Sometimes saving money means spending more time. And for a busy mom, that isn’t always a good exchange. But remember the whole family helps spend the money, right? So ask for help. When kids save money along with you, you’ll also save time. And saving money teaches valuable skills and lessons to kids. So build your savings account with these tips for kids of all ages.
Kids save money by....
Don’t pay a commission to one of those coin counting machines. Let the kids roll your spare change. For little ones the sorting and counting will help their math skills (though you may need to check their work). Older ones may want a commission but better to pay one to your own kids for their spending money than to a machine.
Making gifts and cards.
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Most kids tear right through a birthday card, only skimming the names at the bottom. So why bother to spend money on a store-bought card? When a birthday party comes along, have kids make the card and maybe even the wrapping paper and gift
. And grandparents and adult relatives appreciate cards and gifts made by hand as well.
Coupon cutting is a tedious chore for everyone. But for little ones learning to use scissors. it’s also good practice. Even kids enthusiastic to help save money will lose steam after a while. Make coupon cutting fun by putting on music or an audiobook and offering a reward. Perhaps let them pick out one item that you wouldn’t normally purchase. Or if cutting is too tedious have the kids organize your coupons, filing them and throwing out expired ones, while you cut.
Starting a business.
Whether it's the traditional kids' lemonade stand
or something more ambitious like selling crafts on Etsy, parents and kids working together in an entrepreneurial way can teach kids lifelong lessons...and be a lot of fun.
Using the library.
Explore your local library. So much of the things you often pay for to entertain your kids--books, CDs, DVDs--are available for free at the library. Plus libraries have countless programs geared at kids from toddlers to teens.
Laureen Miles Brunelli
Recycling is good for the environment but it also can put some cash back in your pocket. Reusing items around the house will mean spending less on new items. So get creative with your trash
. Turn you brown paper bags into an artist’s canvas or your buttons into bouquets. Recycle old crayons
into colorful new ones. And this not only saves you money but keeps kids actively engaged.
Having a garage sale.
A yard sale is a lot of work. In fact it’s too much for just one person. But kids are great helpers when it comes to tagging, organizing and moving items. And if they’re old enough let them work the cash register. They’ll learn about making change, and they may just earn a tip!