Some of our best days here at Painesville Credit Union are the days where we get to help a child open their first savings account. Many children come in full of pride at the $10 they earned by doing chores, the $20 they got from grandma for their birthday, or a crumpled $5 bill and a few pennies they saved.
A first savings account is a milestone in their lives, and we are so proud and honored to be a part of it. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your child thinking about that savings account and how to add to it!
1. Ask your child what they’re saving for, and be prepared for whatever you hear. Some children may already be saving for college or a car when they are 16, others may have pinned their financial hopes and dreams on a new LEGO set.
2. Now name the account something fun. It might sound silly, but naming the account gives it personality, life, and purpose. Saving for Disney? Name the account Mickey. How about a car? Name the account Auto.
3. Make a monthly trip to the credit union. Aside from the fact that we love to see you, the feeling of walking into the credit union to deposit money is a real motivator for savings. Challenge your children to put as much money from their allowance or earnings aside for these deposits every month.
4. Offer matching funds. One dad offered matching funds to his child’s car savings because he didn’t want his teen driving an old, undependable car, but also didn’t want to just give him a new car. “Dad said he would match anything I saved, which motivated me to save even more, knowing that I was getting double the value in the end. I was able to get a very dependable used car at age 16 because I saved for it since I was 10 years old.”
5. Make a savings sacrifice. Curbing spending and sacrificing luxuries to save for what you want is a big part of being financially responsible. Decide as a family to cancel cable and apply the monthly savings to your vacation savings account, or offer your teen a dollar value to the cell phone data they don’t use at the end of each month. Large or small, the sacrifice-turned-into-savings will show that sometimes you have to give something up to get what you really want.