Teaching Kids to Save Money

photo of a young boy cashing money into a piggy bank

Teaching your child not to spend

One of the hardest things to do is to make yourself wait to buy something you really want. Even as adults, when we see something we want, it's difficult not to buy it (especially if we have the means to do so). But delayed gratification is important to be able to handle, especially for kids. Delaying gratification can even predict how successful someone will be as a grown-up. Kids need to learn that if they want something, they should wait and save up money to buy it. It's important for kids to understand at a young age that going into a store doesn't always mean that they're going to buy something.

Teaching your child to save

One easy way to teach your child to save money is to create money jars (or piggy banks) for different uses. Set one jar aside for saving, one for spending, and one for sharing. This teaches your child that, not only is it important to not immediately spend all of your money, but it is equally as important to be generous towards others. When your child earns money, divide the amount equally among the three jars so that they get used to setting money aside. Allow the "Spending" jar to be used for small items, such as candy or stickers. The "Saving" jar should be set aside for larger or more necessary purchases. Finally, the "Sharing" jar should be used for your child to buy presents for family and friends, or donate to a cause or charity.

Teaching your child to set goals

Encouraging your child to set small, reasonable goals can show them how rewarding it is to accomplish something that they work for. Make sure this goal is something that can be attained within a few weeks or else they may become frustrated. This will not only teach them the worth of money and the importance of working for it, but will also teach them how valuable it is to want something for yourself and to reach that goal.


These tips should be applied at any age in life, because they are important steps to success. However, instilling these practices at a young age will give your child knowledge about smart money spending/saving before money becomes something prominent in their everyday life. Children from ages 3-5 are perfect students for these teachings because they are entirely dependent and have no need for money, but are just reaching the age where they begin to want it.