Baby and You

Saving skills for life

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What skills would you love to pass on to your child? From riding a bike to learning a language, the opportunities are endless and it can be hard to know where – and when – to start. Good money management is an invaluable skill, and it’s a habit that has its roots earlier than you might think.

We all know that children are amazing learners. From the very moment they’re born they dazzle us with new-found talents – and start forming skills and behaviours that will last them a lifetime.

For example, did you know that research1 has suggested that money habits are set by the age of seven? For a new parent that might seem like a daunting milestone, but the good news is there are a few easy ways to help your child develop great money management skills that they can bank on in later life.

Start early

Money lessons need to be age appropriate, but from the time your child learns to count you can start helping them to learn about the value of coins. Lots of children enjoy playing pretend shops – you can use toy money to ‘sell’ them items from the shelves, and even set them fun tasks to earn more coins to buy larger items. Keep it fun and they will soon pick up the basic principles of cash value.

Real world lessons

Learning needn’t be confined to the home. If you give a child real coins to hand over to a shopkeeper to pay for small items, it helps them understand that pretend shops are a mirror of the real thing. Show them two  items, and gently explain that they have enough money for one. Allowing them to choose gives them a sense of control over spending – and teaches them that the item they can’t afford must be left behind, at least for now.

Piggy banks…

It can be useful to give children two money boxes to save even small amounts of pocket money. One for cash to spend on whatever takes their fancy – so long as they can afford it. The other is for longer term savings, which they can watch grow until they can afford more expensive items. If they want a toy their pocket money doesn’t stretch to, help them draw a simple plan to show how long it will take them to save. Remember to celebrate with them when they achieve a goal.

…and the real thing

Just as playing shop can be connected to real shops, piggy banks can be linked to real banks. If you open a savings account in your child’s name, you stay in control until they are old enough to manage it, but you can share the experience of depositing funds and watching savings grow towards long term targets. As they get older, you can gradually start giving them more control.

Starting a savings account for your child is easy – you can open one online or in branch. It’s a great way to both save for your child’s future and help them be smart, savvy money managers.

Building a nest egg

Friends and relatives often like to give cash gifts to new parents, and this is a great opportunity to open a savings account for your little one. Putting away even a few pounds every month can help build a nest egg that could go towards anything from driving lessons to the deposit on their first home – as well as help you teach them to become smart savers.

If you’d like to find out more about a savings account for your child, visit halifax.co.uk/savings

1 https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/corporate/adult-money-habits-are-set-by-the-age-of-seven-years-old-shows-new-study

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