Teaching kids to save money is an important life skill! It’s not something that’s necessarily fun or easy to teach, but it’s something they need to know how to do.
Some kids seem to naturally be more willing to save money, but for others it’s more of a struggle. Some children don’t mind tucking away that birthday money or money they’ve worked for and watching their savings grow. They have the patience to wait for the money to add up enough to make a special purchase or even just to save for the future. Other children, though, may need a little more motivation!
The truth is that, even if your children are great at saving money, it’s still more fun and rewarding to save when they have a way of keeping track of it. This printable savings tracker is a way for kids to keep up with the money they’ve saved in a very visual way.
Why should you teach your children to save money?
1. It will help keep them from making financial mistakes as adults.
I wish I’d learned more about how to save, budget, and spend money wisely when I was growing up! I made lots of financial mistakes during my first few years after moving out of my parents’ home and getting married simply because I’d never really learned how to save, budget, and spend wisely. It took many years to get past those mistakes and learn to make better financial choices. I don’t want my children to make the same mistakes I did.
2. It will help teach them patience.
Most of us today are used to instant gratification. If there are things we have to wait for, we usually don’t have to wait very long. If I want a new book or my daughter wants art supplies or my husband wants a new tool, we order them, and they arrive within a day or two. Or we simply go to the store and buy them right away.
Part of planning for the future, though, is having patience! When our preschoolers have patience when they need us to get snacks or meals for them, we can enjoy eating together because there wasn’t a temper tantrum leading up to meal time. When our elementary school children have patience and are able to wait with a good attitude for an outing, everyone can enjoy it more because there wasn’t a lot of stress leading up to time to go. When our middle schoolers and high schoolers have patience and choose to delay going places with friends in order to get school work done first, they make better grades. When our teens and young adults have patience and wait for the right young man or woman to marry, they are more likely to have a happy marriage and a happy life.
3. It will help teach them perseverance.
Not all goals can be met quickly. We want our children to hang in there and not give up when there’s something they really want or need to work toward. Right now, my daughter is saving money for her first car. She’s worked for months and months to save money, and she still needs to save more if she wants to buy a dependable car. In the past, she’s saved money for books she wanted to buy, clothes she wanted for special occasions, gifts for friends’ birthdays, art supplies, and other purchases that were important to her. Yes, I could have paid for these things for her, but I knew it was important for her to learn to set a goal and work toward it.
Now that she’s preparing to go to college, perseverance will be especially important! She’ll need to know how to budget her money during her college years so she doesn’t have to take out loans. She’ll need to face years of studying and hard work to graduate with the degree she needs in order to have the career she wants to pursue. In other words, she’ll have to see that hard work now will pay off in the future.
4. It will help give them the ability to succeed in life.
The truth is that financial stability is important. We want our children to be successful. We want them to be happy. We want them to be secure. And we want them to live happy lives. If your children get married when they grow up, you’ll be interested in knowing that money is the number one issue couple fight about. Even if your children choose not to marry, you’ll still want to know that they’ll be able to care for themselves financially throughout their lives.
5. It will reduce stress.
There’s nothing quite like money problems for adding stress to your life! And none of us need more stress! I’ve known many people who were forced to continue in jobs they don’t love because they can’t afford to take time off to look for a job they really want. I’ve known people who have to live in places they don’t really want to live because they can’t afford to move to a location they would truly love. We probably all know people who sometimes go without enough food or who have their utilities cut off because they ran out of money for necessities. Our children will face stress in their lives, but hopefully financial stress won’t have to be a huge part of their lives.
6. It will enable them to better handle emergencies.
Ugh! Emergencies will (unfortunately) happen throughout our lives. A tire will blow. An appliance will quit. Somebody will get sick and need medicine or possibly a hospital stay. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that there is money in an emergency fund for those emergencies that come up now and then!
7. It will help make life more fun!
A stash of money is certainly not the only thing that contributes to having fun, but sometimes it is important! I remember many times when my husband and I wanted to take our children on a vacation but couldn’t afford it because we didn’t have the money. Or when we wanted to go out to eat for a special occasion but couldn’t afford it. Or when there was something we really wanted (or even needed) to buy but couldn’t because we hadn’t saved money for it. Having some “fun money” (and the patience to save and spend it wisely) is a great way to have a treat or adventure now and then!
8. It will help them help others.
When my oldest child was a baby, she had lots of medical problems. Many times my husband and I were blessed by friends from church or by relatives who gave us money so we could take her to see a specialist she needed to see or so we could buy medicine or pay for therapy she needed. I remember all those years ago knowing that my future goal was to be able to help others like those people helped us. No, it’s not always a good idea to “bail out” people who stay in constant financial trouble, but it is a wonderful thing to be able to help people in need.
Start Teaching Kids to Save with Our Printable Savings Tracker
It’s a great idea to start teaching our kids to save money when they’re young. I’ve listed some reasons above, but there are lots more reasons that I didn’t list! No matter what your reasons or goals, you’ll want to make saving money something that your children look forward to and find rewarding. Our printable savings tracker for kids is one way to help do this.
There are two versions of this printable savings tracker. One is colorful, and the other is black and white. If your child would enjoy coloring the tracker, print the black-and-white version. If your child would be more motivated by having a tracker that is already colorful, use the colored version. NOTE: Be sure your child doesn’t color the blocks with the dollar amounts on them! Those are to be colored in after the child has saved that amount of money. You have unlimited downloads, though, so don’t worry if your child has already colored in these blocks. You can always print out more of these savings trackers.