How to Make Savings Fun for the Whole Family

March 2, 2023 by Spectrum Credit Union

Saving money shouldn’t just be a solo affair. Putting funds aside for future goals can involve the whole family — whether you want to save money for your child’s college fund or plan a fun vacation. Plus, teaching your kids the importance of saving is a valuable skillset at any age.

And it doesn’t have to be boring. To set your kids on the right path to healthy financial habits — try making savings fun. We’ve got tips for all age groups (parents, too) to turn saving money into a great, shared family experience.

For kids 4 - 12-years-old

Teaching young children the habit of saving money doesn’t have to be a daunting task for parents — or a boring task for kids — if you make savings into a game.

Use a piggy bank

A piggy bank shaped like their favorite cartoon character can give young kids the boost they need to start small with savings. (Bonus points if the bank lights up or makes noise!) Encourage your kids to drop their change in and watch their savings grow.

Create a family fun jar

To motivate your kids to keep saving, think of an activity they’ve been wanting to do — like going to an amusement park. Set up a clear glass jar labeled “Family Fun” in a highly visible area and have the whole family drop in their “savings.” As soon as the jar is full, take your kids on the adventure and start over with a new activity.

Want to encourage your younger kids to build healthy financial habits? Check out the M3 Money Club with Spectrum Credit Union. You’ll get free access to puzzles, quizzes and even coloring pages all designed to make saving money more fun.

For teens 13 - 18-years-old

Teaching teens to build their savings is largely about encouragement and consistency.

Turn chores into savings opportunities

Few teens love doing chores around the house. Use those moments as an opportunity to encourage saving by offering to “pay” small amounts toward their savings accounts. You could even offer to match what they earn.

Create savings goals with rewards

Help your teen understand long-term savings by working with them on financial goals like saving up to buy their first car or take their first solo trip after college. To keep them motivated, create small rewards when they reach milestones along their savings journey.

The teen years are the perfect time to start teaching your kids even more about personal finance. Encourage them to check out Elements of Money where they can learn about everything from opening their first checking account to fraud — all from a teen perspective.

For college kids

Just because they’re leaving the nest doesn’t mean the life lessons are over. College-aged kids are likely to encounter bigger financial problems (and a bigger need for savings). It is never too late to impart wisdom in a fun way!

Match their savings

To encourage your college-age kids to save, offer to match the deposits — if they put the money toward their savings. Young adults are smart. Seeing how much faster their savings accounts can grow over their checking accounts (with help from their parents, of course) will motivate them to save.

Rely on apps

There are dozens of great budget and financial health apps that make saving money easier and sometimes even more fun. Encourage your kid to download and make use of these apps before they set off to college.

Teens leaving the nest for the first time are facing a host of financial decisions. This podcast from Balance can help young adults sort it all out.

For parents

Adults need a little motivation to save sometimes, too. Don’t forget to find creative and fun ways to keep yourself and your partner motivated.

Turn saving into a competition

Lean into your competitive nature and race your partner toward your savings goals in a friendly way. Say, for example, whoever saves the most that week gets to pick the movie on Friday night. By keeping it competitive, you’ll be able to motivate each other to keep going.

Don’t forget to reward yourself

Sure, kids respond well to reward systems, but adults do, too! After setting your own financial goals, create a few small rewards you can place at certain savings milestones — whether that be a simple movie night at home or a trip to your local piano bar for some live music. When you reach your goals, don’t hesitate to treat yourself.

Your friends at Spectrum Credit Union understand the importance of saving money — at any age. Whether you’re setting your kid up with their first MySavings Youth Account or looking for ways to boost your own savings with our high-yield savings solutions, we’re here to help you reach your goals with competitive interest rates. 

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