Teaching Your Kids about Saving Money

As a mom, you have the power to shape the future. You have the ability to teach your children valuable life skills that will serve them well into adulthood. One of these skills is financial literacy—understanding how to manage their assets wisely, including the concepts of saving money and delayed gratification.

Why Teach Kids About Saving Money and Delayed Gratification?

Understanding money management is an essential life skill. Yet, it’s often overlooked in standard education. As a mom, you have the opportunity to fill this gap, to empower your children with the knowledge they need to lead financially secure lives.

Teaching children about saving money and delayed gratification provides them with a solid foundation for their financial future. It encourages responsible spending habits, fosters an appreciation for hard work, and promotes patience. By teaching these values, you’re not just preparing your children for a financially stable adulthood—you’re also helping them build character and resilience.

How to Teach Kids About Saving Money and Delayed Gratification

Education starts at home. And teaching about money can start with simple, everyday actions. It’s about making money conversations a normal part of family life. Here’s how:

Start Early

Young children are naturally curious. Use their curiosity to start simple conversations about money. If they’re at a suitable age, you can even explain how you handle your credit card debt and how you manage your emergency fund.


Use Real-Life Examples

Show your kids how you save money. Let them see you comparing prices at the grocery store or saving up for a family vacation.

Introduce a Piggy Bank

Give your kids a physical place to save their money. This tangible representation of saving can make the concept more understandable for young minds.

Discuss Wants vs. Needs

Help your children understand the difference between things they want (like toys) and things they need (like food).

Practice Patience

Show your kids that waiting can be beneficial. If they want a new toy, encourage them to save their allowance rather than buying it immediately.

The Benefits of Teaching Kids About Saving Money and Delayed Gratification

When your children learn about saving money and delayed gratification, they gain much more than financial knowledge. They develop patience, understanding the value of hard work, and the satisfaction that comes with reaching a goal. They also develop impulse control and ego resiliency along the way. These are skills that will help them in every aspect of their lives, from their personal relationships to their professional careers.

Mom teaching her child about saving money.


Ten Tips to Teach Your Kids How to Save Money

Ready to start teaching? Here are ten practical tips to get you started:

1. Set Clear Goals

Help your children set savings goals. It could be for a toy they want, a trip they’d like to take, or even a charitable cause they want to support.

2. Make Saving Fun

Turn saving into a game. Create a savings chart where they can track their progress.

3. Give Allowances

An allowance gives kids a chance to practice managing money. They’ll learn to budget, save, and make spending decisions.

4. Encourage Earning

Help your kids find ways to earn money, like doing chores or selling old toys. This teaches them the value of hard work.

5. Lead by Example

Be a role model. Show your kids that you’re committed to saving money too. One of the best ways to save money and show your kids is when grocery shopping.


6. Teach Them to Budget

Show your kids how to plan their spending. Help them divide their allowance into categories like ‘spend’, ‘save’, and ‘give’.

7. Prioritize Needs Over Wants

Teach your kids to distinguish between needs and wants. Encourage them to prioritize needs first.

8. Explain the Concept of Interest and a Savings Account

As your kids get older, introduce the concept of interest and savings accounts. Show them how their money can grow over time if they save it. If possible, you can even set up a separate savings account for them.

9. Talk About Money Regularly

Make money a regular topic of conversation in your home. The more comfortable your kids are with talking about money, the better they’ll manage it.

10. Be Patient

Learning about money takes time. Be patient with your kids as they learn and grow.

Remember, you’re not just teaching your kids about money—you’re empowering them with the skills they need to build a secure, successful future.


Highlighting the Importance of Delayed Gratification

As you teach your children about saving money, it’s essential to also emphasize the importance of delayed gratification. This is the ability to resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a more valuable reward in the future. Here are some tips to help your children understand and practice this powerful principle:

Use Everyday Examples

Use everyday situations to demonstrate delayed gratification. For example, if your child wants dessert before dinner, explain that they need to wait until after they’ve eaten their meal.

Create Opportunities to Delay Gratification

Give your children opportunities to practice delayed gratification. You could set up a savings goal for them, or encourage them to wait for a bigger allowance rather than spending their money right away.

Explain the Benefits

Explain to your children the benefits of waiting for a greater reward. Talk about how saving money can help them buy something they really want in the future, or how studying now can lead to better grades and opportunities later.

Read Books on the Topic

There are several children’s books available that teach the concept of delayed gratification in an engaging way. Consider adding some of these to your reading list.


Reward Patience

When your children successfully delay gratification, acknowledge their patience and self-control. This positive reinforcement will motivate them to keep practicing this skill. It will also keep them from always seeking instant gratification and immediate pleasure.

Teach Them About Money Growth

Show them how the money they save now can grow over time, thanks to interest. This will help them see the long-term benefits of delayed gratification.

Be a Role Model on Delaying Gratification

Practice to delay gratification yourself and let your kids see it. Whether you’re saving for a new car, or waiting to watch your favorite show until after you’ve finished your work, these real-life examples will reinforce the lessons you’re teaching.

To Wrap Up

Remember, instilling the value of delayed gratification in your children is a gradual process. But with consistency and patience, you’ll be setting your kids up for lifelong success. Because, as they learn to wait and work toward their goals, they’re not just learning how to manage their finances. They’re learning about ego control and how to navigate life. And that’s something truly priceless.

So, help your kids start saving money today. You’re doing great, mama! Keep going!

Kathy Urbanski

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