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10 Creative Ways to Teach Kids About Saving and Spending

Updated: Jan 21


As an educator with a passion for financial literacy, I've seen firsthand how important it is for kids to learn about money management from an early age. In this blog post, I'll share 10 fun and effective ways to teach your children about saving and spending. These tips are designed to make the concept of money management for kids both engaging and educational. For a long-form discussion on these topics, take a look at our article "The Fundamentals of Money Management: A Guide for Teaching Kids About Finance."


 

Table of Contents


 



a piggy bank showing money growing

1. The Modern Piggy Bank


Reimagining Savings


Forget the old piggy bank; let's make saving more interactive! By using a divided piggy bank or multiple jars, kids can allocate their savings to different goals like toys, education, or even charity. This approach helps them understand the concept of saving for various purposes and introduces the idea of budgeting at an early age.


  • Tip: Use clear jars so kids can see their money grow.

  • Learning Outcome: Differentiating between short-term and long-term savings goals.






a family learning money management at the grocery store

2. The Grocery Store Adventure


Learning Through Real-Life Experiences


The grocery store is a fantastic classroom for financial lessons. Involve your kids in the shopping process, teaching them to compare prices and understand the value of money. This hands-on experience is a great way to discuss budgeting and the importance of making informed spending choices.


  • Tip: Set a small budget for them to buy something they want, guiding them to make price comparisons.

  • Learning Outcome: Grasping the concept of value for money and budgeting.




3. Storytime with a Financial Twist


Engaging Imaginations


Children's books that focus on money management can be a delightful way to introduce complex financial concepts. Discussing stories about saving and spending can spark meaningful conversations and help children relate these ideas to their own lives.


  • Tip: Choose books with relatable characters and situations.

  • Learning Outcome: Understanding financial concepts through storytelling.





a family learning about budgeting and finances

4. Family Budget Meetings


Involving Kids in Family Finances


Bring your kids into a simplified version of your family budget discussions. This transparency helps them understand household financial management and the importance of saving for unforeseen circumstances.


  • Tip: Use visuals like charts or graphs to make it easier for kids to understand.

  • Learning Outcome: Learning the basics of income, expenses, and emergency savings.






earn save and spend jars are great tools for kids!

5. Earn, Save, Spend Jars


A Tangible Money Management System


Create three jars labeled ‘Earn’, ‘Save’, and ‘Spend’ to teach your kids about managing money. Whenever they receive money, be it from chores or gifts, encourage them to distribute it among these jars. This method offers a practical lesson in prioritizing and balancing different financial needs.


  • Tip: Encourage them to set a saving goal for the ‘Save’ jar.

  • Learning Outcome: Balancing earning, saving, and spending.

  • Recomendation: We like these Moon Jars for ease of use - available on Amazon!






kids playing monopoly and learning about money management

6. Fun with Money Games


Learning Through Play


Board games like Monopoly or online financial games can be an excellent way for kids to learn about money management in a playful setting. Discuss strategies used in the game and how they could be applied to real-life scenarios.






kid learning about money

7. DIY Bank Account


Simulating Real Banking


Help your kids create their own bank account ledger or use a simple app to track their savings. This can be a practical introduction to banking concepts like deposits, withdrawals, and interest.


  • Tip: Regularly review the ledger with them to discuss their savings progress.

  • Learning Outcome: Grasping the basics of banking and interest accumulation.






kids donating to charity

8. Giving Back: Charity Projects


Teaching Financial Empathy


Involving kids in charitable giving teaches them about the power of money beyond personal spending. Let them choose a cause they care about and find ways to contribute, be it through their savings or fundraising activities.


  • Tip: Match their contributions to encourage generosity.

  • Learning Outcome: Understanding the impact of money on the wider community.






kids earning money through jobs

9. Earning Real Money


Responsibility and Satisfaction


Encourage your kids to earn their own money through small jobs or tasks. This not only teaches them the value of money but also instills a sense of responsibility and work ethic. And when you get to this point, consider reading our article discussing our favorite innovative financial tools for kids!


  • Tip: Help them brainstorm ideas for age-appropriate jobs.

  • Learning Outcome: Learning the relationship between work and earning.





Are you talking to your kids about their financial future?

  • Yes!

  • Not yet!



10. Planning for the Future


Long-Term Financial Goals


Discuss long-term financial goals like saving for college or a car. Teach them about the concept of compound interest and how saving over time can help achieve big goals. This is also a great opportunity to introduce the basics of investing.


  • Tip: Use online calculators to show how savings can grow over time.

  • Learning Outcome: Understanding long-term financial planning and investment basics.





Conclusion


Remember, teaching money management for kids doesn't have to be a chore for you or them. With these creative methods, you can turn financial education into a fun and engaging activity. Consistency is key, and with time, your kids will develop a strong foundation in managing their finances effectively. For more resources and tools on financial education for children, stay tuned to our blog.


  • Key takeaway: Start early, make it fun, and be consistent in teaching kids about money management.



 

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