Helping children save: why goals matter

In today’s busy world, teaching our children about money is important. As parents or grandparents, we know saving for the future is key. And guess what? Goal setting is a big part of that. Let’s chat about why setting savings goals for children is so crucial and share some simple tips to help them get started.

Why goals matter:

Goals are like maps for our savings journey. They give children direction and purpose, teaching them to be smart with their money. Whether it’s saving for a “cool” toy or planning for college, goals help children learn how to make smart choices and feel proud of their achievements.

Easy ways to set and reach goals:

Start early: Get your children excited about saving from a young age. Try using piggy banks or jars to show them how saving works. You can even open a Junior Savers Account.

Make it real: Help children see their goals by making vision boards or drawings. It makes saving feel more fun and achievable.

Set SMART Goals: Show children how to make goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Specific: Clearly define the goal. For example, “Save £50 to buy a new toy” or “Save £20 to go to the movies.”
  • Measurable: Make sure the goal is quantifiable. You can track progress by keeping a chart or using a piggy bank to collect coins and notes.
  • Achievable: Ensure that the goal is realistic and within reach for the child’s age and allowance. Avoid setting too lofty goals that might discourage them.
  • Relevant: Tie the goal to something meaningful for the child. It could be saving for a desired toy, an outing with friends, or a contribution to a charity they care about.
  • Time-bound: Set a deadline for reaching the goal. For instance, “Save £20 in two months” or “Save £10 by the end of the month.”

Lead by doing: Children learn best by watching you. So, involve them in family money talks and show them how you save and budget.

Celebrate wins: Every time your children reach a savings goal, celebrate! It could be a small treat or just a big high-five. It helps them stay motivated.

Think ahead: While short-term goals are great, talk to your children about saving for big stuff too, like college or a car. It gets them thinking about the future.

Related articles:

4 fun and creative ways to teach children the art of saving money
A guide to raising financially savvy children
How to talk to your children about money
How to teach children develop good money habits
Unforgettable summer adventures: budget-friendly activities for kids in the UK