Managing their Money

Managing their money

Below are 10 easy ways to teach your children to manage and save their money, from toddler to young adult.

Five and Under

  1. Explain where money comes from and what we use it for:
    • Money doesn’t grow on trees — and it’s important that your child knows that. Reinforce that in order to earn money you have to work hard. Also, show them that everyday items cost money. If they express that they’ve been eyeing a new toy, remind them that it will take a little hard work and some patience before they can bring it home.
  2. Ditch the piggy bank, use a clear jar:
    • Piggy banks may seem like a great idea, but it doesn’t give children a visual when saving money. A clear jar works great and allows children to see their money growing over time.
  3. Lead by example:
    • It is important to lead by example, because your children are watching how you do things. That means that if you find yourself spending frequently or if you and your spouse often argue about money, your kids will eventually notice. Set a good example by being smart with your money and budgeting.
  4. Open a college fund:
    • It is never too early to start up a college fund for your child. Set aside a savings account and make deposits regularly!

Elementary and Middle School

  1. The three jar method:
    • Teach your children to follow the three jar rule. Each time they receive money, encourage them to set aside equal amounts into three different jars. One jar is for saving, one jar is for spending, and the final jar is for giving. This will give them a visual to help them understand that not all of their money should be spent right away. It is also a great opportunity to discuss giving back to charities and the local community.
  2. Allowances:
    • There’s an age-old debate surrounding the idea of allowances. Instead of paying your kids for doing basic household chores, pay them only when they go above and beyond. This will act as an incentive and reminder for your kids to ask for new ways to help out around the house.
  3. Age-appropriate spending and saving apps:
    • Download age-appropriate spending and saving apps for your kids to learn about money management in a fun, digital way.


  1. Their first job:
    • Nothing will teach your child more about the value of money than getting their first job. Once they experience working hard to earn a paycheck, they will really appreciate every penny and more fully grasp the idea of when to save versus spend.
  2. A Debit Card:
    • Getting your teen situated with their first debit card will help teach them the entire process of banking: checks, ATMs, withdrawals and more. With you as a joint account holder, tying a debit card to your child’s checking account will allow them to manage their money while you monitor. Shoreline offers deposit accepting ATMs and instant issue debit cards.
  3. College Costs:
    • Before your teen applies for college, it’s crucial to sit them down and have the talk: how are you going to pay for college? To save money, discuss possibilities of community college, working part-time while in school, applying for financial aid or applying for scholarships.

Starting early can make all the difference when it comes to teaching your children to save. It won’t always be easy, but if you want your children to make smart financial decisions in the future, taking the time now will be worth it! Shoreline Hometown Credit Union will be here to support you the whole way.