How to teach your kids to save money

Image: iStock.

Raising financially savvy children can start with teaching them how to save.

If you ever had hoped to start saving money with your children, this is the time to start. Teaching our children about money and saving can be a very beneficial lesson for them in their adult lives.

Here is how you can set things in motion:

1. Buy them a piggy bank.

This might sound like a simple suggestion, but you will be surprised how effective it can be. According to the Savings Institute of South Africa, this can be effective because the younger kids can see their money stacking up. They suggest that you get a transparent piggy bank and make a mark on the target. Watching the money stack up in pursuit of the line is exciting for the kids.

2. Make them earn their money

Investopedia suggests that you make your children work for their money. This will teach them the value of money, and hard work. They will also use the money wisely and also save it because they worked so hard for it.

3. Teach them about needs versus wants

Most of the time, we find kids demanding things that they have no use for. Even when they save money, they will spend it on items that they rarely need. Teach them to make a distinction between needs and wants. If it is something they can live without, teach them not to spend money on it. This lesson might require some time, but they will eventually get it.

4. Let them set their savings goals

Working without a sense of purpose can be quite exhausting. Asking your child to save money without a goal can feel the same. If they don’t know what they are working towards, then they will not be excited to do it. It could be a financial goal. For example, they could want to save R100 a month. It could even want to save towards buying something for themselves. They know the price and set a time goal for themselves. Now they know exactly what they are saving towards and the savings project becomes more purpose-driven.

5. Model savings and good spending

Spending money on expensive and unnecessary items just to turn around and tell your kids not to is counterproductive.

The Savings Institute of South Africa says: “If you’re telling children to be wise with money but are rushing out to buy the latest phone or trendy fashions, what message are you really sending?”

Parents are the first point of reference for a lot of their behavioural choices. So let us aid them in making the right choices by making those ourselves.


Karabo Parenty Post BioKarabo Mokoena is a first-time mom, over-sharer, lover of life, chronic napper and married to her best friend. She loves a good party because the dance floor is her happy place. She enjoys good food, good conversations, laughs a little too hard, and cries during every episode of Grey’s Anatomy. She started her blogging journey because she wanted to share all the ups and downs of being a young modern mama in South Africa. Her blog Black Mom Chronicles has been featured on Ayana Magazine & SA Mom Blog. She has enjoyed airtime on Power FM and frequently writes for the parenting section of Saturday Citizen. She also works with MamaMagic on their Product Awards, Milestones Magazine, Heart to Heart blog, and the Baby Expo, which is South Africa’s biggest parenting expo. 

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