Natwest Fairer Savings have asked me to share with you #MySaverStory past, present and future. The truth is I have never really been a saver, well not until my health scare. Before that I pretty much winged though life. Both the husbeast and I were in great jobs and we were off the mindset that credit was fine and we would be OK. Ha, ha, ha well we were wrong! Life stepped in and it was a big fat wet fish in the face and we got in a pickle that we are still working our way out of five years later!
As a child I didn’t really get pocket money, but I didn’t lose out on anything. I don’t remember the first thing I saved up for!
Presently we are saving up for a new hall and stair carpet! Ours is nine years old and threadbare. We no longer rely on credit and make sure we save up for things that we need. The Natwest Budget tool is a great way to work out how much you can save each month
Our future short term savings goal is to convert our garage enlarging our kitchen in to it so that we have a larger living space. The Minimads are growing up and we want to have sufficient space for us all to live comfortably and I want to encourage the boys to bring their friends in to our home. If you are a Natwest customer this is where the savings goal tool comes in to its own.
So what advice would I give my younger self regarding saving? It would be to do it, anyway that was possible. To get into a routine and save a percentage of what I earned every month into a savings account. To NEVER use a store card and to make sure that I had three months of salary saved with easy access to it. I think that my money personality was to spend, spend, spend and it is hard to change that and it is not what I want for my boys.
This collaboration with Natwest reinforced that encouraging my kids to save one of my parenting goals.
Encouraging kids to save
- Set regular savings goals – Incentivise saving by offering added rewards at regular agreed set points. This is why the Pigs from Natwest really worked back in the 80’s
- Make it visual, saving in a glass jar or even a money box that counts the money makes saving money much more tangible for younger children. Or even have a savings chart with stars and stickers. Open a savings account with a bank book for older kids.
- Pay interest – pay your child monthly interest on savings they have. Not only does this encourage them to save their money longer, but it also teaches them about money management.
- The best way to teach kids to start managing money is to give them some. If they blow their pocket money on the ice cream van and don’t have enough left for later in the week, that’s actually a good thing: They learn first hand the consequence of overspending.
- Set a goal – Are they saving for a specific item? if so make them a chart. Encourage them to find inventive ways to earn money to help them achieve their purchase faster.
- Save smaller denominations to demonstrate how every penny counts. The boys both have a large vodka bottle that they fill with pennies and once a year they exchange it for holiday spending money. It really adds up and Mini is always on the lookout for peoples dropped coins when we are out and about.
- Make sure you set a good example for your kids. Let them see you making smart decisions about money. Be a role model, let them see you have a savings account and how you shop wisely. Show how you set up a budget and stick to it. Money should not be spoken to in hushed tones or b e a dirty word. Make sure you talk to your kids about money and finance. Talk about your work and how your salary is based on the work you do. If your family is enduring a difficult time, find a way to talk about it an age-appropriate manner
- Good Things Come to Those Who Wait. Delayed gratification is one of the hardest money lessons I think. I want to avoid that “buy now, pay later” mentality that could mire the boys in credit card debt later on. So, as much as I can, I reinforce the idea that waiting pays off. But remember that postponement of pleasure is a grown-up characteristic, learned from grown-ups.
- Teach your children that buying an experience (ie a trip to a theme park) brings much more happiness than a products (such as an ice cream). Saving for the experience may take longer or be harder, but it makes memories and makes the experiences so much better
- Give unexpected bonuses, if you kids have done something particularly well or been particularly helpful then give them a surprise reward.