saving money around the house

It is important for children to understand the costs that go into running a home - otherwise these expenses can come as quite a surprise when they move out on their own. Take a good look around your house. There may be a number of ways you can reduce your monthly expenses, whether it be heating costs or non-essential purchases. Think about where you can cut back, make the changes, then take the money you save and invest it.

it Activities

Look at what you've got

Go through your child's room and have them estimate the cost of everything in it. Ask whether they think each item is a "need" or a "want" item. For example, a bed is a "need" item and toys or electronics are "want" items. Ask them how important each item is to day-to-day living. How often do they use each item? If they had to give away some of the things, which ones would they be?

Add up the value of all the items and figure out the difference between the needs and wants. How much would you have saved if just half of the want items had not been purchased? Next time your child asks for a new "want" item, use the Saver Sheet and work towards the goal together. Or better yet, see whether your child is willing to put that money into savings instead.

A little change

Keeping a family piggy bank can be a good way to teach your child about the benefits of saving. Start with an empty coin bank. Every time you or your child has a little extra change, put it in the bank. Check it at the end of each week to see how your savings have grown. Put that money into a family savings account. Did you notice a difference in how much money you had that week? Even if you only put a little away each week, the savings will surely grow.

A houseful of savings

Your house can be a money pit. There are several ways that you can reduce costs around the home while also teaching smart saving. Talk to your child about costs associated with maintaining a house, such as heating costs, electricity, water, taxes and insurance. Take a critical look around your home and see where costs could be reduced. Implementing some energy and water savings solutions will not only help reduce monthly expenses but it will reduce your carbon footprint! Check out your utilities company's website to find some great energy saving solutions.