Saving can help you achieve any financial goal. Whether it’s a down payment on a house or car, new furniture, college tuition or retirement, you can get there by setting money aside for your goals. Saving gives YOU control of your money, prevents debt and helps you reach your financial goals.
Saving is easier when you set goals. Be sure to define your goal, define the timetable, and define the cost. Ask yourself …What’s important to me? What do I need? What do I want?
Prepare for the unexpected by saving three to six months of living expenses. An emergency fund should be easy to access in the event of unemployment, illness or a major unplanned expense. Practical Money Skills has an online calculator to determine your goal for an emergency fund. Use this BankRate link to learn how to grow an Emergency Fund: 5 Ways to Grow Your Emergency Fund
Periodic Expenses are NOT part of your regular monthly expenditures. Cushioning your savings account for those “unplanned” expenses can make the difference between a minor financial setback and a major financial disaster.
Apprisen has a worksheet to help plan for periodic expenses.
Teaching children how to save money from an early age is one of the best lessons you can teach them. Good habits, started in childhood, will stay with children forever. Teaching them to save a percentage of their money will help them to become savvy savers of the future.
CFPB has some good resources for parents of kids all ages.
There are some fun tools here that can help your kids save:
Self Sufficient Kids: www.selfsufficientkids.com – Offers creative and engaging tips that help parents raise “independent, self-sufficient kids”. Topics include allowance,charitable giving, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. The site also provides engaging topics on a variety of other life skills.
The Mint: www.themint.org – Provides financial literacy activities for kids, teens, parents, teachers, and graduates. For each age group, there is instruction and a “try it” option to assess mastery of each topic. Activities includes quizzes, money calculators, and games. The site is iPad friendly.
BusyKid: www.busykid.com – Provides parents with a fun and interesting way to introduce their child to chores and allowance. The app allows parents to assign chores to their child and a dollar amount for each chore that is assigned. Payday is on Fridays, but parents have the ability to allocate a portion of the child’s earnings for spending, saving, and investing. The annual fee to use the app is $12. There are no other fees.
Pbs.org: www.pbs.org – Provide parents with helpful topics to engage their child with an initial conversation about spending and saving. The site is great first step for the both the parents and the child to understanding the importance of financial literacy.
And don’t forget to have your kids check out our Teen and Youth topics.