Many of us are visual learners, hence the popularity of Pinterest (join me!). Therefore, I thought this My Savings Machine tool was a great way to talk to kids about money. It’s clear, simple and easy to maneuver. If you have a teen who’s looking at saving for a car, have him consider the areas he might be able to save in. Can he cut out one movie a month? a latte? cut some snacks? If so, he can immediately put the weekly amount saved in each category into the “machine” and see how much he’ll have to put towards his car by the end of the year. It’s actually kind of fun to play around with.
It works for grown-up, too! The ability to move the sliders and quickly change categories makes it easy to play around with your budget and see how small changes can affect the big picture. For instance, in my example, I wondered what I could save if I put my money in the bank and cut out one mocha a week, spent $24 less on groceries, skipped one meal out a month (I figure a dinner w/hubby would be around $40, so chose the $11 weekly option) and cut my boys’ hair at home. It looks like that would save me roughly $2253 a year. Enough money for a pretty nice vacation or new carpeting.