For people of all ages, the best way to reach a savings goal is to start with a budget. A budget helps you keep track of the money you have coming in and the money you have going out. A good way to start teaching children about budgeting is to help them divide their money into several clear jars labeled:
- Good Causes (or Sharing)
- Savings (or short-term savings and long-term savings)
The following guidelines will help you and your child decide how much to put in each jar:
Good Causes (Sharing) — 10% of income or $1 for every $10
Is your child concerned about helping children or animals, protecting the environment, or supporting a local food bank? If so, help your child choose a cause he or she is interested in and donate to it regularly. Remind your child how the charity will benefit from his or her generosity to make your child feel good about his or her decision to share.
Spending — 30% of income, or $3 for every $10
This money can be used at any time for small purchases, such as a baseball or CD. Provide your child guidelines on how he or she can spend this money, and then let your child make his or her own decisions.
Short-Term Savings — 30% of income or $3 for every $10
If your child wants to make a larger purchase, such as a video game or an iPod, remind him or her that it may take several months to save enough money. Explain to your child that this jar will help him or her save for some cool stuff.
Long-Term Savings — 30% of income, or $3 for every $10
This is where you’ll help your child start saving for the future. Remind your child that someday he or she may want to go to college or buy a car and explain that these expenses require a lot of planning and saving.
Once your child’s short-term savings and long-term savings has started to add up, help him or her open a savings account at a local bank. explain that the bank will make sure that the money is safe, and they’ll even pay you with interest while it is there. Visit your local banker to help opening an account and learning more about other ways to save.
These money-saving tips are provided by Iowa State Bank in partnership with the Iowa Bankers Association. If you have specific questions, contact your local banker at Iowa State Bank. Iowa State Bank is an Equal Opportunity Lender. Member FDIC.