Develop a savings culture among children

In the parable of the talents in the Bible (Matthew 25:14-30), each man was given a certain amount of money, but only two out of three used it appropriately. The two invested their money and it earned interest and multiplied.

Sep 27, 2023 - 21:57
Develop a savings culture among children
Mr. Dickson Tumuramye - Executive Director of Hope Regeneration Africa

It is not always easy for some people to save money. While some people despise their income as too little for saving, others have enough to save but do not know how.

In the parable of the talents in the Bible (Matthew 25:14-30), each man was given a certain amount of money, but only two out of three used it appropriately. The two invested their money and it earned interest and multiplied. He who hid it remained with the same amount, which was also taken away from him by the master and given to the one with more. Therefore, the one who has more will always be added to more. This is why your children need to learn the value of saving and growing their money at a tender age.

I have also heard testimonies of 3 children below 15 years old who saved from their pocket money with the purpose of doing something and they have achieved their goals. They started with buying some chicken and that later developed into a piggery project.

A savings culture is a habit that every child needs to learn from childhood to become financially responsible. It is easier to instil any behavior in a child and they pick it up much faster than adults. It's very possible to encourage it right now in your children.

Teach them to start saving from any money source. This could be pocket money, money from visitors and friends, their businesses, and parents among others. They should also learn to work for it either through chores, rewards, or allowances for any hard work. They need to know that money is worked for. This money can be saved in pig banks or savings boxes. It doesn't matter how much they drop in at any time; one day it will be much for something big. Teach them the principle of one-to-one makes a bundle.

Another way children can save is by opening savings accounts in banks, SACCOs, or any organized group where that account should be earning them interest on a regular basis. Even if it's you giving them that money to deposit in their accounts, they get to know the language that they are saving money somewhere. Save with a purpose of an end in mind. It's better for a child to save with a target to hit. This encourages them to save with the intention of ensuring they multiply that money in a given period of time and invest it in something else. This minimizes any wastage or unnecessary spending of any money. When you see that one likes spending anyhow, you just remind him/her of the target to achieve and to exercise self-discipline with saving and spending.

Impart in them the value of saving as a group, especially at a family level. Our children have their savings group and we borrow from them money. They also learned it from their friends and their savings have grown over time. This encourages teamwork as they grow up and family unity.

We taught them record keeping because they need to track all income, expenditure, money borrowed out, returned or not in the given period of time, and interest earned. This helps them to make reviews and plan accordingly. Our children now know who pays back well, and they also learned to remind the borrower to pay back as the borrower's agreement states. These are some of the financial management skills they are learning along the way. You don't give out business money and relax about it. Penalties are enforced should one fail to pay on time. This challenges the parent to demonstrate faithfulness and be a good example so that they too get to know that when you borrow from someone or a bank, you must pay back as promised.

Expose them to different notices and teach them the value of each and what it takes to get a big one. Even when you are giving them money for any task, keep giving them different notices so that they appreciate it and are encouraged to work harder for it. They should also know how to count it, ask for balance/change, and be well-equipped. This means that even when they are spending, they should know the value and spend only what must be spent not because you have a lot of money at hand.

It may seem challenging to develop this habit in your children but with your positive attitude about it and consistency, it is very feasible and the rewards are immense when they master it.

The writer is the Executive Director of Hope Regeneration Africa, a parenting coach, marriage counselor, and founder of the Men of Purpose Mentorship Program.

Dickson Tumuramye Executive Director - Hope Regeneration Africa, Writer, Child Advocate, Parenting Coach, Marriage Counselor, & Founder - Men of Purpose Mentorship Programme