Get your kids a transparent piggy bank, expert says

Get your kids a transparent piggy bank, expert says

It's not the most exciting activity to do with your kids, but it's something a financial expert says we need to do more of — teaching young people about financial literacy. 

"This is an area that I think we're struggling in in our province right now," said Joel Graham, a financial wellness manager for Conexus Credit Union.

April 17 marks the seventh annual Talk With Our Kids About Money Day, which is meant to raise awareness about teaching young people how to spend and save their money responsibly.

"[There's] a lot of opportunity to improve in this space and it's going to have a whole bunch of ripple effects, not just on our money — but on our overall health and wellness, and ability to develop great relationships, and ability to give back to the community," said Graham, who's also a former high school teacher in Regina.

He recommends parents start talking to their kids about money around the age of seven, but he says the earlier the better.

3 tips

Graham has three tips for parents with kids who are under seven-years-old:

  • Have your child start a piggy bank, but make sure it's in a clear container so they can see their money increase over time.
  • Get your kids involved with purchasing by having them physically pay for something they want using money from their piggy bank. 
  • Learn how to be open and comfortable speaking about money within your family so kids can adopt the same habit.

Spending more than saving

When asked if people in Saskatchewan are bad at saving money, Graham had a straightforward answer: Yes.

"We're really bad at that," he said.

Graham said recent statistics show only one in three people are actively saving money on a monthly basis in Saskatchewan.

"That's not a great number. You'd love to see that closer to 100 per cent obviously," he said.

"That that would be an area that we really need to improve upon."

People should be trying to set aside 10 to 20 per cent of their income for short term and long term financial goals, according to Graham.

For people wanting to learn more about their finances, Graham recommends a book titled The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton.