My older son turned six years last week. Two of his milk teeth are already out, and the third one is just about to follow suit. When the two teeth came out, I placed a little gift under his pillow each time. The gifts were a small chocolate.
My 10-year-old niece has been staying with us for the April holidays and when I asked her if she used to get anything when her teeth came out, she said yes, she’d get some money under her pillow. She then shared more information.
“I save that money. The first time, I rushed to the shop to buy sweets. However, mum later told me that it’s better to save some money instead of spending it all. Mum said that one day I might see something big and nice in the shop, and the only way I will be able to buy it is if I have my own money –through my savings.”
My conversation with her got me really thinking. My boys are six years and four years old now. I too want them to grow up knowing and understanding the value of money. It’s my desire to see them grow up into fine responsible young gentlemen, and how they handle their money and save some of it is an important aspect of this.
Right now, the interaction my sons have with what I would call their ‘own money’ is their offertory money in Sunday school. When I give them the money, I always watch them carefully tuck it away in a ‘safe place’ -deep inside their pockets. They always tell me they don’t want the money for Jesus to get lost, that they would be very sad were that to happen. I also give them money in different denominations, and when they ask questions about the differences in color and size of the money, I take time to explain why.
Now, what their father and I need to do more of, is to help them understand how money is earned, how it is spent, invested, shared, and more importantly; how it can be saved. These are not lessons that we can give them in one day, but will span over years.
So, with the need to enlighten myself on the whole concept of inculcating in children a culture of making healthy financial decisions, including savings, I decided to get some insights from parents on the same, also based on their own experiences. This is a summary of the top 10 insights I got:
1. It’s never too early to start talking with your children about money and saving. Just ensure the information is age-appropriate.
2. Introduce the topic of money and saving to children through regular conversations, such as on the drive to school, in the supermarket, when buying groceries, a trip to the ATM, or even at dinner time. Careful though not to make it seem like you’re lecturing them but instead, have a discussion and allow them to freely ask questions.
3. Children mainly get money from pocket money, tokens/gifts, or from chores done. Let them know that having money is not all about buying sweets, snacks, a dress, shoes or phone. Instead, talk to them about saving for a rainy day, and patiently saving over time so that they can one day make a quality purchase for something bigger and more memorable.
4. Ask your children what they would want to buy in the future then help them work towards that goal which will include working hard, earning money and saving it.
5. Don’t create too much negativity around money, such as saying: ‘money is the root of all evil’, or when they ask you for something, you rudely say ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’. Words are very powerful, so speak positively about money to them.
6. When the children have money, help them understand their money choices, which include: spending, investing, sharing/donating and of course, saving.
7. Once in a while, take your child to work and let them understand how money is earned (through hard work!)
8. Lead by example, and let your children see you make healthy financial choices such as spending on needs, saving for the future, investing and avoiding extravagant and unnecessary purchases.
9. Let them know that saving money is a beneficial habit that pays off in the long run, what with the financial security it offers and the prospects of a secure future.
10. Help them save. They can start off with piggy banks, as well as through a savings accounts in a bank. Most banks offer savings accounts that are specifically designed for children. Their interaction with their own savings accounts helps them learn more about how bank accounts work; how money gets there, and how deposits and withdrawals are made. So shop around for a reputable bank that greatly values the culture of saving in children.
Now, one such bank is KCB, whose Cub Account specifically designed for children. The KCB Cub account targets children and teenagers below the age of 18 years. It’s an account that helps inculcate the habit of savings in children from an early age, and also offers parents a saving platform where they can put away money for their children’s future.
Benefits of the KCB Cub Account
- Free banker’s cheque per term to pay school fees
- One free standing order per month
- A free cubby kit (like a piggy bank) to enable them start saving at home
- Enjoy an interest rate of 7.35% p.a. on your savings
- Free education insurance policy
What you need to Open the Account
- Copy of child’s birth certificate / birth notification
- Copy of parent’s national ID / Passport
- An opening balance of Ksh 1,000
Getting children to understand the value of money –their own money- right from a young age is very important, and one best way to do so is by teaching them to spend and save wisely. I love the fact the KCB Cub account gives the child a piggy bank as well, which helps the child put in money as often as possible while at home.
By the way, do your children also love the KCB Cub account on TV? When the ad comes on, my sons stop everything they’re doing and begin dancing like the lion. And they always invite me to join them in the dance, which I happily do!
Now, back to my son’s shaking tooth. I’m contemplating putting money under his pillow, then asking him what he’d like to do with the money. The tooth is just about to come out, so I will be having that money conversation with him really really soon –sooner than I think. His little brother will be part of the conversation too, because –it’s never too early to begin having the money conversation with your children.
By the way if you’re in Nakuru or it’s environs today, plan to attend the Family Fun Day at Kunste Hotel.
These are previous photos from the KCB Cub Account Fun Day that was held in Kisumu over the Easter Weekend.