how to teach kids about money
Updated April 19, 2020

How to Teach Kids About Money Saving: 19 Incredible Holiday Gift Ideas

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Christmas season is fast approaching. And chances are that you’ve already started preparing to give your kids their dream gifts.

However, do you know you can use this holiday season to teach your kids about money?

If you’ve been thinking about how to teach kids about money but can’t decide on the perfect way to go about it, then this article is just right for you.

According to a 2016 National Foundation for Credit Counseling survey, about 56% of adults give themselves an A or B when grading their financial knowledge. Hence the importance of teaching kids to save.

Christmas Gifts to Educate Kids about Money

Schools don’t teach kids about money or the importance of saving money. It’s up to us as parents to teach our kids how to do that.

And what better way to teach your kids about personal finance than using Christmas gifts?

So rather than buying the latest toys, dolls, and electronics that would keep their attention for a short while, here are 19 incredible holiday gift ideas to teach your kids about saving money.

1. A Piggy Bank

The piggy bank is one of the simplest ways to teach your kids about saving.

You can educate them about the importance of saving money.

Illustrate that the piggy bank is there for them to keep the money for future use and that the more money they save, the more money they’ll have for future use.

Holiday Gift: The Money Savvy Pig. It is a translucent, old-fashioned piggy bank which is ideal for teaching young children good money habits.

The piggy bank has four chambers, one each for Save, Donate, Spend, and Invest.

It costs $19.95, and you can order it in different colors for your kids.

2. Stock Shares

You can get your kids interested in the stock market and investments by buying a few shares of stock in a company whose products they use.

Some of these companies may include Nike, Disney, Amazon, and Apple.

Explain what a stock is, how owning a stock can yield more money over time, and what to note when investing in a company.

This information can pique your children’s interest in making investments.

You can buy a stock gift on Stockpile, which is charged to your credit card, for your kids in whatever company they like.

For more information on how you can get your kids started on the stock market, check out Acorns, an investment app that’s like a “digital piggy bank.”

Teach your children these vital money making tips as they learn money management.

3. A 529 Plan

A 529 Plan is arguably the best way to save money for kids.

It is simply a college savings account.

And although your kids might not appreciate this gift for years, it will be very much by the time they eventually do.

You can open a 529 College Savings Account for your kids to teach them about saving for college even if it’s years away.

If you have a family member who is a college sports fan, they can give your child a jersey, hat, pennant, or any gift related to the team along with a contribution to the savings plan.

4. An Allowance

You can buy an allowance on Amazon as a holiday gift to teach kids about money.

An Amazon Allowance Gift Card is a program that allows you to add money to an Amazon gift card at whatever frequency you desire – whether daily, weekly, or monthly.

With this option, you have more control over your kids’ allowance.

The money can be used to make purchases from Amazon.

You can set up an account for your kids older than 13, but for the younger ones, you’ll have to set it up under your account.

5. Debit Cards

While we embrace the inevitable use of technology by our kids, you can use a parent-controlled debit card to track how your children spend money.

The Greenlight Debit Card for kids is a debit card that helps parents to control their kids’ money handling and spending habits.

It works with an app that enables parents to automatically transfer money to a debit card while limiting the stores at which it can be used.

You can use the app to pay your kids’ allowances or send emergency funds to them as soon as they need it.

Also, you can receive real-time alerts as soon as the card is used and also turn the card off when you need to.

It costs about $5 a month for the entire family.

6. Wallet

A colorful wallet with plenty of pockets and zippers is an ideal way to introduce the concept of money and saving to your kids.

The wallet can contain coins and money saved by your kids. It can be customized to fit your children’s taste.

A wallet is an ideal gift for children older than three years old. It can cost between $4 and $30.

It’s never too early to teach your kids how to make money. Check out these side hustle ideas

How to Teach Kids About Money: Buy Educational Games

Buying educational games is perhaps the best choice for anyone who has been thinking about how to teach kids about money.

Kids love games and are quite receptive to it, therefore this is a key way to get through to them.

Here are a few examples of games that teach kids about money.

7. Money Maze

Let’s say you want to give your kids some money this Christmas as a holiday gift but putting it in an envelope seems too old-fashioned. Or maybe you want them to do some tasks so they’ll earn their pay.

Money Maze is a game that gives your kids money for completing a puzzle.

It is a plastic box with a maze inside plus a small ball. When the ball is placed correctly, it acts as a lever to unlock the bank where you keep the money.

Money Maze costs about $10 and is ideal for children older than four years.

8. Buy It Right

Buy It Right is an educational board game that teaches children math and currency skills, while also educating them on various shopping choices.

The aim of the game is for kids to fill a shopping cart with item cards faster than other players.

The game has three difficulty stages which allow your kids to continue playing with it as they get older and know more about money.

Buy It Right board game is best for kids aged between 5 – 9, and it costs about $20.

9. Cash Register

A mini cash register is a versatile way for teaching children to save money.

It can help increase a child’s awareness of shopping as parents can point out how much different items cost.

Apart from teaching kids about money, it can build calculation skills and can also be a perfect way to keep your children busy this holiday season.

