Tips on Raising a Saver

>> 7.23.2009

I'm a saver. I've never been in debt, I have a nice emergency fund, and I'm ready to buy my first home. Lately, I've found an interest in PF (personal finance) blogs about people tackling their debt. These bloggers hold more strength and perseverance than I could imagine. They give up things that change their entire lives in order to erase debt that they had accumulated for various reasons. I'm not sure if I could do it! I'm glad that I've been penny-pinching since I could talk and that I don't have debt to work on currently so I decided to do a little analysis of how my parents might have* turned me into such a saver...

1. matched my savings: I had incentive to add to my savings as a kid because everything I added was doubled, like magic! Think: 401(k). Are you maxing out your employer matching? Kids are smarter than to pass up free money!

2. talked to me about money: I remember sitting in my room when I was 7 years old and having my dad tell me that I would have to start saving now if I wanted a car when I was sixteen. Nine years later and I had $5000 ready in the bank ready to buy that car! In addition, I got a job within weeks of turning sixteen... That was all okay because I was prepared for it. My parents had spoken to me numerous times about the responsibilities I would have and the reasons why these responsibilities were so important.

3. had me earn my own money: A short three weeks after turning sixteen, I was working at the Gap (for $6.25/hr). It was all part of the car deal. If my parents were signing over a car to me, they needed to know that they could rely on the car being paid for (um, hello mortgage lenders!).
4. "it's her money, let her use it:" What do you think might happen if a child saves and saves, but can't touch the money until they turn eighteen? It would be blown in a day! This does not mean that they will use all of the money, it just means that they will think about it as if it is actually theirs. I always wanted to have a TV in my bedroom when I was a kid. My parents said that I could have one if I paid for it myself. What happened? I never wanted to spend my hard-earned money on a TV when I had one to use in the living room!

5. they were good examples: No matter what else you do, if your kids see you running up credit card bills and buying a new car every year, they're going to do the same thing as adults. Who else will they learn from?

On a side note, yes, my parents covered the expenses related to my college education. I appreciate that opportunity more than they will ever know and I plan on doing the exact same thing for my kids in the future (*crosses fingers to not have quadruplets*). I can do it, I'm a saver!

Are you a saver? Have any tips on raising a saver?

*I am not a financial professional, these are just some friendly tips.


Jessie July 23, 2009 at 10:32 AM  

What a great post! Those are all great ways to encourage kids to be savers!

thereddeer July 23, 2009 at 8:20 PM  

Thanks for these tips - I want my daughter to be a good saver when she grows up and I'll definitely be following this advice :)

FruGal August 13, 2009 at 9:49 AM  

Wow, your parents gave you great advice! I was never a spender as a child, but it's not my parents' fault. They were both very frugal, but I, on the other hand, just wanted everything now, now, now!

The lessons your parents taught you about money are the same lessons that I'm just now learning as an adult. It's been tough, but I finally have learned the value of a dollar.

I especially like that your parents never said "no" to you. When you wanted a TV in your room, they gave you the option to have one- if you paid for it yourself. I think this is something that parents today don't do enough. They don't want to say "no" to their kids, but they don't make their kids financially responsible for things. Keep up the good advice!

Sara @ Russet Street Reno September 28, 2009 at 1:52 PM  

I'm really late on this post, but gosh you are like me! All these things apply, my dad has really helped me to be the saver I am today. However, I took student loans for college and will not be paying for my kids college, either. I believe those loans were the start to my good credit history and helped me really think about where my money was going. I even chose to pay for my senior year out of pocket without using a loan. That was eye-opening for sure. This is a great post!

Post a Comment

I love reading your thoughts and ideas! Keep them coming!!

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP