The idea of saving isn’t always as tangible as putting money in a piggy bank or opening up a youth savings account, especially for kids. In celebration of Earth Day, here are 5 lessons for your kids that pair saving and conservation.
1. Turn off the water.
Teach them to turn off the water when brushing their teeth, take short showers and make sure each load of laundry is full. These small acts can save big on your family’s water bill!
2. Conserve energy.
Turning off the lights and TV when leaving a room is easy to forget when rushing out the door. Kids thrive when they feel like they’re a leader, so assign them the role of ‘Energy Saver.’ Make it their responsibility to turn off all the lights, make sure the TV is off when not being watched, and do other small tasks around the home. Explain to them that they are saving the family money by lowering the electric bill. You could positively reinforce this goal by creating a family savings goal, like visiting a local park or even a weekend trip. By equating saving with something they love, it will be easy for saving to become a daily habit!
3. Enjoy cooking at home.
Eating out may seem convenient, but cooking at home can be more satisfying, especially when you get your kids involved! Being able to cook will help them save on food costs for the rest of their lives. Try making their favorite pizza or pasta from scratch. They may enjoy the time spent together and it may taste better than your usual takeout order!
4. Grow their food.
Even if you do not have a large space for a garden, you can use small window pots or hanging baskets. Growing a few vegetables and herb plants can save quite a bit of money. Similar to cooking at home, when children have ownership of something, they will likely enjoy it more.
Maybe they will be more eager to eat their carrots if they watch them grow!
5. Have at-home family nights.
Get creative and plan low-cost family fun activities such as game nights, card games, movie nights, backyard campouts and more. There are many easy ways to have fun and bond as a family from the comfort of home. A one-time investment for these activities, such as a new board game, can provide years of fun.
As an adult, these may seem like simple “no brainers.” For kids, these are new habits to learn. Remember, one of the best ways to teach kids to save is to lead by example. By building these habits, you will save as a family and prepare your kids to become life-long savers!
These tips are brought to you by American Saves Week. Learn more at americasavesweek.org.