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Teaching Children how to save Money

Updated on November 14, 2016
Piggy Bank with coins.
Piggy Bank with coins.

It is never too early to start teaching children to save, even at the tender age of eighteen months these days toddlers know what money is. By the age of two with your help they can buy an article and have even learned what the coins are.

Golden coins in New Zealand are $1 and $2's while the silver coins are twenty and fifty cents, the only copper one is 10 cents,

My under five-year-old great-grand-children can tell you exactly what each coin is and what they can buy with a gold coin in the dollar shop.

Before they start school you can have them saving their own dollars.

Did your kids received money this Christmas, if so, what did they do with it?

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Climbing Piggy Shows Growth, Investment and Earnings

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Schools do not teach them the skills these days to learn the value of money as they did back in the 1970s when my children were going to school.

In New Zealand the Post Office had a weekly banking where children learnt to fill out a form and bank money every week, watching the amount mount up weekly, they would get paid interest at the end of the financial year on their savings.

I remember mine would come home from school all excited how much money they had in they Post Office account sometimes they would just sit there looking at this all-important bank book, I used to wonder what was going through their minds.

This saving habit was only done at primary school, once they went to high school it was transferred to a bank account which they open themselves had a talk with the bank clerk which made them feel very important and started them on their career of work and saving a little every week of their earnings, they would bring their bank account to me to see, so proud of it and I was very proud of them.

By the time they were ready to set up their own home they had already set up a good relationship with their bank which continued on through their life, but all children are not as lucky as this to know the value of saving and setting goals for their future.

Now in the twenty-first century there is not enough encouragement for children to save, they receive a few dollar, run to the nearest store and spend it no idea about saving, I see it around me all the time, so much money wasted on sweets or just plain junk.


Piggy Bank given to a Seventy Year Old - Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley
Piggy Bank given to a Seventy Year Old - Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

Ways to Help Children Save Money

Buy a money saving box, there are so many nice money boxes to pick from whether it's a boy, girl or older person.

I know even though I don't need a money box to save money I really enjoyed this little piggy I received for my seventh birthday at a family get-to-gather.

It made me feel so good, as I watch my family, add a few coins in it, watch by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren and even now some four years later when they visit they ask me how much money I have saved?

I do add some occasionally.

This little pig will be hanging around to the end of my life and my family can open it as it has to be broken to get the money.

I'm sure they will never forget that day, on my seventh birthday.

Maybe it would be an idea for your child's fifth birthday, buy then a money box and start them on their way of saving, add some money every year on their birthday.

Children have lost the way to save these days as EFTPOS and Credit Cards have taken over the money scene. (just to clarify what an EFTPOS card is in Australia and New Zealand it is an electronic fund transfer at point of sale).

All children ever see these days is a card that is added to a machine and out comes money the young never ever see coins, only paper money if they are lucky.

I know I have seen very young children on their way home from school rush into a shop pick up something from the shelf, walk over to the counter pull out a card and pay for it, I think to myself how can one so young be able to have money and spend it so readily also do they save some or spend it all?

You don't need money in the hand to buy on the internet, as long as you have money in the bank to pay your weekly bills and you do it on the computer, or other electronic gadgets the children never see coins if they never see real money how can they feel important by saving for their future, I do not believe they really know the value of money by an electronic card.

So how are they ever going to learn?

It is up to us as parents to show and teach them to save, set goals and most of all learn the value of money, as a little saved today helps to buy their future assets, home and family.

A family with no idea how to save is a family lost.

It really amazes me as an elderly person how the younger generation has no idea how to save and what money is, they seem to think (that it grows on trees) and spend it like there's no tomorrow.

Ideas for Children saving

Children and Money

Do your Children have Money or a Cash Card when Shopping?

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Money Box with New Zealand Coins - Photo belongs to the Author - Elsie Hagley
Money Box with New Zealand Coins - Photo belongs to the Author - Elsie Hagley

© 2014 Elsie Hagley

Do your Children Save Money or Spend all they have?

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    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      ladyguitarpicker: Very true what you said "credit cards ruined saving for a lot of younger people" since then children seem to had forgotten where money came from, they just seem to spend without thought about saving, so it still leaves the parents to teach them to save and not be so freely adding money to their accounts unless they have earnt it.

