There is no denying that most of us are starting to feel the pinch of everyday living, with the continued rise in the cost of petrol and food prices. This naturally affects our ability to save monthly, with many of us feeling at a loss for getting this savings thing right!

The reality though is that we have to save, if even only a little, in order to prepare for a sound financial future. And, more importantly, as parents, we have an obligation to our children to teach them how to save from an early age, empowering them to stay out of debt and to protect their own financial futures.

So although it is hard to save, encourage yourself to use these tough economic times as key teaching moments with your kids, to not only help you to save, but to teach them the importance of saving when it matters most – even if it only means saving a few Rand every month.

Let’s take a look at some tips all parents can follow.

  • Be your child’s first teacher – this is a key first step towards protecting your children’s financial future. But over and above just teaching them about how to save and the value of delayed gratification, waiting and saving with them for that item you really want too, can go a long way in teaching them a fundamental savings habit. Let them see how you save monthly, showing them practically how saving can be gratifying too.
  • While it is practical to teach children to save for that expensive toy they may want, it is also beneficial as parents to talk to your children about the rising cost of living – explain what this means, why they increase every year and with that, why saving becomes so important as a family. This will instill in them a broader understanding around savings and the importance beyond merely saving for the ‘wants’, but also for the needs.
  • Take your child to open a savings account – explain what a savings account is and put a process in place where a portion of monthly pocket money is deposited into that account. Every month your child puts that money away in a jar and you deposit it for them. Spend this time each month reiterating to them why they need to save and how it can help them in future.
  • Teach your children that things cost money – although this may seem like a given, we can sometimes take for granted that our children, especially the younger ones, don’t necessary grasp how much things cost and often think there is an endless supply. Taking the time to teach children the value of money and explaining to them how money is made and where it goes, in an age-appropriate manner, can mean the difference between being nagged every time you go to the shops for the latest toy and a keen respect for the fact that ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’.

Of course, money is a hard concept for kids to grasp but using these tips and creating a constant environment that fosters savings, can help parents along the way – giving their children a head start towards developing a solid understanding and culture towards savings as well as the building blocks – although small – to a respectful relationship with their money, for the successful financial future they deserve.