The family that prays together stays together, goes a famous adage. However, according to Matthew 6:33: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto thee.” It doesn’t say “Seek ye ONLY” the kingdom of God. This means that while the spiritual life is important and should be a top priority, prayer is best accompanied by a sound strategy. That’s why families who pray together for specific goals should also learn to strategically save together to accomplish it. May it be for a family vacation, the children’s college education, or buying a new house or a new car, it’s always best if all capable members of the family can contribute to turn goals into reality.
One crucial aspect in realizing family goals is being able to finance it. Financing goals can be achieved by either getting into debt or saving for it. Since this article focuses on savings, let’s set aside debt for the mean time. The most basic savings formula is taking cash inflow or income and deducting cash outflow or expenses from it. Savings is the result of having a bigger income than expenses. Therefore, deciphering the formula, savings can increase by increasing income, minimizing expenses or both.
So how can household savings specifically increase? One significant strategy to increase household savings is to involve the kids. Here are two ways to do so:
- Introduce them to simple money-making jobs. Encourage them to earn money but in simple ways that don’t hinder their studies nor violate child labor laws. Babysitting is a common example of how kids can make extra income on their spare time. In the summer, you could teach them how to make ice candy and let them put up a sign that says: “Ice candy for sale”. However, kids should not be obliged to make money just to help the family earn additional income.
- Teach them how to lower household expenses. These may be done in whatever way they can – through habits as simple as sleeping in one room whenever they want to use the aircon, setting a specific “TV time” so the telly isn’t on 24/7, or switching lights off when not in use. Getting kids to start family saving habits is a great way to train them at such a young age.
During my younger years, I had the opportunity to make money by tutoring students. I also sold stuff to my cousins and got a commission. I also did my fair share to reduce household expenses. I rarely asked my parents to buy me new clothes or things I didn’t really need. I even tried to save money for school projects and other school requirements.
During my teens, I helped out by working as a part-time waiter, janitor, and driver. My exposure in helping my family through saving at a young age formed me to become who I am today. I learned to value the importance of making money and the discipline required to reduce expenses. However, while it’s a promising concept that kids help increase household savings, making it work would be hopeless if parents don’t lead by example. Just like going to church or praying as a family, saving for a specific family goal works best if done together.