Thrifty Thursday: Teaching young kids to save

Since we started our Dave Ramsey class, we have learned to look at a LOT of things in a different way! One of the things he focused on in one of the classes was commercialism and how the retailers start early in convincing kids that using “plastic” (otherwise known as credit cards) to pay for things is a GOOD thing. He showed examples of various toys that came complete with your very own credit card.

My daughter’s birthday was on Saturday. We joined the Toys ‘R Us birthday club several years ago which means she gets a $3 off any $3 purchase gift card for her birthday along with a phone call from Geoffrey the Giraffe. She was SO excited when she got this and went around waving it saying “Yay! My very own credit card!” We quickly explained to her that credit cards were not a good thing and that when you use a credit card, you are actually borrowing money from someone else and then you have to pay that money back plus extra money to someone else. She caught on pretty quickly but now feels the need to inform anyone who uses a credit card that they are “bad things.”

Another thing that Dave Ramsey focuses on is giving your kids a “commission” for jobs that they do beginning at a very young age. So, we gave our daughter (she just turned 5) a list of jobs that she can do each week and at the end of the week, she gets paid for the jobs she has completed. The benefits of this are that we are teaching her about saving and she’s actually excited about doing chores!

Someone in our class donated these banks for all of the kids.

We explained how the bank works, and our daughter is so excited to split up her “commission” money each week into the various sections.

Today when we were at Target, she was looking at some Crayola sidewalk art stuff that was on sale, and I told her that she would have to see if she had enough money saved at home to buy them if she really wanted them. When we got home, and she took the money out of her bank to count it, she wasn’t so sure she actually wanted to spend the money that she had worked so hard to earn. I love seeing her learn these great lessons about money early on and hope that the last into her teenage years and beyond!

Kids learn not only from the examples that we set for them, but by doing things themselves. I never thought about teaching preschool-aged children about money before I took this class, but even my two year old gets the basic concept and gets excited to deposit money in his bank.

If you’re looking for more ideas and resources for teaching your kids about money, check out these Dave Ramsey resources:

*Why Should We Teach Our Kids about Money?

*Top 3 Kids & Money Q&A


  1. What a great article, Melissa, about teaching kids to save money. I saw this piggy bank somewhere before, cannot for the life of me remember, and thought about purchasing one for the kids, but didn’t, but now I think I’m going to because it really is a good idea to teach them while they’re young. Thanks!

  2. We did the Dave Ramsey classes a few years ago in San Antonio, they are great! I think I need to go through the classes again. I love how he emphasizes the importance of teaching children about money at an early age. I love the piggy bank. I need to find one like that!

  3. Melissa says:

    Here’s a link to the piggy bank if you’re interested in getting one: