in life? Maybe even a life free from debt, discontentment, and selfishness? Of course there will be moments of learning and mistakes made along the way, but the way we can best teach our children is also to model it ourselves!
So let’s dive in…
5 Simple Tips to Teach Your Kids Saving and Generosity:
- Set up a simple savings system – what could be easier than starting with a few envelopes of cash? If your child/children are too little to grasp this concept then I suggest doing it on a smaller scale (think a few quarters in a piggy bank). In time, you can put them in charge of larger areas of their own budgets. For more detailed info on how to get this going in your household visit our Raising A Saver page.
- Fundraise for a cause that involves their interests – do they have a love for animals? Caring for those who don’t have a home? Providing meals for the hungry? Get to know the heart of your child to see what ignites a heart of service within them. Follow that passion and do a small fundraiser with them. Let them experience the joy that comes from giving to an organization they care about. As another option – you can also do hands-on service as a family!
- Read books that help them connect the dots – There are plenty of books out there to teach the concept of generosity, but not as many that teach about saving. Which is why we love the Farmer Series – both books (The Giving & Saving Farmer) tackle the ideas of saving and generosity in a childlike framework. Get your kids to engage with these types of stories, ask them questions about the characters and what they learned from the book. Great conversation like this can lead them to experience the passion of generosity and connect the dots of what it means to save. Plus there is a great visual of saving (with mason jars) that allows the child to see money grow – something they might not grasp unless they truly see it themselves!
- Clue them in on your family’s budgeting system – let’s be clear, if you have reeeallly little ones this could be a little tough. I’m not asking you to sit down and go over spreadsheets with them! That would be insanity! The main point here is to instill an idea of choice within the budgeting framework. So when you’re at the store, and you chose the store brand item instead of the fancy label because of cost savings, just let them know. Or better yet, have them point out which one is a better buy! Once they realize they can chose how to spend their money wisely, they have mastered a very important part of the budgeting process.
- Let them see you give – Similar to point 2, find something that gives you and your family a passion for giving, and involve your kids in that service. Let them see the joy you get from serving someone else, whether it be your time, money, or resources. A great skill they will pick up is being able to spot other people’s needs. Did your friend have a new baby? Bring her a meal and let your kids tag along. They will see the meaningful impact generosity can make even in the smallest of circumstances! As they grow older you can help them spot those needs in people they know. Encourage them to look for ways to help others and give with the resources they have.