How to Teach Your Child to Save Money

Опубликовал Admin
4-10-2016, 21:50
If you would like to teach your child the importance of saving money, you should consider beginning your lessons at an early age. Children can learn by watching you, through playing games that involve money, and engaging in conversation with you, though the latter may come a bit later in your child’s life.

Teaching 2 to 5 Year Olds to Save

  1. Consider beginning as early as two years old. At the age of two, many children begin to enjoy doing small chores. Practicing these small chores will prepare your child for later on in life when you begin to give him an allowance for doing chores. Examples of chores you can practice with your two year old include:
    • Having your child put away his toys.
    • Having your child ‘help’ you in the kitchen.
  2. Begin to introduce your child to different forms of money when he is three and older. At this stage, your child may not fully understand money but you can slowly introduce to him the name of different coins and currencies. However, adult supervision is highly advised to avoid dangers like swallowing of coins.
    • Hold up a coin, like a penny, nickel, dime, or quarter, and tell your child the name of the coin.
  3. Explain to your child that you should only buy what is necessary. When your child turns two, he will already know what he wants a lot of the time, even if he cannot vocalize it properly. For example, when you pass a toy store, your child may indicate that he wants a particular toy.
    • Make it clear to your child that going inside the store does not always mean that you have to buy something; there are times when simply ‘window shopping’ is the better option.
  4. Start giving your child an allowance. When your child reaches the age of four or five, consider beginning to give him an allowance each week or each month. This allowance can be small amounts of cash. This may also be a time to begin having your child do chores, though the chores do not necessarily need to be associated with the allowance you give your child at this time. These chores could include:
    • Making his bed look neat (it might be a little hard for him to make his bed entirely on his own).
    • Putting away his toys.
    • Picking out his outfit for the day.
  5. Role play with fake money. Try role-playing games like pretending you are at a store or restaurant, to begin to teach your child about money. Make fake money, or purchase some fake money and set up a table with the goods you plan to “sell”. Pretend that you are the owner of the store and your child is hoping to buy something. Once you have played the game that way for a little while, reverse the roles so that your child can get a basic understanding of the concept of buying and selling items.
    • The ‘goods’ that you ‘sell’ can be groceries that you already bought, or your child’s toys.
    • You can even consider getting your child an apron or uniform to wear when he is the person selling the goods. Wear costumes and make the game fun, as well as informative.
  6. Make jars for your child to save money in (for ages 3 to 5). Create a piggy bank for your child to store his allowance in when he begins receiving allowance. You can use old glass jars or other types of containers to create these piggy banks.
    • One option is to make multiple jars and have your child label each jar with the thing that he wants to buy using the money he is going to save. This could be an expensive toy, or simply his favorite candy.
    • Another option is to label the jars with the words “Saving”, “Spending” and “Sharing”. The saving jar would be the jar your child puts money into so that he can buy something expensive later on. Likewise, the spending jar is money that your child can spend when he needs to, and the sharing jar is for buying a present for someone else.

Teaching 6 to 10 Year Olds to Save

  1. Make your child part of the decision-making process. As your child learns more about the concepts of saving and spending, begin to teach your child how to make wise choices about money. Teach your child that when he buys one item, he will not have enough money to buy a different item as well. To help do this:
    • Make your child be part of your decision-making when you go shopping. Treat your child like a grown up and ask his opinion when trying to decide between items. For example, show him that you could buy some apples and crackers for the price of one chunk of expensive cheese. Discuss the benefits of all of the items with your child.
  2. Explain the concept of buying in bulk to save money. Explain to your child that there are items that can be bought cheaper when purchased in bulk, but that buying in bulk could also mean wasting food.
    • Take him to a bulk grocery store and talk about the things that your family eats regularly. For example, maybe each member of your family loves the same type of cereal. If this is the case, buying that cereal in bulk makes more sense than buying many smaller boxes of that cereal.
  3. Plan a day trip to the bank. When you child start receiving allowances, you could plan a day trip with him and explore the nearest bank. During this trip, you could help your child to set up his own savings account, and demonstrate how an ATM works.
    • Open up a savings account for your child that you control. Show him that his name is on the account, and that he can begin putting money into his savings account whenever he wants.
  4. Play board games that teach the concept of money management. Like when your child was younger, games can still be an excellent way to help your child to understand monetary concepts. Consider games that involve buying, selling, paying, and renting.
    • Some board games that include these concepts are Monopoly and The Game of Life.
    • Aside from board games, you could also help your child to set up a booth, such as a lemonade stand, to help him learn the value of hard work. Help him to prepare the items that he needs, like a table and a pitcher.
  5. Create a savings goal chart with your child. A savings goal chart is like a calendar that your child can use to plan out how much he has to save, and when he can buy the things that he wants. To make a savings goal chart:
    • Ask your child what he wants; this could be a toy, or a trip to something fun, like a water park. Print out a picture of the thing your child wants and paste it on to the chart.
    • Search for the price of the toy and then divide it up to determine how many days your child will need to save his allowance in order to be able to buy what he wants.
    • Mark each day that your child does chores with a sticker, to make it exciting as your child gets closer to earning his goal.

