(3 Minute Read) – This article is part of our America Saves Week celebration.
Do you view saving money as an ongoing journey, or do you consider it a final destination?
When you view it as an ongoing journey, you realize it’s a healthy habit that you can form at any age. Whether you are a parent trying to instill this habit in your children, or you want to change your own saving behaviors, there are habits that savers of all ages can develop.
Forming Heathy Savings Habits for Kids
Research tells us that children’s money habits are often formed by age seven. Many parents are accustomed to hearing frequent requests from their children about a toy, game, or piece of clothing that they “just have to have.” Sound familiar? Using these wants is a great way to help children learn to save.
Children can learn to set a saving goal and figure out how long it will take to save enough money for their goal. Create a fun system to track progress, provide regular encouragement, and use incentives such as matching funds. Talk about how it feels to see your money grow. And don’t forget to lead by example – show children how you are saving.
You can also give children the opportunity to make some decisions about their money. Empowering children from a young age to make choices about money they earn or receive as gifts is a great way to build that confidence.
Saving as a Young Adult
For young adults, as they begin to earn a regular and potentially higher income, a strong foundation begins with basic understanding of the difference between needs and wants. The America Saves Spending and Saving Tool is an easy-to-use resource that provides a clear view of your finances and can help identify essential and discretionary spending. The system of automatic saving, especially through paychecks with split deposit, can set young adults on the path to a lifelong saving habit.
Thinking of our future-self – what we will want, what we will be doing, what we will believe – is one way we can develop a saving mindset. Asking questions about our future selves helps us create a vision for our future. For example, consider:
- Where does your future-self live?
- What does a typical day look like for your future?
- What hobbies does your future-self enjoy?
- How much money does your future-self earn?
Later go back and read your answers to see how they compare to the present. Having the ability to look ahead, even if it’s a short time in the future, is a great way to reinforce saving today for tomorrow. This exercise can be done at any age, even with children.
Reach Your Savings Goals
Journeys can take us on many different paths and saving journeys are no different. You can access the resources at Unitus any time as you and your family embark on a new journey or resume one that encountered a detour.
What is America Saves Week?
Since 2007 America Saves Week has been an annual celebration as well as a call to action for everyday Americans to commit to saving successfully. Through the support of thousands of participating organizations, together we encourage individuals to do a financial check-in that allows them to get a clear view of their finances, set savings goals, and create a plan to achieve them.