Teaching Kids to Save Money (+ FREE Printable to Help Them Reach Their Goals!)

Jan 21, 2020 | Baby and Kids, Budgeting Tips, Finances

Teaching kids to save money is so crucial! Today, you’ll not only learn how to teach them, but also why you should. It’s never too late to teach your kids about money, so this works great for toddlers and teens, alike!

Teaching kids to save money is so important! Use these tips from Fun Cheap or Free to explain to them why it's so important and how to teach them

We all want what’s best for our kids, that’s just a given! We want them to grow up big and strong, be confident in themselves, and go out into the world as capable adults. In order to be successful in our world, kids need to understand how to use money! Money is going to be such a BIG part of their lives! That puts a lot of responsibility on us parents *Breathing in paper bag*

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It's okay! Put that paper bag down and come learn how to teach your kids about money, the easy way! Start off by making sure that you are open with your kids. Talk about money! Be an example of how to spend responsibly and even more important – how to save money. This will set you up to teach your kids to save and spend their money the right way!

Keep reading for more tips on how to set your kids up for success! Plus, we’ve got a great printable that will help them to save for specific goals. So whatcha waiting for? Let’s get on to…


Our kids need to learn to be responsible with their money. They need to know how to save their money for long-term goals, how to spend their money responsibly, and even that it’s good to tithe to the church or a charity of their choice. Those may all sound like hard and scary things to teach them, but they’re really not!


Teaching kids to save money is easiest done by showing them how the 70% rule works. What in the hey ho is the 70% rule??? Don’t worry, we go into muuuuuch more detail HERE, but here’s brief explanation for you! 

As adults, you would first figure out your take-home income. Then, you divide that and figure out what 70%, 20% and 10% of that take-home would be. Designate 70% for spending, such as bills, mortgage, groceries, hair cuts, etc. 20% goes towards saving and 10% towards tithing/charity/etc. (You still with us?)


Kids are lucky in that they don’t have any bills that they have to worry about paying yet! (Unless they’re older and are helping to pay for their phone bill, perhaps?) So rather than doing the 70/20/10 rule, we modify it a little bit to help them learn to save, save, SAVE!!!

Have your kids put 10% of their money towards tithing, 45% towards long-term saving, and 45% towards spending - Tips from Fun Cheap or Free

The 10% stays the same. It’s still a really good idea to have them learn to be generous and put that aside for whatever cause they want to support. But rather than having 70% go to spending and only 20% go to saving, modify that!

Take that remaining 90% and split it up evenly! 45% goes to long-term savings and 45% goes towards spending (or short-term savings). To make it more visual and fun, grab one of these “Save, Spend, and Share” piggy banks so they can manually divide up the money and watch each fund grow! Got the picture? Now that you know the basis behind all of this, let’s get on to…


Saving money can be hard! That's why it’s important that we learn these principles as early as possible! It’s so hard to try to learn this once you’re an adult and you’re out on your own for the first time. So let’s help them out by teaching kids to save money at an early age.

Note that “early” for some may be 3, while it may be 15 for others. As long as you’re teaching them how and why they should be responsible with their money, then they’ll have the tools that they need to be successful with money in their life!

Teach your kids the important concepts of saving money - Teaching kids to save money tips from Fun Cheap or Free

Here are a few of the different concepts that you should consider when teaching kids to save money. They’ll really help them to go further in life without the stress of pressing debt!

