Saving Money Ideas:
Getting Started

Looking for saving money ideas for your kid or teen? It can be hard to convince kids of the merits of saving - at least for most things that seem like they are too far out in the future to be real. The best way to help educate them is to make it real.

Making it real can be a real challenge though. But focusing on a few key concepts can help keep it on a level that holds meaning for kids and teens - not on the "some day you'll thank me for this" level. Here are some of those concepts.

  • Find ways to watch the savings grow - without them having to add their own money. A couple of ways to do this:
    • Offer to match all or part of their savings, especially for large goals such as school trips or their first car. Of course, this has to be considered in the overall family budget. It can work for younger kids on a smaller scale, too. Just be sure that what you are willing to do is actually motivating - and not just a handout.
    • Help them set up a bank account. There can still be something mysterious to kids about banks. Help them understand that the bank keeps their money safe and that the bank will actually pay them to keep their money. Let them see their statements where the bank is adding interest.

  • Make them use their own money - and don't bail them out when it's gone. This is getting back to one of the key points of allowances (see our Allowance Basics page for more info), but it's also a big point for savings since spending and saving are two sides of the same coin.
  • Look for teachable moments in everyday life. Use your own experiences instead of having all of the focus on their decisions and their savings - and explain how you are saving money each month. That can be on a trip to the grocery store or when you make a bank deposit.
  • Consider requiring them to set aside a certain amount of their allowance, earnings or gifts for savings. Savings is a learned habit so starting young and learning to live on less than the total is a good way to get the habit on the right track.

These are just some of the saving money ideas to get you started. Use what you know about your kids and your family to decide which ones will fit you best.

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