There are some lessons in life where you can never learn through a mentor, lecturer or a teacher. It is by going through them, usually the hard way that empowers one to self-learn. Saving Money is one lesson that is valuable and useful for all ages. But the best is to still inculcate and instil this good habit into your child as early as possible.
Our fathers and mothers would be the closest thing to us in their child’s early days when they are still growing. Money saving can be picked up through several interesting and smart activities where you can get your child to do and it is this underlying pattern that should be done again and again in order for the habit to be built up and permanent.
As soon as your kid gets to know the value of money in exchange for some goods, you should get them to do something and not give them the money to make their purchases easily. You can start as early as 6 or 7 years onwards, where they are being exposed to toy stores and there would be toys that they want to possess. Nothing beats the classic method of piggy bank savings. While they are schooling, provide them allowances/pocket money and get them to save adequately to get the toys that they want. Do provide help along the way if the toy they want is too expensive and takes too long for them to get it, this helps to build up their money savings and patience in all aspects and it is not about the money but rather the activity of saving and having the patience to get the item that they want.
Bring them out to do grocery shopping and when you are picking your groceries, always share with them why do you pick this brand compared to the others, what makes you pick this non-branded detergent, or this country’s orange or apple might not taste as bad as the one that is more expensive. Anything from potato chips, to even fresh milk, or yoghurt. Let them know that some supermarkets would offer discounts time to time and you should make your purchases there if possible.
As your child grows older, their needs and wants would shift and their purchases and spending power would only grow bigger. Always make sure that they know the value of hard-earned money and what are you going through at work in order to bring the bread home to them. There might be some things where they would request from you as parents but it is simply too expensive or you are not able to afford it, be frank and honest and let them know the current situation where a middle class family in Singapore would not be able to afford a luxury high end sports car solely for entertainment and status.
If there is a branded college or university that your child wants to enter, they have to know how much it costs you to fund them into it so that they would not neglect and play around during the adolescent days and waste their life away. Instead, they should be working hard and cramping their studies while they have the time. If possible, get them to pursue and get scholarships, subsidies and student loans. Let them make sacrifices themselves along the way and know the true value of money. Money saving is never too late, at first it might seem impossible, but once you start this habit, it will only do you good and you will reap all the benefits from it during rainy days or emergencies.