  • A Want Versus a Need – While they may really want something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they need it. Helping them save up money over a period of time will give them time to think long and hard and will also help them make sure it's worth their money. This is a very simplified version of our 3-month rule concept that you can read more about HERE!
  • Delayed Gratification – Helping kids develop a little self control will help them achieve their goals in every area of their lives. Why not practice with money now!? If kids have a chance to work and save up for things that they want, they will appreciate it so much more. Which means they'll probably take care of it better, as well!
  • Avoid Borrowing/Debt – Kids should learn to work hard so that they can pay for something once they have all of the money – another important principle to help kids avoid debt. This post will teach you and them SO much about how to wait for something you want!
  • Money Doesn't Grow on Trees – Teach your kids that money is earned, not just given freely! If they want to make extra money, then they can do extra chores around the house or get a job. (You can also check out THIS post if your kids need more ideas to make some extra moolah.) They’ll have more respect for the money that they’ve earned when they work for it. Then they'll realize that it’s more important to save it for those big things that they want rather than that pack of gum from the grocery store.
  • Long-Term Savings – College tuition. Does that send a chill down your spine? Teaching kids to save money for the long-term is essential! Explain to them that what they’re saving for now will be very beneficial for them later in life. One day, they’ll need to buy a house, a new car, and other big things like that. Really teach them how important it is to save so that they won’t go into debt later in life when they’re needing to buy all of the big and important things!
  • Keep Track of the Money – As adults, it’s so important to keep track of your money going in and out. It’s the same for kids! Teach them to track their money so that they not only know how much is going into their different accounts, but also how much they’re taking out to spend. Tracking spending is a life skill that will help them make better choices in the future.

Are you starting to see why it’s so important to be teaching kids to save money so they can develop good money habits when they're young?! These are such big concepts that we, as adults, can struggle with. So let’s help our kids out by training them young to think differently and think long-term versus having the “I want it now” mindset.


Now that you know all about teaching kids how to save money, let’s go over how to help them save their money short-term for a specific goal! Remember, this money is coming out of their SPENDING money (aka short-term savings), not their long-term savings. 

Help them to figure out what they’re wanting to save their money for. This could be anything from a pack of playdoh to a basketball goal. The amount doesn’t really matter. It’s more about the journey that they take and the steps that they go through to save that money (from their spending money) and reach their goal!


We’ve got this super cute printable that you can get HERE that will help them to set and work towards their goal. They’ll write down what they’re saving for, why they want it, how much it’ll cost, and how long it’ll take for them to save.

Use this savings tracker to help kids focus on saving money for a specific goal - Teaching kids to save money tips from Fun Cheap or Free

There’s also a place for them to keep track of how much money they’re putting towards it each time they earn money. Plus, there's a fun rocket ship that they can slowly color in as they earn that money! It makes saving so much fun for them and shows them how close they’re getting to their goal.

So, what are you waiting for? It's time to get started teaching kids to save money! It’s never too late to start and they’ll be excited to feel like grownups when you’re teaching them. What’s your favorite way to teach your kids about money? Let us know in the comments!

How to get started teaching kids to save money, plus a free printable to help them save money from Fun Cheap or Free

Looking for more great ideas?

  • Help teach your kids responsibility when it comes to buying clothes by giving them a school clothes budget. Then let them pick out their clothes and buy them using their budget!
  • Need help getting your snacks and lunches under control? Check out our snack and lunch system that basically broke the internet! 😉
  • If you want some great make ahead freezer breakfast ideas, then start making these and enjoy how much smoother your busy mornings can run.


  1. Casie

    I’d love to download the printable but the link is not working.

    • Stacia

      I had to be signed into Google Docs in order for it to work. Maybe you are experiencing problems for the same reason?

  2. Liesel

    My eldest daughter often does well with a more playful approach, so we drew a cute red heart for each dollar she needed to save for a toy she wants, and labeled each heart with a number, in reverse numerical order. She colors in a heart each time she adds a dollar, and because the hearts count down, each time she colors a heart she sees how much she has left to save in the next empty heart. It is pretty motivating for her!

  3. Kathy Dupuy

    What a great idea! My daughter is running for Jr Beta Treasurer of her 5th grade class and I would love to use this as a handout to the club members for her recess giveaway during the election week (this week). Is there anyway to get it reduced small enough to put 4 on one page for me to cut as handouts? I have tried everything I can think of but not working in this format. Thanks! Kathy

  4. Charlotte Boehms

    Love this article. As someone who teaches personal finance to youth, these kids NEED it! I wish more people started at home, but I know it’s hard when many parents don’t know how to budget.


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