Teaching Kids the Importance of Saving Money (+ a Tradition)

With Abigail’s 1st Birthday fast approaching, Travis and I decided to come up with a unique birthday present…we’re going to take her on a field trip to the bank.

What kind of mean parents are we, not showering her in toys and clothes???  Well, we hope we’re being smart mean parents (plus, she’ll still get a birthday party, plenty of cake, and a too-big-to-wear-now-but-it-was-on-super-sale-jacket that we picked up over a month ago).  I’m pretty sure she won’t be too terribly upset about her special day…

That being said, we’re still going to take her to the bank.

Why?

Because we’re going to begin a tradition.  As most of you know by now, I’ve always been a big saver and I take financial planning very seriously (as evidenced by Abigail’s 529 plan which we set up around her 4 month mark).  I’ve said this before, but having a CFO for a Dad definitely influenced the way I set up my savings accounts and retirement plans the moment I started working in “the real world.”  I have my parents to thank for helping me get on the right track financially (oh, and this book!).

Soooo…knowing how much of an influence parents have on children and the habits they form, we’re beginning this tradition…

Take Piggy to the Bank
(I just came up with that name. ha)

Step 1: Throw all loose change into Abigail’s piggy bank except for a few quarters for parking and laundry (gotta love living in San Francisco)

Step 2: Make sure Abigail’s watching and explain to her very simply what we’re doing (saving!)

Step 3: On Abigail’s birthday each year, Take Piggy to the Bank (literally…until, of course, it’s not cool anymore)!

Step 4: Deposit all change into Abigail’s account (which has yet to be set up but will be soon)

Step 5: Mommy & Daddy match Abigail’s savings!

Yes, yes…she’s very young right now…I’m sure most of you think we’re total wackadoodles.

But in a matter of months, Abigail will be old enough to help us put change in her piggy bank…

And in a matter of years, she’ll be old enough to understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it…

And in no time, she’ll understand that the more she saves, the more Mommy and Daddy will have to match (which we’re hoping doesn’t happen for a long time…haha)

And in the end, we’re hoping that this simple tradition will inspire her to value saving and will help set her on the right financial path.

QUESTION FOR YOU: How do you help encourage good habits with your kids?  I’d love to hear examples (even if it has nothing to do with saving money)…I’m always open to new ideas!!!

7x7xMommy

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5 Responses

  1. Anina Duren says:

    It is never too early to start those kinds of traditions! Our girls have more money in each of their savings accounts than most people I know, and their college funds have even more than that! What a great idea with the piggy. She will enjoy that for quite a few years.

    • 7x7xMommy says:

      I completely agree, Nina! And yes, hopefully she thinks it’s fun for a while…at least until her piggy bank isn’t cool enough anymore. Then we’ll have to figure out a way to “mature” the pig, if you will. 🙂

  2. Megan B.B. says:

    Thats what we did for Christmas this year, we took the amount of money that I probably would (will?) have spent on her for Christmas, and put it in the bank instead. This is an amazing tradition. Let me know how they feel about you bringing in all the change, because I have like $90 worth of change that I’m too lazy to roll up. 🙂
    Happy birthday, Abby!

    • 7x7xMommy says:

      I love it – it’s such a great thing to do for our kids, right? Why buy them more stuff they don’t need when you can invest in their future!! And I’ll definitely keep you posted on how “Take Piggy to the Bank” actually plays out…

  1. March 7, 2012

    […] when I told you about our new tradition that combined a cute piggy-cow bank, saving money, and a fun trip to the bank every year?  Well, […]

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