A Kid’s Guide To Spending, Saving & Giving

Apr 11, 2023 Family & Finances

Learning about the three-jar concept can help kids grow into money-smart and socially responsible adults. Keep reading to find out more.

A woman and a young boy watching a cartoon on an Ipad.

April is Youth Financial Literacy Month and to celebrate we’re sharing resources and activities you can use to help guide the children in your life – no matter their learning style. Below you’ll find a video to watch, article to read, questions to discuss, and links to a related comic and activity sheet.

For most people, spending money comes naturally, but saving up for something special is harder and setting money aside for giving isn’t usually done at all.

The concept of three money jars can help. Each jar represents an activity: spending, saving, and giving. When you receive your allowance or a gift of money, divide the money up and put it in each of the three jars. Dividing your money into thirds is a good way to get started, but the amount of money you put into each jar is up to you. Make sure you use clear jars so you can see your money build up over time.

Money Jars

Spending Jar

Money placed in this jar can be used to buy things in the near future, including small items and fun treats just for you. This is known as discretionary spending.

Saving Jar

Money placed in this jar is used to save up for more expensive items that you really want. Separating your money helps you set money aside for later.

Giving Jar

And finally, money placed in this jar is used to give to a charity or to help someone in need. Giving a small portion of your savings will teach you about social responsibility and stewardship by allowing you the opportunity to give back to a cause that you care about.

Questions To Discuss

  1. If you had $10, how much would you put in each jar? The amounts are up to you.
  2. What’s something more expensive that you want to save up for?
  3. Is there a cause or charity that you would like to give some of your money to?
  4. Why is giving back important?

Continue The Conversation

Activity Sheet

Comic Strip

Two young girls playing on a playground.
Life Guidance for:

Raising Money-Smart Kids

Talking to kids about money is not only acceptable but also encouraged. Use our tips to help your child understand and practice age-appropriate money management skills.

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