How to Raise Cash Conscious Kids who Understand Saving

When it comes to teaching our kids life lessons, many of us drop the ball with financial responsibility. We teach our kids about sharing, kindness, being helpful around the house, and practicing good study habits, but often don’t talk about money management until our teens get their first summer job. (Too late – by then they’ll be too blinded by dollar signs to function properly!)

Here are some ways to get your kids to start saving:


Get 3 clear jars for your child and let them put on colorful labels that spell Saving, Spending, and Sharing. Each time your child receives money via allowance or a birthday card, divide the money three ways into the jars.

Saving will be for college or other educational pursuits after high school. Spending is for things they want. It could be immediate, like a new toy or their first car. Sharing is for charity, church, or other worthy cause they may hear about at school (or even helping a friend in need).

Children will be able to clearly see how the money grows by being diligent in saving. When your child sees the cash accumulating, they may want to spend it. That’s a good opportunity to talk about how much the item is, and if they have enough money for it. Will they have to save for a few more weeks? What store has the best price? These are real life lessons that will stick with them as an adult. You may also want to consider opening a savings account so your child has another tangible lesson in depositing money into a real bank account when the jars get full.

Saving Dough Has Rewards

Credit unions and other financial institutions often reward customers with prizes for saving money. Consider rewarding your child for saving their money. If your child isn’t buying something every week with their Spending money, or is putting some of their Spending money into their Savings jar, think about rewarding that behavior. Depending on their age and what motivates them, consider some options like more time play time at the playground, stickers, an extra 30 minutes of video games, or matching their contribution. They may be inspired to save even more!

Wise Money Apps

You may be tempted to toss the chore and allowance charts with these apps.

PiggyBot tracks allowance spending and saving. Children can take pictures of the things they are saving for, and parents can get push notifications when their allowance is due. Your kids will enjoy the awesome visuals as their money grows. Available for iPad and iPhone.

The MoneyTrail app is an allowance and money management tool more suitable for older children and teens. It keeps tracks of payment for chores, savings for specific items, charity donations, allowances, and more. It’s available on iPad, iPhone and Android systems.


A 2014 survey by The Futures Company found that 57% of teens make their own purchases, but only 3% maintain a budget. A teen’s first job provides a great opportunity to teach them about creating a budget and open a checking and savings account.

Have your teen write down their expected monthly income. Next, make a list of expenses that they are responsible for, like a phone bill, gas for the car, and money to be set aside for college. Finally, estimate how much discretionary (“fun”) money they expect to spend each month. Their goal is to spend less than the monthly income they bring in.

Compare banks at Accounts for minors often have no minimum balance or monthly service fees. Teens are tech savvy, so finding a bank with mobile banking will make it that much easier to deposit a check. Since they are a minor, you will have access to the account and can talk about setting limits for debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals.

How do you teach your kids and teens about money management? Share your tips with us!

Tags : education   life lessons   money   savings   allowance   

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