By Ken McCormick
Vice President of Relationship Management

10 Strategies to Help Kids Save Money

May 31, 2024

  • Helpful Tips
  • Savings Accounts

In today's world, teaching kids to save money is crucial to help them prepare for financial challenges. It also teaches them the significance of money and the benefits of learning about finances at a young age.

As a parent or guardian, you play a crucial role in shaping the financial habits of your children. Let's explore these 10 ways you can help kids save money and set them on a financially secure future.

Start With a Piggy Bank

A piggy bank is one of the most straightforward, traditional, and tangible methods to introduce kids to saving. Tell your child to put some money into their piggy bank weekly.

When the piggy bank is complete, you can take the money to the bank and help them deposit it into a savings account. This will teach them about managing their finances.

Teach your children to save a fixed percentage of all the money they receive. By making saving a habit, they will learn to set aside some money before spending it.

Set Savings Goals

Help your child set achievable saving goals. Setting goals like saving for a new toy, book, or family purchase can motivate kids to save money. Make a savings chart or visual tracker to fill in as they reach their goal. This will make saving money more fun and rewarding.

Celebrate with them every time they reach a milestone. It could be as simple as a congratulatory hug or a unique, low-cost activity. This positive reinforcement will encourage them to continue saving.

Open a Savings Account

Introduce your child to the concept of a bank account by opening a savings account in their name. Many banks offer accounts specifically designed for children with no minimum balance requirements and no fees. This will help them learn about responsibility, interest, and the benefits of saving money in a bank.

Some banks offer interest on savings accounts, which can serve as an incentive for kids to save. Explain how their money can grow with the interest the bank pays them.

Educate Through Games

Teachers can use games and apps designed to teach kids about money management to teach financial literacy. Playing games like Monopoly or online apps can be fun to learn about money. These activities can help you understand the concepts of saving and spending.

Playing pretend scenarios like running a store or planning a trip can teach kids about money and saving.

Lead By Example

Children learn a lot by observing. They are more likely to mimic your behavior if they see you saving money and discussing your savings goals. Explain to them why you are saving money and what you are saving for. Show how saving helps you buy things that matter to you.

Discuss your financial successes and challenges with your kids. Let them know how saving money has helped you or how not saving has been a lesson for you.

Create a Chore-Based Allowance

Link their allowance to chores around the house. This will teach them the value of hard work and give them money to manage. They'll learn to budget their earnings and save for what they want.

Once they start earning their allowance, help them create a simple budget. Teach them to allocate funds for spending, saving, and maybe even giving.

Introduce the Concept of Giving

Teach your kids about giving by helping them save money to donate to charity. This helps children learn about generosity and understand that not everyone has the same opportunities with cash. It teaches them to value money.

To motivate them, consider matching their contributions to charity. This can double the impact of their giving and reinforce the habit of saving for this purpose.

Use Visual Aids

Visual aids like charts and graphs can help children track their savings and understand their progress. This is a great way to make accumulating money more concrete.

Track savings visually on the fridge or bulletin board. As you save more money, add stickers or color sections.

Encourage Entrepreneurial Ventures

If your child has a business idea, like a lemonade stand or a car wash service, support them. These ventures can teach them about earning, spending, and saving money and basic business principles.

Help them understand how to reinvest some of their earnings into their business for growth and how to save the rest.

Offer Savings Matches

Similar to retirement savings plans, offer to match a portion of your child’s savings. This can encourage people to save more money, help them see the benefits of potential employer matches, and motivate them to take advantage of these opportunities in the future.

Set clear rules for the match program, such as limiting the match to money saved from their allowance or money earned from chores.

Celebrate Non-Material Success

Demonstrate to your kids that they don't need to purchase all rewards. Spend quality time together, play games, or enjoy nature. This teaches them that some of the best things in life are free and don’t require dipping into savings.

Encourage activities that create memories rather than material possessions. This can help shift their mindset from consumerism to experiencing life.

Teach Delayed Gratification

Help children understand the concept of waiting for something they want. Teach them that they can eventually afford higher-quality items or experiences they desire by saving money.

Waiting for items to continue selling or saving money for a family trip can be beneficial in the long run. For example, waiting for sales can save money on items you need or want. Similarly, saving money for a family trip gives you a memorable experience without financial stress. In both cases, the patience and discipline to save can lead to greater satisfaction and enjoyment.

Using these 10 strategies, you can help your kids save money and build a strong foundation for their financial knowledge. The aim is to make saving fun and rewarding for kids so they continue the habit as they grow up. Start small, be patient, and celebrate each step towards financial independence. Your efforts today will help shape the responsible, money-savvy adults of tomorrow.

You can begin by opening a Stepping Stones savings account with North American Savings Bank. Call us at 800-677-6272.