Youth Savings Month: Triceratop-tips for teaching kids to save!

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April is National Youth Savings Month (YSM) and this year OCCU wanted to find unique way to support financial literacy by engaging our members while simultaneously supporting our nonprofit partner, Junior Achievement of Western Oregon (see our Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter for details).

Recently we asked our members and staff “What are your triceratop-tips to help kids budget and spend smarter?” There were five RAWRsome themes (yes, the theme for YSM is dinosaurs) and we hope they will help you, help the kids in your life become young savers.


It’s never too early

Whether in a piggy bank or a Lucky Duck Savings, it’s never to early to start saving.

  • “It’s never too early to start conversations! We have a Melissa & Doug ice cream shop toy that we use to help make learning about money and spending smarter fun with our toddler.” – Alyssa
  • “It’s never too early to open your kids an account or two, teach them how to save for the future and allow them to spend their own money on that new toy they’ve been eyeing! Sometimes my parents would offer to match funds, which was a huge motivator for me as a kid!” – Brooke


Open a savings account

Did you know that you can open a savings account when a kid is just an infant? Learn more about what you need to open a Lucky Duck Savings with us.

  • “Start a savings account early. Help them save for something the child is excited about by helping them earn the money and putting it into their savings account, so they don’t simply have instant gratification or impulse purchases.” – OCCU member on Instagram
  • “I still remember opening my first savings account at the age of four. It created a lifelong appreciation for savings (for the short tern and the long term).” – Tiffany
  • “I love that my mama helped me set up a savings as soon as I started babysitting as a preteen! Would highly recommend all parents do this!” – Laura
     

Learning how to budget and save

Teach your young ones the difference between a want and a need so that they will build healthy habits for the future.

  • “Explain the difference between needs and wants. There are so many things that we think we “need” but it is most important to have all the things we truly need and then set up savings goals for the things we want.” – Gina
  • “I taught my girls young about the difference between needs and wants and how to plan and budget to save for those “wants” in life.” – OCCU member on Instagram
  • “By helping kids learn the difference between needs and wants early, they will naturally learn to evaluate spending as they become adults.” – OCCU member on Instagram
     

Have a savings goal

Does your kiddo want a shiny new toy? Help them find ways to earn and save towards that goal.

  • “Always have a savings goal, take a portion of all the money you get and put it towards your goal!” – Jamie
  • “We gave my grandson a bank when he was three. He started saving money he would earn for his upcoming trip to Disneyland with his mom and dad. He was very proud that he had his own spending money for the trip.” – Jennifer
  • “I was never taught finances or to save as a kid. Both of my children now have OCCU savings accounts and are learning to save for the future (cars, college, etc.). They love bringing in their full piggy banks and seeing the coins go through the coin counting machines!” – Kayla
  • “Growing up, anytime we received money, we had to put half into “long term savings” and the other half we could budget however we wanted. It definitely made me understand the importance of having a system that automatically labeled funds for future use. The savings came in handy for college room and board and the habit has helped me save for larger endeavors, like a down payment for a house.” – Kim
  • “When kids earn their money or have to save a portion of gift money, it creates good habits. Having to save up for something you really want also teaches about the value of money and working with a budget.” – OCCU member on Instagram
  • “We have always done the save for a goal plan. Before everything was debit cards, it’s also easy to have your kids save change too.” – Suzanne
     

Make it fun!

Most importantly, make it fun! Find a piggy bank with there favorite cartoon character or animal and bring it into the credit union when it’s full. Make an event out of it by rewarding them for saving – it can be a small treat and a way to spend time together.

  • “Find a way to make it fun!” – Lauren