10 ways to encourage children to save 11

I have recently blogged about 8 ways to encourage children to be frugal over at A Thrifty Mum, which has got me on the whole money management with children bandwagon.  I find that using practical examples really helps the boys understand money and finances, but one of the things that I find really hard is how to encourage the boys to save for savings sake.  After a chat on The Mad House facebook page I realised that I was possibly asking too much from them to save for savings sake.  However, I did get some great ideas of ways to encourage your children to save rather than splurge.


        • Give children a goal to save towards, something that really sparks their interest and motivates them. Create a chart to help them tick off the pounds/pennies until they reach their target – Ramblings of a suburban mummy
        • Teach children the different denominations of money and what they add up to. This helps her understand what spending each coin means – Verily, Victoria Vocalises….
        • Work out how much they need to save each week to buy a special something before a certain date, and then they can see that they have some money left, but they also get buy their big item. It’s just small scale practice for when they’re adults wanting a car, house or holiday – The Brick Castle
        • Pay “interest” on what he’s saved that month. So if they save all month he can get something bigger – Snaffles Mummy
  1. Make it visually – Using a glass jar or even a money box that counts the money (like Cass from the Frugal Family) makes saving money much more tangible for younger children. Or even have a savings chart with stars and stickers.
  2. Set regular savings goals – Incentivise saving by offering added rewards at regular agree set points.  This is why the Pigs from Natwest really worked back in the 80’s
  3. Pay interest – pay your child monthly interest on savings they have.  not only does this encourage them to keep it saved for longer, but it teaches them about money management
  4. Set a goal – Are they saving for a specific item?  if so make them a chart.  Encourage them to find inventive ways to earn money to help them achieve their purchase faster
  5. Insist that a percentage of their pocket money goes into a long term savings account.
  6. Discuss the reasons that people save.  By setting an example you are giving them the best lesson ever.  My boys are both very maths oriented and we discussed how a  Sippdeal SIPP pension works and why it is important to be able to look after yourself when you no longer have the ability to earn money.
  7. We also set aside so much money each month for fun family activities, showing that you do not need immediate gratification and that by planning, saving and managing our money we can all have fun.
  8. Open a bank account with them and actively use it.  Make sure it is a book account, so they have to go in to a branch to pay in and take out their money.  This way they have to plan spending within banks timescales and again learn that spending is not about instant gratification.
  9. Save smaller denominations to demonstrate how every penny counts.  The boys both have a large vodka bottle that they fill with pennies and once a year they exchange it for holiday spending money.  It really adds up and Mini is always on the lookout for peoples dropped coins when we are out and about.
  10. Teach your children that buying an experience (ie a trip to  a theme park) brings much more happiness than a products (such as an ice cream).  Saving for the experience may take longer or be harder, but it makes memories and makes the experiences so much better

visual savings

Whilst chatting to people about saving and teaching children about money I came across some really great blog posts about it and they are too good not to share, Perle Noire wrote a super post on how she teaches her family about saving,  Cat from Yellow days, uses money as a maths tool and makes learning really fun, Becky from Baby Budgeting and Family Budgeting is really worth following for her fab money saving tips too.


11 thoughts on “10 ways to encourage children to save

  • nyssapod

    Some really good ideas here – thanks! I particularly like number 10, about experiences being a better use of money than things. Am planning to write a blog post about this soon.

    • Jen Walshaw Post author

      nyssapod » Me too. I have just read the Art of being Brilliant by Andy Cope and it really struck a chord with me. We are all about the experiences now in The Mad House!

  • Jill

    Some great ideas, my two children get pocket money for helping out with chores around the house and holiday pocket money from their grandparents. They save it in piggy banks and chose how to spend it. They enjoy counting it up regularly, my eldest likes exchanging coins for notes, which is a good way of getting him to save rather than spend!

  • Ramblings Of A Suburban Mummy

    Thanks for including my tip, I stand by it and liked some of the others two, we are starting to work more with our 4yr old and 2yr old on the subject of money and saving. We want them to understand money and have a good relationship with it!

  • Actually Mummy...

    I really need to get my kids saving. We forget to even give them their pocket money and they forget to ask. There are some really good tips here. My other half is rubbish with money, and I’m good – that’s probably down to me having a post office savings account when I was young, and him having nothing of the kind!

  • Liz Burton

    These are all great ideas.

    Our primary school have a ‘bank’ where kids can open an account from £1. They encourage regular saving, and I really must take DD along to get her set up.

  • Charles O. Jones

    This will depend on what you work out with your child. In the primary school years you might decide, for example, that it should cover some saving, some for school lunches and some for your child to decide just what he wants to use it for. You might then have to be careful not to criticise his choices if you are not happy with them. Giving pocket money and then telling your child exactly what he must use it for does not develop a sense of responsibility or independence.

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