The best teaching tool with which to develop financially adept children is the simple piggy bank, economic advisors agree. In the absence of a penny-eating pig, a money jar is an alternative savings institution.
Linda Horton, Norman, distributed big, glass containers to her grandchildren last summer when they started discussing this summer’s family reunion.
“They were all really excited about it,” she said, but worried about the expenses of taking the whole family to Lake Tenkiller in July.
The grandmother laid out the plan for tossing change into the jars. “They don’t think of change as being money,” she said, but are starting to realize that saving a bit at a time will accumulate enough to get “something they want really bad.”
For Horton’s grandchildren, the families of Faithann and David Basore and Joy and Daniel Montoya, all of Oklahoma City, the savings plan has become a family project that will enhance their trip.
Sue Lynn Sasser, president of the Oklahoma Council on Economic Education and a faculty member at University of Central Oklahoma, explained: “When children are very small, they want things, but they can’t have everything they want.”
A good lesson, she said, would be for them to learn to save for what they want. Some part of every gift of money, from grandmas’ presents to birthdays, should be set aside in a piggy bank or a savings account. “Pay yourself first,” is Sasser’s advice.
Children must learn, she said, that money has a certain value and can be exchanged for certain objects at a store.