Ask any financial adviser and they'll tell you the earlier you can start saving the better. And that even applies to kids - they have to be taught how to save.

When our kids were young we taught them how to save by using (what we referred to as) the $1 method. It's very simple.

For every $1 they received $.25 had to go to savings, $.25 had to go to charity and the remaining $.50 they could spend how ever they wanted.

It didn't matter if they were given the money as a gift or earned it by doing chores around the house, every dollar was divided up the same.

And when it came to deciding where the money was going to go, that was left completely up to the kids; their choice.

I'm proud to say every single penny placed in savings went to the kids' college education. You'd be surprised how fast it multiplies.

And as for the "kick-a-doo" money - that' s what we called the money they could spend how ever they wanted - again, completely up to them.

Yes it's a very simple plan, but it actually does work - my kids are proof. In fact, both our kids continued on with the plan - their choice - well into their teenage years.

The key to getting any plan to work is you have to have the conversation with your kids about the importance of saving and not spending everything they make and/or receive.

Explain how the charity money they're saving will - depending on where it's donated - help sick kids or homeless pets. And let them make the donation - that's very important.

As the kids age you can then start to talk about "emergency funds" and saving for unexpected events. Again, the most important thing - start the conversation!

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