(April 11, 2021)-Saving and financial knowledge are important parts of children’s lives. With my kids, it began by reading stories that introduced money awareness. Curious George Saves His Pennies was a favorite. We counted coins and dropped them into piggy banks. We took advantage of teachable moments in everyday life. While shopping, dining out, or on a road trip, we talked about money concepts like needs vs. wants or how much things cost.
Our family quickly recognized the need for a financial plan. My kids set simple goals for things they wanted to buy. We created ways for them to earn money and how to manage it (including gift money they received). Our plan started with earning weekly allowances, doing extra chores and pet sitting. To manage their money, we adopted the idea of using two wallets, one for saving and one for spending. My children happily embraced it. Incoming cash was always divided evenly between their wallets. It wasn't long before we opened savings accounts, that grew nicely over the years. A popular method right now is to make spending, saving and sharing jars. It’s brilliant! I love sharing that idea with others. Recently, I enjoyed creating adorable Owl Saving and Spending jars with my co-workers pre-school children.
Over the years, as my children shared their dreams, it provided opportunities to talk about what they want to do when they grow up and will it require college, trade-school or apprenticeships? I did not realize the impact of those teachable moments until recently. I am thankful my children embraced good saving and spending habits. Now they have decided to pursue their dreams by attending college. Come September, I will be a mom of two college kids, who will experience the fruits of their efforts by using their savings for books, laptops and dorm necessities. Watching my children help pay for their dreams is priceless.
At Washington College Savings Plans (WA529) we are all about saving. In April and May, WA529 is hosting Storytime with Hootie the Owl in honor of Financial Literacy Month! You don’t want to miss WA529 Storytime with Hootie, it is fun for the whole family! Check WA529’s Facebook page each Wednesday to find new stories that support your financial literacy journey. You can also find Storytime with Hootie directly on our website.
By Jenn Dyck