#happylife: How one Spokane mom is encouraging her kids to save at different ages

#happylife: How one Spokane mom is encouraging her kids to save at different ages
FreeImages.com/Stephen J. Sullivan

Denise Cajigas has one of the tougher jobs at STCU.

“I don’t really like to talk about it but my department is when you don’t save and you don’t pay,” Cajigas said.

As a mom, she wants to make sure her kids never find themselves in that situation.

“We just think it’s really important to understand, just because you have a dollar today, doesn’t mean you spend a dollar,” said Cajigas.

For mom, it is never too early for them to start learning, earning and saving!

“It just becomes a habit!” said Cajigas.

Even for her Max Cajigas, her 5-year old son.

“He likes to say he is saving it for retirement,” she explained.

He added, “That means you are too old for a job!”

Max has already got a few jobs he does pretty well. Vacuuming is his favorite.

While Max does not get a set allowance, he does earn some cash for cleaning and he is always expected to put a little away; a concept that’s challenging for a kindergartner. His counting jar helps — it tells him exactly how much he has. Max and his mom then decide how much will go in his money jar toward saving, spending and sharing.

The money jar is a cardboard box given out by STCU to students in our area, as the financial institution travels around making presentations at schools about money and the importance of saving.

To make understanding saving easier, Cajigas and her son sit down and compare what costs a little and what costs a lot.

“So, like a house would be really expensive, a car wouldn’t be quite as expensive and a Pokemon card is really inexpensive!” said Cajigas.

For Chloe Cajigas, his 17-year old sister, it is different. She is too cool for the money jar. She does, however, have a savings account set up and is expected to keep the balance positive while paying bills.

Her mom said, “She sees how quickly it goes. This is first year she is working so she is definitely seeing how fast these things add up.”

Every few months a new responsibility or bill is added.

“Recently, I started to pay for my insurance on my car.” said Chloe.

And with that, some tough decisions for a teen.

“Maybe I don’t need to get fast food everyday or get gems on my nails,” explained Chloe. “I can save my own money and buy my own stuff,” added Chloe.

A little more financial freedom is worth it and just what mom wanted to see.

“We are not always going to be able to pay her bills!”

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