If you think that money is only for adults, think again! Nowadays, kids can earn and start saving their own money. The earlier you begin, the better you’ll become at making smart money decisions. Who knows, you might end up a millionaire if you start saving today!
Why Saving Your Money Is Important
To save money, you have to make money as a kid first. For many kids, this means having a yard sale, doing chores at home, or setting up a lemonade stand. If you’ve ever done any of these things, you already know that earning money takes work!
Was washing your grandparent’s car exhausting? But how awesome did it feel when they paid you those $25?! That’s why it’s important to save your money. Because it takes effort to earn it and it feels good to have it.
Here’s another reason to start saving: How about that cool toy you’ve been wanting but your parents said you have to wait until your birthday? Maybe walking your neighbor’s dog once won’t make you enough money to buy the toy. But if you walk their pup for two whole weeks, you could save up and finally get your hands on that playset!
How to Smartly Save Your Money
OK, so you’ve made the decision. You’re saving every single penny that you get to buy a new skateboard. Good idea!
Except for next week, as you’re walking back home from school you run into the ice cream truck. It’s hot, you’re tired from walking, and you could really use a sugary snack.
Do you get a popsicle, or do you take a sip of water and keep saving for your skateboard? It’s a tough choice.
If you wanna stay motivated and you really want your new skateboard, here are some tips on the best ways to save your money:
Ever heard the story of The Tortoise and the Hare? These two animals were racing each other and the Hare was in such a rush to win, that it got pooped and had to take a nap halfway through.
Yeah, we said “pooped!” Hahaha…but keep reading!
The Tortoise, on the other hand, took it slow and steady. It just kept going and going until it passed the Hare and made it to the finish line first!
You’re probably thinking, “What’s this got to do with money and my new skateboard?!” Well, when it comes to saving, you wanna be more like the Tortoise.
Set a little money aside, but do it all the time. Before you know it, you’ll be a Tortoise with a new skateboard!
Make Savings a Challenge
Adults call this “setting goals.” Sounds kinda serious and not very fun.
Instead, we’ll call it a challenge. Immediately, it’s a million times more exciting. Right? Who doesn’t love winning?!
Here’s how our challenge goes:
If your dream skateboard costs $50, we dare you to start a 5-week challenge and save $10 every week. At the end of the challenge, you’ll have your $50.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at the math:
Week 1 – $10
Week 2 – $10
Week 3 – $10
Week 4 – $10
Week 5 – $10
TOTAL = $50
Fun Tip: If you want to make this extra exciting, ask your friends or siblings to join and make it a competition. No matter who saves the $50 first, everyone wins because you’ll all have a bunch of money at the end of the challenge!
If You Want It, You Gotta Work for It
Setting $10 aside for 5 weeks may not sound too hard. But how will you earn the money? You can’t just ask your parents for $10 every week, Richie Rich!
If you haven’t thought about how you’ll earn the money in the first place, here are a few kid-friendly ideas:
- Clean your neighbor’s yard
- Have a car wash and put up signs around your neighborhood
- Start a pet sitting service
- Pick up extra chores at home
- Clean out your closet or toy chest and have a garage sale
- Make beaded jewelry and sell it
- Put up a lemonade stand
- Bake cookies and sell them at events
Fun Tip: Don’t be shy to let people know that you’re raising money for something big! Adults love to support kids with goals!!
Keep It Real
The thing with savings is that it’s all about balance. It’s normal to get excited about saving when there’s a big prize at the end – AKA, that new skateboard. But if you don’t leave any money for other super important treats (like ice cream), it takes all the fun out of saving.
The lesson here is that ice cream is super important. Don’t forget to tell your parents.
That’s why it’s a good idea to put some of your money into savings and keep some of it for yourself. How much you keep is up to you. It also depends on how much money you earn.
Let’s say you earn $50 every week. A good way to divvy up your money could be:
- $25 for your college fund
- $15 for ice cream and other treats
- $10 for your skateboard savings
Adults call this the 50/30/20 rule. It means that you use half of your money for things you need, 30% for things you want, and 10% for savings…It’s a little more math-heavy. For now, just remember this “rule” so you can use it when you’re older.
Of course, when you’re a kid you don’t have to pay things like rent or food. What a lucky ducky!
This means that you can start setting money aside for when you go to college. Or you could put more into your savings. You decide!
Keep Your Savings Safe
Wondering where you should keep your money while you save up for the skateboard? Good question!
Some kids like to put their money in a piggy bank. It’s easy to keep in your bedroom and you don’t have to go anywhere to set your savings aside.
If you’re the kind of kid who likes to keep an eye on their money, a jar may work even better. With a clear jar, you can literally see your savings grow every time you put money in there!
But what if you water the neighbor’s plants while they’re out of town and they pay with a check? Or you set up an online store to sell homemade soap bars and you receive electronic payments?
Another option is to open a savings account. Savings accounts are great because:
- Electronic payments get deposited directly into your account
- Your parents can transfer money into your savings when you do your chores
- The bank keeps your money safe
- You have less temptation to spend
- It feels exciting and pretty grown up to open a savings account!
If you want to open a savings account, talk about it with your parents. If they think you’re ready and agree to it, they can open your savings account online or in-person at the bank. Then, your parents can also help you set up your account for online payments and transfers.
How to Ask Your Parents to Help You Save Money
Saving money shows your parents that you’re responsible. If you really want to start saving, letting your parents know is a good place to start. They’ll feel proud to see how mature you are!
Parents and family members can also give you ideas on how to earn money. They might give you cash for your birthday or ask your grandparents to send you money for the holidays, instead of a gift card. Cha-ching!
Savings Terms You Should Know
If you’re talking to your parents and other adults about money, they might throw some big words around that you don’t understand. Here’s a quick vocab lesson, so you start learning more about savings:
- Account Balance: The amount of money that you have in your account.
- Account Number: Every bank account has a number. Along with your name and personal information, the account number is how the bank tracks your money.
- Interest: When you put your money in a savings account, the bank pays a little extra for letting them look after your money. This is called interest. It’s like a reward for not spending. The more money you have in your savings account and the longer you keep it in there, the more interest you receive.
- Deposit: When you add money to your bank account.
- Withdrawal: When you take money out of your bank account.
Books and Games to Learn About Saving
There are lots of books and games out there to help you learn more about saving. These are some of our favorites. For all of our recommendations, head over to our pages on books for kids to learn about saving and games for kids to learn about saving.
For Kids Ages 5-9
Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock is a story about twins who use their money in different ways. Rock spends, Brock saves. When the summer’s over, Brock teaches Rock that it’s never too late to start saving.
For Kids Ages 10-14
Wanna learn how to make, save, and invest your money? Check out How to Turn $100 Into $1,000,000. It includes planning and tracking worksheets to get kiddos like you started on their way to becoming millionaires.
Best Activity Book
Packed with fun activities for kids and parents, Kyng & Kyren’s Generational Wealth Building Activity Book is a must-have for families to open up the conversation about money. Mazes, crossword puzzles, and coloring offer hours of entertainment and learning.
Best Online Game
MySims is a popular kids game where players use a form of money called Simoleons. Since you can’t buy Simoleons, kids have to spend their Simoleons wisely and do things to earn them. If you wanna download this one, remember to ask your parents first.
Best Classic Board Game
Make game night extra fun with The Game of Life, a classic that parents and children love. As you go along “life,” players have to make smart decisions and make good money choices to win.
As you can see, money’s exciting to learn about. If you use it well, it’s a great tool to have in life – even as a kid. Remember: It’s never too early to begin earning and saving your money. Why not start today?