The cash register is best suited for kids between the ages of 3 and 10, and costs about $35.

10. The Allowance Game

The Allowance Game is an exciting board game that is ideal for teaching children to save money.

Players move around the board doing chores and receiving an allowance that they can spend on things they want.

The winner of the game is the first person to save $20.

This game teaches kids how people can earn money through working for it and it helps them to make decisions concerning saving and spending.

The Allowance Game costs about $25 and is best for kids aged between 5 – 11.

It is a perfect choice for parents who are thinking about how to teach kids about money.

Here are more money-saving recommendations you can share with your children as well!

11. Loose Change

Loose Change is an educational card game that teaches kids how to count money.

Players attempt to add up their cards consisting of nickels, dimes, quarters, and half dollars to one dollar without crossing over the limit.

Once they reach one dollar, they earn their cards, and a new round begins. The winner of the game is the one who collects the highest number of dollars.

The game is ideal for kids aged between 4 to 10 years. The price of the Loose Change game is around $14.

12. Payday

Payday is another board game that focuses on money skills for kids; it teaches them the concept of saving money.

Players move around the board which is designed like a 31-day calendar.

They get paid on the 31st of the month, so they have to manage bills and unexpected expenses before they receive their “paycheck.”

The winner of the game is the person who has the highest net worth by the end of the game.

Payday is suitable for kids older than eight years, and it costs about $15.

Click here to see some other great ideas on how to save money!

13. Daytrader

Daytrader is a board game that teaches kids basic investments concept on choosing the right time to buy or sell stocks.

Players go through a cycle of having jobs, losing jobs, buying and selling stocks, and handling volatile markets.

The objective of the game is for a player to be the first to save $3 million from selling shares before a volatile market clears your savings.

Daytrader is suitable for kids older than ten years. The price is approximately $22.

14. Cashflow 101

The game was created by the author of the best-seller book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki. It teaches kids the basics of investing and money management.

Players can choose between two career paths; the rat race and the fast track.

On the rat race track, the obstacle the players face is lack of money. On the fast track, having too much money is the obstacle.

Players have to make investments before losing money to things like divorce and taxes.

Cashflow 101 is for children older than 14 years. The board game costs about $52.

Click here for a money saving challenge you should definitely try!

How To Teach Kids About Money: Get Them Books

Encouraging your kids to read while they are still young and impressionable is a wonderful tactic to get them interested in personal finance.

Once they grow older, any attempts to teach good money habits via books will be viewed as propaganda.

Some of the best books on money saving for kids this holiday season include:

15. “Amelia Bedelia Means Business” by Herman Parish

There are 14 books in the Amelia Bedelia series.

This part of the series follows the protagonist Amelia on her quest to earn money to buy herself a new bicycle.

Her parents have agreed to give her part of the money for the bike, but Amelia needs to work to get the remaining money. Would Amelia eventually raise enough money to buy herself a bike?

The book is ideal for kids between the ages of 6 to 10. It is useful for teaching kids about money and simple math skills.

16. “Lemonade in Winter” by Emily Jenkins and G. Brian Karas

The story is about two siblings: Pauline and John, who start a lemonade stand in the winter.

The kids experiment with different marketing methods, before finally settling with selling lemonade even in the winter.

Lemonade in Winter teaches simple math, basics of starting a business, and money management for children aged between 2 and 7.

17. “Rock, Brock and the Savings Shock” by Sheila Blair

The story features twin brothers – Rock and Brock, each of whom gets a dollar every week from their grandfather for ten straight weeks.

One twin spends all his money, while the other saves it with interest. What happens to both kids at the end of the ten weeks?

Rock, Brock and the Saving Shock introduces kids to the concept of saving money and how it can grow the more they add to it.

The book is suitable for kids between 7 to 10 years.

18. “Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday” by Judith Viorst

The tale is about a boy who receives a dollar from his grandparents that he plans to save to buy a walkie-talkie.

However, by the end of the week, he has spent all his money and is left with bus tokens.

Will Alexander reach his goal of buying a walkie-talkie?

The book is useful for teaching kids between 4 – 9 years about saving, spending, and donating money while also teaching them valuable math skills.

19. “The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money” by Stan and Jan Berenstain

A pair of twin bears wants to earn coins to buy their dream video game.

The twins begin to find ways to work for the money they need to buy their video game.

However, they must find a balance between being high flyers and little misers. The method they take to achieve their goal makes the story very enjoyable.

The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble With Money is a perfect way to teach children about the importance of being responsible with money.

The book is ideal for children between the ages of 4 and 7.

Click here to learn even more vital money-saving tips you can teach your kids today!

So, there you have it: you need not worry about how to teach kids about money anymore as this holiday season presents an ample opportunity to do so.

Financial lessons learned by kids now can go a long way to shaping their future.

Some of the gift ideas listed above are not just an opportunity to teach your kids about saving money but encouraging family reading and bonding.

What other ways do you plan to teach your kids about personal finance this holiday season? Share them with us in the comments section. Happy Holidays!

Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in July 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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