We start kids young with almost everything— sports, school, so why not saving? We are always looking for new ways to #ThinkLikeASaver in the America Saves community. The earlier that you have a positive mindset around saving, the easier it is to save successfully as an adult.
The idea of saving doesn’t always have to be tangible. There are definitely ways to save around your home that aren’t as black and white as putting money in a piggy bank or opening up a youth savings account.
Those small things that we expect our children to do around the home are contributing to saving as a family. This is important to communicate with them for several reasons, mainly as it can be a great motivator for them if your family is saving for a vacation or some other fun family gift or experience.
Here are some ideas of ways your children can save around the home
1. Teach them to turn off the water.
Did you know using a (newer) dishwasher saves more water than hand washing dishes? Small adjustments like turning off the water while brushing your teeth, and ensuring a ‘full’ load of laundry during washing can save you big on your water bill.
2. Teach them to conserve energy.
This may seem like a no brainer, but turning off the lights and TV are one of the easiest things to forget when headed into another room or rushing out the door. Kids thrive when they feel like they’re the leader. Assign them the role of ‘Energy Saver’ and make it their responsibility to turn off all the lights, keep the refrigerator door closed, or checking to make sure the television is off if not being watched. Explain to them that they are helping the family save by keeping a lower electricity bill. You could even sweeten the deal by having an enticing Family Savings Goal, like visiting a local play place or even a more significant vacation. Equating saving with something they love will make it easier for them to understand the importance.
3. Teach them to enjoy cooking at home.
Eating out may be convenient, but cooking at home can be just as satisfying, especially when you get your kids involved. Try making their favorite pizza from scratch. They may enjoy the process and the taste way more than your usual take out order.
4. Teach them to grow their food.
Like cooking at home, when children have ownership of something, they’re more likely to enjoy it. Can you imagine how much more eager they’ll be to eat their broccoli and carrots if they grow it themselves? Not to mention, you will save quite a bit by growing your own fruits and veggies.
5. Have at-home family nights.
Get creative by having low-cost family fun activities such as family game nights, card games, (indoor or outdoor) movie nights, backyard campouts, and more. You’ll find it very easy to have fun and bond as a family, from the comfort of your home. A one-time investment for these activities can save you so much and keep the fun going for years to come.
By making these tips a habit, you’ll save on utility bills and entertainment. More importantly, you’ll be setting the foundation of positive saving habits with your children, which will last a lifetime and is priceless
If you have a goal of saving successfully, be sure to take the America Saves Pledge, choose your savings goal, and get support and great tips!