man frustrated with his finances

Teaching your children to become savers

by Leeds Building Society

Top tips to help teach your children about saving

Raising your children as savers is one of the most valuable gifts you can give them, but it’s not always an easy lesson for them to learn. We've put together a few ways to help your kids get into the savings habit.

The penny jar

For a child, a glass penny jar can be a clear visual demonstration of saving in action. If you have two or more children, separate penny jars can add a friendly competitive element. You could even mark the jars with the things they can buy when the coins reach a certain point.

Savings goal chart

Like a height chart or a bedtime clock, a savings goal chart is a great way to help children understand what can sometimes be a difficult concept. Having your children design the chart themselves and talk about what they’re saving for will help to engage them and give them the motivation to put their pocket money aside rather than spend it all at once.

Boost their savings

Tell your children that if they save 20p, you’ll top it up with an extra 10p, most children will comprehend that this is a good deal. Boosting your children’s savings in this way serves two purposes:

  1. It creates a sense of reward around the idea of saving, so they can see that saving isn’t only about sacrifice.
  2. It’s an introduction to the idea of interest and the fact that savings grow into something bigger than the amount you originally had.

Give them prizes

As well as matching your child's contributions to their savings jar, you can give them prizes for going a certain amount of time without spending their money. By doing this, you'll teach them the value of putting off the immediate psychological rewards of spending money in order to get more value later on.

Talk to them early and often about saving

There are many great ways to teach your children to be savers, but nothing replaces a good conversation. Children will have questions about money, and it's important that you feel comfortable answering them.

The most important thing is to avoid lecturing; make sure that both you and your children are contributing to the discussion. If they have pocket money, talk through what they choose to buy with it. Ask them whether they plan to save it or spend it, and talk them through the value of each option.

You can also talk them through your own financial decisions, explaining why you chose to make the decisions you made, and the pros and cons.

This way, you're encouraging your children to think critically about money, and understand the value of saving and spending.

Lead by example

If you do something your children are more likely to follow suit, whether you are eating your greens or wearing a bike helmet. Have your own savings pot, keep it on show and make a point of adding a few pounds every week. Tell your children what you’re saving for and, when you eventually buy that item, remind them that you’re using the money you saved.

Open a savings account

If your child is old enough to understand interest, setting up a children's savings account for them can be a great way to illustrate the value of saving. Showing them how their money goes up as it builds interest can be an excellent motivator, and a great way to raise your child to be a savvy saver.

This guide is intended as a summary only and does not constitute legal or financial advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide and you must make your own decisions, we recommend that you seek independent advice if you have any questions or queries.