Teaching 11 to 13 Year Olds to Save

  1. Begin paying your child for chores, rather than giving an allowance. While you may have begun to give your child an allowance at a younger age, you should now make the switch to only giving him an allowance when he does certain household chores. This will teach your child the value of money that is earned through work. Chores could include:
    • Having your child make his bed.
    • Having him clean up his room, or rooms where he spends his time.
    • Walking the family dog.
    • Packing his lunch in the morning to take to school.
  2. Consider talking about investing with your child. Discuss the concept of investing with your child. Explain that your child has the opportunity to invest his money, and thus have it grow as time goes on.
    • Talk to your child about the stock market.
  3. Introduce the idea of short versus long term goals. While your child may already have a piggy bank, you could discuss the difference between short and long term goals with your child.
    • For instance, talk to your child about the difference between buying Lego figures each week, or saving up for several months to buy a larger toy, like a PlayStation.
    • You could consider rewarding your child in some small way when he does save money. For example, if your child saves up enough money to buy a PlayStation, show him that you are proud of him by offering to pay for have of the PlayStation (however, do not mention this until your child really has saved up enough money to buy what he wants).

Teaching 14 to 18 Year Olds to Save

  1. Explain the concept of financial loss. At this stage, your child already most likely understand that you must work to earn money. However, your child might still be unaware that financial loss can occur, such as when you invest in a stock that ends up causing you to lose a lot of money.
    • Let your child experience financial loss and earn from his mistakes. If your child decides to spend his money on chocolate, rather than on something more sustainable, and then expresses regret later on, discuss the concept of financial loss at this time.
  2. Discuss your family’s financial situation. Be open with your child about your family’s current financial status. Be honest about the things that your family can afford and what sort of limits you have. Being open with your child can help him to figure out his own place in your family’s financial situation.
    • You should also try to practice what you preach. If you want your child to save money wisely, you should also save money to set an example for your child.
    • Show your child your family’s bills and teach him how to read them, and about the process of paying bills.
  3. Encourage your child to get a job. While it is important to follow child labor laws, a job could simply involve raking your neighbor’s yard every week. Explain the concept of part-time jobs like babysitting, car washing, or lawn mowing.
    • However, be sure to encourage your child to stay in school, and remind him that school is a very important part of finding a great job later on.
  4. Give your child more responsibility around the house. Give your child more responsibility and more chances to earn money. This could involve increasing the number or difficulty of your child’s chores. When (or if) your child gets his license, you could also extend your child’s chores to running errands for you.
    • Consider giving your child stored-value cards. You can also help your child learn about financial responsibility by giving him stored-value cards. This looks like a credit card but only has a fixed amount of money on each card.

Teaching 19 and Older Children to Save

  1. Teach your child the importance of paying bills promptly. At this time, your child may have a credit card or other bills to pay. Make sure your child understands the importance of paying his bills on time, as well as being aware of what could happen if he does not manage to do so.
    • Consider getting a credit card for your child, or a debit card that is linked to an account that you can also monitor. Looking for credit cards should involve selecting one that has a low interest rate and no annual fee.
  2. Explain budgeting to your child. Knowing how to budget money wisely is an important part of this time in your child’s life. Discuss topics like debt and credit card management with your child, as well as putting aside savings for emergency funds and health insurance.
  3. Link saving money to self-discipline. Knowing how to save money is important for your because it can help him to develop self-discipline. This self-discipline may come in handy later on when your child begins to pay for things entirely on his own.
    • A weak self-discipline, on the other hand, could lead to getting into debt and making poor financial decisions.
  4. Teach your child that earning money is also about giving to others. Show your child that money is not all about earning and saving, but that it is also about giving. Discuss charities with your child, and warn against living life only to make money.
    • Stress the importance of giving to others, and try to show your child that spending some of his money on other people, when the money is used wisely, is not a bad thing.


  • Knowledge about saving money cannot be acquired in an instant; consider it to be a gradual and continuous learning process as your child matures.
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