Can't get your kids to see the joys of savings? Make it personal -- add their allowances to the list. Once they realize that part of the money is designated for them to save and spend as they see fit, they'll jump on the bandwagon. In fact, every member of the family can have a personal allowance, even if it's as little as $5 per week, to spend or save on whatever he or she chooses.
In other words, if you have $20 in your "personal" savings, you can swing by Starbucks and enjoy your latte guilt-free. Your spouse can splurge on that new toolkit -- as long as he has the cash. Your targeted savings accounts let you savor the rewards you've earned without worry.
To make the process of saving easier and more motivating, set up a savings account online that you can link to your checking account. ING lets you create multiple accounts with a single login -- for example, you could have an Emergency Savings Fund, a Family Vacations Fund, and a New Television Fund all on a single screen. You'll see your total balance, as well as the individual account balances. Next, configure automatic transfers either weekly or monthly. Weekly transfers can be exciting -- make a point of logging in weekly to check your new balance, and be sure to show your kids how you're getting closer to your family goal.
At least once a month, hold a brief family meeting to review your savings and what it means for your family. Reached a goal? Celebrate! Start researching that vacation, or go out and have that meal! And don't cancel your automatic transfer -- simply repupose it for another savings account.
Now is the perfect time to start working towards your family's success. So what are you saving for? Tell us in the comments!
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