Building Early Financial Habits

Why start saving money in a clear bank? Before you can save money, you need to have the ability to earn some cash. Money is traditionally used as payment in exchange for the value of one’s time. Many people teach children about money by making a list of chores that can be accomplished weekly, with the added benefit of small amounts of money as a reward. As the money adds up, there is the opportunity to explore and discuss the money’s value. One of the easiest ways to document the growth of money is to use a clear bank, where youngsters can see their money grow. Seeing money adding up is key for mastering the skill of saving money.

Tools For Saving Money

There are a variety of banks out there; ceramic pigs, dinosaurs, unicorns, and elephants. For example, you may also find environmentally-friendly wooden banks, banks that “eat” money, and gumball machines that reward saving with a giant gumball. Lots of tricks, but you can’t always see the cash filling up the container. These silly, moving banks are fun, but the novelty wears off soon and often becomes a discarded toy that lies in the bottom of a toy box or is later discarded and dropped off at the Good Will store.

Two of my favorite banks for beginning money masters are a clear pig and a clear bank with designated space for saving, spending, and sharing. Having three areas to focus on helps kids learn to save for a short-term goal like ice cream or candy bars or saving for more expensive items, like a video game. Besides, having a fund for “sharing” provides an increased awareness for thinking of others. But the essential part of saving money in a clear container (especially for anyone who hasn’t done so before) is the ability to visualize your money growing!

Navigating Between Needs and Wants

This principle is equally applicable to adults too. If you did not learn any money skills from your parents, many financial therapists advise using a clear bank or large jar as an excellent way to begin saving. Consequently, people can use three or more jars for each focus area to get their saving money habit started. Maybe you select to save for three things: emergency fund, vacation fund, and donating to a favorite local charity or church. Some people like to add a hash mark for every dollar placed in the jar. Others may only drop loose change or all cash in their wallets at the end of each week, and still, some folks may proactively choose to write a check for groceries and add $15 over the sum to get that cash back to stash it in their jar. A critical tip for saving money is to save 10% out of every dollar you earn. It is amazing how quickly small amounts of money (consistently saved) add up!

Healthy Relationship with Money

The Fed tells us 44 percent of adults can’t come up with $400 for an unexpected expense, while more than half of working-age adults risk not being able to sustain their standard of living in retirement, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Saving money can increase your “happiness quota.” One study of 3,751 U.S. adults ages 30 to 80 found that increases in assets and decreases in debt over time “contribute substantially to the life course pattern of financial satisfaction.”

One last point for this simple exercise, having a clear vision of how much money in the jars allows people to turn a “no” into a “yes.” Mentally, you may be ready to pull out all of your money for your vacation, but in reality, you still lack $200 to go on the trip. If you continue to saving money for a couple of weeks, you WILL go on that vacation. The benefit of your persistence results in a debt-free getaway! That can be very satisfying! Building your financial habits makes you stronger to create new goals, achieve the goals consistently, and build abundance into your life. You can have a healthy relationship with your money. And, with a clear piggy bank, you can actually see it begin to happen –  After all, you earned it!