By Michael Fitzgerald, Iowa State Treasurer

January 21, 2020


As adults, we know how important it is to save and find ways to feel financially secure. However, getting our kids and grandkids on the same page might prove to be challenging. Coming up with fun and encouraging ways for them to learn about saving, which can help them get on the right track and set them up for a brighter future.

Financial literacy is incredibly important. To spark some creativity, I’m here to point you in the direction of some techniques and resources you can use to teach kids of all ages about the benefits of budgeting and saving money. Here are a few of my favorite approaches I’ve used over the years that might just work for you and your family.

Classic piggy bank

Kids are visual learners, and being able to see their progress grow in front of their eyes might just be the spark they need. The piggy bank could be as simple as a clear jar so every coin saved can be easily seen. Once they start to see the “bank” fill up, they hopefully will be inclined to start adding even more. And the best part? Once the jar is full, you can redeem those coins and watch your kids’ eyes glow with excitement on how much those cents can add up.

Financial football

Sponsored by Visa and the NFL, Financial Football is just one of many online games targeted to families. This educational resource is a great way to help kids learn about the value of money, saving and financial facts while keeping them entertained. This interactive game engages students with a fast-paced game while teaching them personal finance skills. Plus, it’s free to play and is fun for the whole family.

Targeted goals

Is there a goodie your kid has been asking about for a long time? By working together, you can set a savings goal or budget with your child. Once they reach whatever goal you’ve set, they can be rewarded for their perseverance and success. This is a great way to get your kids to help around the house with chores to earn money or maybe set other incentives in regards to school or activities. Every dollar they earn can go toward their goals. It’s also an excellent way to teach the importance of patience when working towards something they want. In the end, you’ll make memories with your family while they learn many of life’s lessons.

Saving can be difficult for just about anyone, but helping your kids get on the right track early could help them be even more successful as adults. There are so many different ways, new and old, to teach your kids about the importance of finances. So, go out there, explore your options and make a lifetime of memories while setting your kids up for the brightest future possible!


About the Author:

Iowa State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald is a past chair of the College Savings Plans Network and the administrator of Iowa’s 529 College Savings Programs including College Savings Iowa, with over $5 billion invested.