How to Hold a Family Summer Savings Challenge
Summertime is here, but the living's not always easy. With the kids out of school, you're probably planning all sorts of family adventures. But if you're not careful, you can quickly break the budget on activities and vacations.
Instead of letting family fun wreak havoc on your finances, you can turn summer into a shared financial learning experience. Family summer savings challenges are a fun way to keep everyone involved in the household finances, provide a chance for bonding and teach your kids some key lessons about money.
Get the Kids on Board
A family savings challenge doesn't have to be complicated — the simpler the better when it comes to getting your kids involved. What you'll be able to do as a family will depend on the age of your children and whether they receive an allowance or are old enough to hold a summer job.
Here are three ideas for summer savings challenges. These can be one-time initiatives or even extended throughout the year.
The Kitchen Challenge (for families with kids of any age)
Cook dinner together every night for five days. This is a chance to teach the kids about using the food you have and to show them cooking skills, while saving some serious bucks. The average American spends $3,008 a year eating out, so doing this challenge a few times a year could yield hundreds of dollars in savings. Plus, your children will hopefully use the kitchen skills they learn
for the rest of their lives.
The Quarter Challenge (for families with kids under 13)
Teach your children a basic lesson on the power of savings by matching their contributions. For one month this summer, ask your child to save every quarter they come across. For every quarter that your child can save, you match it with a dollar.
Together, take a trip to the bank at the end of the month and see how much money they have saved. It's an activity that will bring you closer to your child, while imprinting on them the concept of how saving over time can produce big yields.
The Double-Down Challenge (for families with teens)
Double your savings rate every day for one week. For this challenge, each member of the family will start out saving $1, then double the figure the next day and on each subsequent day. By the end of the week, everyone should have $127.
A week is short enough to capture the kids' attention (and build some healthy competition) and long enough to make clear the importance of saving. You can leave some of the money each family member saves in the bank, while setting aside a portion for a trip to a local amusement park or some other family activity.
Make sure to do daily or weekly check-ins as a family for each challenge, so that your children understand how accountability works with financial education. Check-ins are also a great chance to make the challenge enjoyable — perhaps you can schedule a Quarter Challenge check-in on pizza night or when you go out for ice cream.
Use these ideas as the launch pad for your own family savings challenge: What activities can you do with your family that can help each member become more financially confident?
All content provided in this blog is supplied by Kara Perez and is for informational purposes only. Barclays takes no position as to the views, and makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.