6 Steps To Raise Financially Responsible Children: Step 3


Short-Term Goals

Short-term goals are more immediate and should focus on what children need for day-to day life as well as for things they would like to have in the next year. Examples of short-term goals are:


  • Going to the Britney Spears concert next month.
  • Spending a month at a Dude Ranch next summer.
  • Learning to play the guitar.
  • Buying a Nintendo game machine.
  • Buying the new Nike glow in the dark sneakers.

Short-term goals are fairly easy to accomplish because they take fewer resources and investment than long-term goals. Therefore, it is best to start helping your child save for one simple short-term goal first. You might consider finding a photo that represents that goal and placing it on his piggy bank (the one for short-term goal money.) Every time he puts money in this savings container, he will be reminded what he is saving for. You should occasionally remove all the money and count it so he knows exactly how much more money he will need to save before he can afford to buy what he wants. You can write on the piggy bank (in removable ink) the amount of money in the bank and how much more he needs.

Once he has the required amount needed for his first goal you are ready to help him obtain it. You could create a family ceremony once the money has been obtained and the goal achieved. Make sure you have helped him comparison shop so he is able to get the best value for his money. Your child might be pleasantly surprised when he finds out the item he wanted is now on sale or cheaper at another store. After purchasing the item, take the time to congratulate him and provide him an extra special treat you know he will enjoy as a reward. The reward doesn’t have to be monetary based, but it should show him how proud you are of his efforts.