HomeHealth & BehaviorEmotional Well-Being

Raising a financially savvy child

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By GreatSchools Staff

Three piggy banks:

"I'm a single dad from Massachusetts and I have one son who just turned 5 years old," Matt Zembruski writes. "Since my son was about 3.5 years old, I have given him an allowance of $3.00 per week.

"To teach him how to understand and manage his money well, I wanted to give him a simple system where he could divide his allowance into three separate piggy banks - one for spending, one for saving, and one for sharing. I found the perfect product from It is a three-way piggy bank built for exactly this purpose.

"So each week my son takes his allowance of three one dollar bills and places $1.00 in each of the piggy banks. Before we go to a store to do some shopping, he will take the available money in his spending piggy bank and put it in his wallet. Then he can buy whatever he wants with that money at the store.

"As the money grows in his saving piggy bank, he takes it out and deposits it in his own bank account at our local bank. To make the process of saving more fun for him, I match the money he puts into his bank savings account dollar for dollar.

"And the money in the share piggy bank is used to donate to worthy causes or in case he wants to buy something for a friend or someone in need. The system works great and my son has become an excellent money manager."

Two jars for saving:

From Texas dad Brian W. Bingham: "For several years now I have had three jars for my son. He is 10 now. One jar is for church, one is long-term savings and one is short-term savings. He keeps his spending money in his room. We have even talked about adding one for taxes.

"This has really 'visually' helped him to realize that if he gets $5, he has to put something in every jar. I started him a savings account his first year of life, and he enjoys adding to that account and watching it grow. He now asks to add to the jars without me having to prompt him, which is what I'm going for.

"This is separate from his college savings account. His long-term savings is now over $4,500, exclusive of his college money. He's very proud of that."

Comments from readers

"Teaching money management is so important I learnt through this artical.thanks a lot . "
" My problem with my kids was there money management. Every time the date for allowance come, i have to get to the same conversation about money management. I did a research and i found great tool, prepaid Visa card by It gives me and kids what we all need. Teach your child how to pay with plastic,your teen learns how to track spending and budget funds available on the card. You can set alerts, every time your child spend money, you get text massage on your phone, so you know how much they spend, where they spend and when. In case of emergency you can fund the card right away by using your phone and you can turn card On or Of anytime. I think it's a great tool and i am happy to share this with other parents."
"It is a tragedy that our schools do not require a course in finance, yet it is the one topic that each and every human must deal with in life. How can any school claim to be concerned about developing well-rounded citizens and ignore this topic. Shame on each school, and worse yet, shame on our country."
"This is really key in the lives of young people now a days. We are talking about the same thing at my church. Thank you for this. "