Students kindergarten through college are learning from home. Now’s the time to teach them how to save and manage money.

Money Matters for Cinfed Members

How to Teach Kids to be Savvy Savers

Posted on May 04, 2020
Topic Categories: Consumer Help

family activity

By Coach Fin

Children from kindergarten through college are finding new ways to learn from home since schools closed earlier this year. In addition to distance learning, some kids are getting a crash course in life skills. They might help out with more chores around the house or care for younger siblings while parents work (from home or at essential jobs). This is the perfect time to add “Finance 101” to your homeschool curriculum.

Money lessons for all ages
You can scale money lessons for the littlest learners to the young adults in your home. Whatever your children’s ages, it can be challenging to teach kids the value of a dollar in a digital world. It helps to go back to basics: teach them how to manage coins and cash, then help them translate learning to the virtual world.

  • Younger Kids
    Younger kids can pick up valuable math skills by counting coins and keeping track of piggy bank savings — and spending. If they don’t earn an allowance yet, consider starting one. Besides math skills, kids can learn the concept of working for money and build self-reliance in the process.
    • Start small and add responsibilities as they grow.
    • Help little ones set small goals: (like saving for an inexpensive toy or treat) and larger goals (like saving for a new game).
    • Ask if they’re willing to chip in when they ask for new gadgets. This will get them to start thinking about whether some “wants” are worth it.

  • Middle Grades
    Middle grade learners can grasp more advanced skills, like evaluating coupons and discounts. They can flex their critical thinking skills by comparing offers or evaluating deals. For example, is it worth buying three items at $4 each to save $.50? This is also the time to help them elevate their savings goals.
    • Teach negotiation skills by letting kids make a case for a higher allowance for bigger chores or responsibilities.
    • Help them set their own budgets for “fun money” vs. larger savings goals.
    • Offer to go in 50/50 on big-ticket items they want.
    • Teach them more about household budgets. You could let them pick a profession, research the average salary, and plan how much they would set aside for savings and how much they could spend on groceries, housing, car, insurance and utilities.

  • High School and College Kids
    High school and college kids can go even farther. They might need a checking account along with their savings account. And with that, a lesson in how to manage ATMs and debit cards responsibly. You can also teach older teens and young adults:
    • About interest rates, credit scores and saving for emergencies.
    • How to evaluate credit card offers.
    • The value of paying off purchases quickly vs. making minimum payments. (Online calculators are a quick, handy tool for this).
    • How to set big savings goals, like saving for a car or college expenses.

  • All Ages
    All ages can benefit from a savings account. Look for a kid-focused savings account without monthly fees.
    • Take your children to the drive-thru or ATM and let them deposit their savings into their account. It can be a fun, regular outing that doesn’t feel like learning.
    • Review monthly statements together to watch savings grow — or see how spending added up.
    • Help them use mobile apps to keep track of their account as they become savvier savers.

Here for your whole family
It’s never too soon to learn good savings habits. Cinfed’s dividend-earning Rockstar Saver Program is for children ages 5 to 14. Prizes, tips and contests help reinforce their habits. Young adults and parents can expand their money know-how on many topics with quick online courses at our Financial Education Center.

Please call your local branch to talk to a financial coach if you have specific questions, or need information about financial support options related to COVID-19.


Cinfed Credit Union
4801 Kennedy Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45209
(513) 333-3800
Routing #242076656


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