Money Jars and Teaching Kids about Finances

Teaching Kids about Finances can be tricky. I’m sharing 10 ways to help your kids learn about and understand finances, plus how to make money saving jars.

Money jars and teaching kids about finances - Organize and Decorate Everything

It’s never too early to start teaching your kids about being responsible with money. One of the ways we have helped our kids understand finances is to make money jars for their allowance and other money they receive. When they divide their money into separate jars they are learning responsibility and setting goals from the very beginning.

Saving Jars.1

To make the money jars I started with plastic mason jars with lids. They can be purchased at WalMart, Target, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and many other stores. It doesn’t matter that they have a small hole in the top because it will be covered. You can also purchase slot coin lids on-line if you prefer those. I made a printable for your lids in a choice of a few colors. You will be able to print off the whole sheet below. If you prefer to use the slot lids you can adhere the tag to the side of the jar.

Saving jars 2

Print out the jar lid printable and cut out your color choices. Since these were for Ammon he chose red, blue, and green.

Saving Jars 5

The concept we use is very simple. I think for kids, easier is better. Here’s an example: $10 for allowance, $1 goes to Share which in our case means tithing (It can also be used for other kinds of donations), $4 goes to Save and $5 goes to Spend. Extra money such as birthday money can also be divided between the jars, especially if something really big is being saved for.

Saving jars 4.1

Here are 10 more ways to help your kids learn about and understand finances.

1- Take advantage of teachable money moments. These can happen at any time. Look at ads and talk about small and large buying decisions. Compare prices and quality at stores, on line and in publications. You can even make it a game at the store by having a competition to find the best price of a certain item.

2- Teach finances according to your child’s age. Age 3-5: Create money jars and teach them about saving and spending. Have them set a goal to save towards something, but not too high, it needs to be attainable so they can see the reward of saving for something they really want. Help them count their money when it’s being added to so they can see their progress. Age 6-10: Give your child a little money while grocery shopping and let them make comparisons on brands and/or generic products. Talk about decisions, buying things on sale, and comparison shopping. Age 11-13: Start talking about compound interest and have them do a few calculations for better knowledge. Have them save for something a little more expensive, instead of spending their money on a lot of smaller items. Age 14-18: Talk about college education and how much it will cost. Start earning more money through a part-time job or odd jobs such as lawn care or babysitting. Teach them about credit cards and how to limit their use and use them wisely.

3- Teach the differences between needs and wants. Help them understand they don’t have to purchase everything they want just because they have to money to do so.

4- Help them set goals. They can’t obtain a goal they don’t set.

5-Give them their allowance in small denominations so it’s easy to divide between all the jars. Anything to make it easier on them.

6- Let them make small spending decisions whether they’re good or bad. They will learn from the experience.

7- Keeping track of spending can be as simple as writing down a purchase on a small slip of paper and placing it in the jar to replace the money that was removed. This can be a great learning experience in deciding wants and needs.

8- Once they are a little older, talk about credit card purchases, interest, paying the card off, verifying charges, calculating tips.

9- Have family discussions about finances. Include the kids in the discussions to help them understand and be included in some financial decisions.

10- Take a trip to a financial institution. Once their Savings reaches a certain amount, talk about placing it in a savings account and continuing to add to it. They would love to talk to your child about opening an account and saving for the future.

Money jars and teaching kids about finances - Organize and Decorate Everything collage

Start talking to your kids about finances as early as possible. The earlier in their life, the better understanding they will have. The main goal is to prepare them for financial understanding by the time they leave your home.

If you would like this free Save-Spend-Share printable just click on the link below the picture.

Share Save Spend Jar Top Printables

Save-Share-Spend Printable

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Anna October 9, 2014, 8:35 am

    I agree, it’s so important to teach kids about money early on in their lives. We’ve been doing something very similar to this since our daughter was a couple years old, she’s 5 but she already has over $100 saved for her car. 🙂


  • sharon garofalow October 9, 2014, 8:37 am

    LOVE this post! Such great tips! And I love the idea of these jars. Thanks for sharing! Pinned so I can reference it to start with my own kids!

  • Desiree October 9, 2014, 8:53 am

    Hey this is great! I need to do something like this for my son to teach him about money. He’s getting to the age now where he understands what money is, what it can do and important it is to save. Thanks for this cute idea!!! And the printables are awesome!!

  • Jen October 9, 2014, 9:31 am

    Wow! I really love this idea. With four kids, I need to spend money wisely and sometimes they don’t understand, but this idea could help them get it. Thanks so much!

  • Amy | The Happy Scraps October 9, 2014, 9:32 am

    This is something that I really need to work on with my kids. They all have a money jug (old juice bottle) that they put all of their money in. But I need to work on teaching them about the different things. They do pay their tithing, and then the rest pretty much just stays in the jug. I like the idea of having 3 different ones because they they would learn that they can’t use the ones that are for saving/sharing. Also, you have really intrigued me about possibly changing banks. I’ve heard good things about America First Credit Union from more than just you. It is just such a big job to change everything. 🙂

  • Amanda October 9, 2014, 11:06 am

    I love teaching my daughter about finances and we have really cute cupcake banks but they are opaque. I love the idea of clear jars so she can see her money grow. As soon as I’m able I’m going to discreetly dispose of the cupcake banks and make these jars instead! Also, I’m using the Earn It, Learn It method of teaching my daughter how people work for their money

  • Becky October 9, 2014, 12:17 pm

    I love the money jars – it makes it easy to see where the money goes! Great post!

  • Lindsay October 9, 2014, 2:47 pm

    Love these printables! Thank you! My daughter is just now starting to understand that “stuff” costs money, and that if she wants something, she’s going to have to save her pennies. I love the idea of teaching her about the “save” and “share” part even at a young age (she’s 5). Thanks for this great resource.

  • WendysHat October 9, 2014, 3:27 pm

    Cute idea with the labels. Learning how to manage money is very important for a child. My 26 year old son still loves to save change in a jar. I agree that taking them with you to the bank and opening up an account as a child is a great plan. That’s what I did too.

  • McCall Humes October 9, 2014, 3:36 pm

    This is great! I’m definitely going to try this out at my house. My son will be so confused to learn that money does not grow on trees.

  • Laura October 9, 2014, 6:57 pm

    Great post Leanne, I agree it’s so important to teach kids about finances when they are young and the jar system is fantastic. Thanks for the printable too!


  • Staci October 9, 2014, 10:18 pm

    What a fun idea! I guess I should start doing this with my girls!!!!!!

  • Amy Anderson October 10, 2014, 5:58 am

    VERY important! I wish my parents would have started earlier with me.

  • Ginny @ October 10, 2014, 8:47 am

    Great tips, Leanne!

  • Steph@The SillyPearl October 10, 2014, 10:39 am

    You have the best ideas for kids, Leanne! I need to do this with my girls.

  • The lovely one October 12, 2014, 8:09 pm

    Great tips! My 8 year old gets an allowance, but because there’s nothing she needs to buy, she doesn’t really understand the value of money (and half the time we both forget about “pay day” and then she doesn’t get the money!” I love the idea of giving her money and having her do the shopping!

  • Samantha October 13, 2014, 9:42 pm

    These are great tips on helping kids learn to manage money! I am excited to use this idea with my kiddos and to give them some more freedom over spending money to start learning the super important life lesson of how to save and spend money appropriately. Thanks!

  • ThePayStubs November 14, 2021, 10:44 am

    This is really a fun idea for kids to teach savings! Just a quick note to tell you that I have a passion for the topic “money savings” at hand. I am going to bookmark the site for further assistance.

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