Introducing Money To Kids – A Clever Way To Use Your Growth Chart

introducing money to kids

I'm going to show you how introducing money to kids can be a fun process while teaching your child to save, all thanks to the Growth Chart Method.

Introducing money to kids at an early age is such a great idea.

If this appeals to you – which I’m sure it does, because you’re here reading this! – then you’re probably thinking along the lines of ways to get them to count their change and make their first store transaction.

Great places to start, but how about we go one step further than that?

Many parents who try to instill the value of saving money into their young kids run butt-up against the problem of how to get them excited about money that sits in a savings account.

I mean…it just sits there. They can’t touch it, or hold it, or use it to purchase new things in their lives.

True, they can see the growth on a savings account statement if you were to show it to them, but let's face it: numbers lay pretty flat on a page.

So, perhaps you’ve gone the money jar route.

With money in their pockets or in a clear money jar, they can at least see whether their dollars seem to be growing “bigger” or not. And if they take money out to buy a new video game, then they can physically see that the money jar is now much emptier than before.

However, there are two issues with the money jar. First off, money sitting in a jar is not earning interest (a missed money opportunity + missed money lesson opp). Also, money in a jar becomes quit tempting to tap when the ice-cream man jingle rings.

Psst: Check out the most unique piggy banks for kids here, in case a piggy bank is the way you want to go!

But getting them really excited about money growing in a location they can't physically see or touch − a savings account − let alone the amazing effects of compound interest, is pretty difficult.

What Gets Kids Excited About Saving Money

What's going to get your kid excited about saving money is a lot like what gets adults excited about saving money: seeing the numbers go up.

Except for one difference: adults drool over savings statements, understanding that money increasing in value is exciting.

But kids? Well, that's a different story.

They drool over holding money, having some sitting in their wallet, being able to touch it, and being given the power of choice.

Savings Statements are 1-D

Kids live in 3D. They want tangible things, and they don't necessarily latch onto abstract concepts like compound interest working for them around the clock.

Actually, lots of adults don't latch onto that either.

On top of that, kid savings accounts typically grow at a smaller rate than adult ones. It's not like they're out there working from 9-5, right? So, they have less money to fund their account.

This is why getting their savings statement every so often − when you actually remember to show it to them − isn't going to be really exciting.

I mean, who would jump and holler over $0.10 in interest earnings (well, besides money geeks like me)?

Let’s work on linking your kid’s savings account money with a different kind of visual so that they get interested in saving their money from the start because they can associate it to actual growth.

Nail this, and they’ll send a lot more of the green stuff to their bank account.

Pairing a Growth Chart with Money Growth

I've got a really cool idea for how kids can track their savings growth right alongside their own growth, all at the same time.

It’s using a Growth Chart.

You know, that nifty, giraffe-like chart you swore you’d fill out with them on a regular basis as they went from crawler to walker to runner?

The idea is: just as kids are excited to see how much they've grown from month to month, watching their savings account grow with a vertical visual is going to up the cool factor on saving money.

Psst: your kiddo doesn’t have a bank account yet? No worries. Here’s my article on setting up bank account for baby (even if ‘baby’ now wears braces).

How the Money Growth Chart Works

Use your growth chart as an actual growth chart, but make one minor adjustment.

On the other side, create tick marks evenly spaced apart, all the way up.

I’m using the Monster Growth Chart from Oh Bessie, which conveniently has those tick marks already laid out — click on this link and use the code MONEYPRODIGY15 for 15% off your order!). At the top of this column, write in, “Money Growth”.

Each tick mark on this side is worth $5. You can write this in (use pencil if you think you might want to change it).

Here are the steps for using this Money Growth Chart:

  • Pick a Consistent Time Duration: Choose a consistent time duration to do this, such as once a month, twice a year, annually, etc.
  • Log Into Your Child's Savings Account: Before you get ready to use the growth chart, log into your child's savings account online and find out their new balance.
  • Mark their Height Measurement: On the right side of the growth chart, you'll chart your child's growth just like you normally would. Record the date and create the tick mark. Your child will be amazed by how much they've grown since you last measured their height!
  • Mark their Money Measurement: Each tick mark on the left side of the chart is worth $5. I chose this small amount because it's helpful for them to still see some progress even when their savings isn't growing really rapidly. Mark where their new savings account balance is with a date next to it. Let them color in the column you just created. Have them watch you go through the entire process – as in check the amount of their current savings statement, then count up the tick marks and estimate where they’re at – so that they can associate the idea of money being able to grow just like they grow.

Pssst: Is your child beyond the age of thinking you measuring + tracking their growth is cool? Then high-jack their growth chart and use it solely as a money growth tracker! They’ll likely get more excited about that.

Ideas You Can Use to Make this Even Cooler

There are several ways you can adjust this chart for your own use + make it even cooler for your kiddo(s).

For example:

  • Use it for a Specific Money Goal: Use the area on the growth chart to fill in for a specific savings goal that your child may have, such as a video game, a charitable goal, a trip to the bookstore, etc. You can write this savings goal out (I would do so in pencil, as their savings goal might change and you want to be able to erase!). Not sure what they want to save for? Help them come up with the best savings goal for them with this one-page savings goal guide
  • Visually Separate Out the Free Money they're Getting: If your kid sees compound interest in action, then they're going to get pretty excited. Explain to them that since their money is at the bank, the bank pays them for it. So, fill in the savings money growth from actual money they've contributed, then use a different colored pen or marker to show them the free money the bank paid them for their own money (you can put the extra money earned in a different color on top of the other color – like the icing on the cake).
  • Time Your Measurements with a Trip to the Bank: After updating the money growth side of the chart, take advantage of your child's peaked excitement over how their money has grown by having them gather up all their loose change and dollars to physically go the bank with you and make a deposit.

Display their Money Growth Chart in a prominent location, where they can see both their own growth progress as well as that of their savings account.

Who knows? This one step might be just the thing that turns your child into a savings growth monster!

Introducing money to kids had me nervous but I'm feeling more confident after reading this article. I can't wait to try out this activity to introduce money in my household! #introducingmoneytokids #introducingmoney #firstgrade #activities #to2ndgraders #introducingmoneyactivities #teachingyoungchildren #teachingyoungkids #moneysystemforkids #raisingkids #parentingadvice #teachingkids #forkids #play #teachingkidslifeskills #pocketmoney #money |

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