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Co-op Credit Union


CCU Blog: Insights and Education

Save, Spend and Share with Your Kids
April 30, 2020
These unprecedented times mean you’re likely looking for even more ways to engage and educate your kids.
So, why not give them some financial savvy?
This is where Save, Spend and Share jars come in!
It’s one part DIY craft and another part financial education about being smart with money.
Stuff You’ll Need:
3 empty and cleaned food containers with lids
3 pieces of colored paper (different colors)
Letter stickers
You, the parent, can make small slots in the lids of each jar. Help your child choose which color paper for which jar and help them size the paper and cut so it will wrap all the way around the jar. Coat with glue and adhere the paper to each jar. Then, select the letters to spell “Save,” “Spend” and “Share” on each jar. If you have extra crafty-type items at home to really give the jars some pizzazz, let your child make them their masterpieces.
Next comes the teaching part.
Knowledge You’ll Need:
Save, Spend and Share jars are meant to help kids appropriately split money they receive from an allowance or gifts in a smart and sensible way. This starts to give them the tools they need to understand more complex money management as they get older.
It’s too early to tell them to save for a car or for college if they’re only 5, 6 or 7 years old, for example. You should make it as simple as possible to understand.
Use a $10 gift as an example. We encourage a 50/40/10 split for Saving, Spending and Sharing, respectively. If your child receives $10, then $5 should go into the Save Jar, $4 into the Spend Jar and $1 into the Share Jar.
Saving is for those big items they want to eventually buy. Maybe they’ve got a goal to buy a bike, or a gaming system. The Save Jar is for those long-term goals.
Spending for young kids can be for immediate items they may want. Maybe they go on a grocery trip in the future, and they want to buy a special treat. That’s what the Spend Jar is for – those shorter-term and more immediate purchases they may make with you on a whim.
Sharing is for teaching about charitable giving and doing good deeds. Maybe this is the time to explain that food pantries are in need of some additional funds to help people who require a little extra assistance right now. Or, maybe it’s as simple as a pay-it-forward moment sometime in the future – helping out an elderly person in a convenience store by leaving $1 behind to help them with their bill.
Once you’ve done this project, you’re laying the groundwork for having even more complex financial conversations as your child becomes a teen and young adult. Eventually Saving and Spending will turn into larger items, like saving for that car or higher education expenses. Spending will go from small items in the grocery store to “fun money” for going out and spending time with friends.
So, please enjoy the craft and enjoy setting up a solid foundation for positive financial conversations with your children – throughout their young lives.