      Shame the schools stopped weekly banking for children, like they did in NZ in the 1970s, that's where my five children learnt to save, watching their money in their little Post Office book growing each week and never really wanted to spend it only save more.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      I remember when banks paid some interest on your savings. My older granddaughter sees no point in putting money in the bank. I think the credit cards ruined saving for a lot of younger people. Lets face it I think interest was better during the depression time. Kids do need to save to get ahead for their future. Great Hub. Stella

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      esmonaco: That great your eight year old grandson saved enough money to buy something he wanted, it shows that he is being taught the value of money and about saving. Very cool.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 2 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Great advise Elsie, something we can all learn to do better, is to save and teach our children and grandchildren the importance of saving. Our 8 year old grandson recently saved enough money to buy the books that he wanted from a school program.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      FlourishAnyway: Very true it's what you teach your children, especially when they are young, and the value of money and saving is very important, it will sustain them for the rest of their lives.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Good advice. If you teach them early that saving is as fun as spending, you'll develop good lifelong habits.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      @AdventureTravels: That's nice to hear that UK had those school savings account and that I have found someone that remembers them, also that's good if they still do them.

      I wonder why they're not 'cool' any more, pity it wasn't started again at schools, it's what is needed to help our younger generation to save instead of spending.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 2 years ago from London UK

      I totally agree! My son loves his piggy bank - although it's shaped like a VW Van! He has a bank account now that he is 14 and he is very proud of it. It does teach them the value of things. That's for sure. I remember the post office accounts here in the UK I think they still do them, but they're not 'cool' any more - shame. I love this hub it's food for thought.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      @Arachmea: Yes you could be right about rewarding children for saving, but I'm not a great believer in bribing children to get then to do something, they need to want to do it, and after seeing results, I believe in rewards then.

      This Ebenezer Scrooge did repent and becomes a model of generosity and kindness, that could be helpful to all those lost souls that never learnt to save.

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 2 years ago from Texas USA

      Oh my, Elsie. Power fails can be rough. I'm glad you're back on though. I was thinking that perhaps Ebenezar Scrooge should be touted as hero for his money saving ability. This way children will see that it's rewarded to save money. But, then, he had personality issues as well.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      @Arachmea: You are very right about catching and trying to train them at a very young age.

      Maybe they should bring the saving money habit, into the pre schools before they are five or six years old. The younger the better.

      Thanks for commenting, I was coming back to answer your comment from two days ago, that was about the time I had power failure in a bad storm that we had in NZ, lost power for two days only just back onto the internet this morning.

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 2 years ago from Texas USA

      The other good thing about catching them when they're young is that the bad habits don't become deeply ingrained and they don't have life-long bad habits to unlearn.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks Deborah-Diane for the visit and comment, I couldn't agree more.

      We need to start somewhere and if you like me are seeing our grand children wasting money on stuff not worth buying I think we should step up. I have been very successful with some of mine, they have returned now in later teens and thanked me and showed their bank statements to me of what they have saved, very proud of them, I am, and even prouder that my advise helped them.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      It is so important to teach your children how to handle money responsibly. Great hub!

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 2 years ago from Texas USA

      I agree with you on that, Elsie. A program in responsible cash management wouldn't be a bad idea in the schools. This would give children with parents who are dysfunctional in that area a chance to not follow in their footsteps.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      @Arachmea: Thanks for your comment, it's very true, children learn by what the parents do. It's up to the parents really, but it would be nice if they could teach the children at the schools, it may help where the parents let their children down by being spend thrips and not cautious spenders and savers.

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 2 years ago from Texas USA

      I've also noticed that in households where one or both of the parents have good money management habits, the children tend to learn it as well. In many cases just teaching the children to put their money in a bank won't teach the value of proper money handling if the parents are spendthrifts. Excellent article. I think also, that teaching some of the complexities of money at an early age (in terms the child can understand) helps to set a regular practice of viewing money as a means to subsistence and not a ticket to the mall.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks Sandy for the visit and comment, I appreciate it. We must keep trying to teach kids to save even if it's only a little, better than nothing at all.

    • ReviewsfromSandy profile image

      Sandy Mertens 2 years ago from Wisconsin

      Very important when we teach children at an early age on how to save money.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      @WriterJanis, Thanks for the visit and comment, very true it is important that they are taught the value of saving at an early age, then in most cases it will work all the way through their life.

    • WriterJanis profile image

      Janis 2 years ago from California

      This is really good for children to learn at a young age.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      @chrisilouwho It is a subject that needs action, before our children end up penniless, they won't always have parents around them to come to the resurrect.

    • chrisilouwho profile image

      chrisilouwho 2 years ago

      This is great advice, thanks for sharing. I'll be passing it on to some friends who were just recently discussing this topic.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      @smine27 Thanks for stopping-by and commenting. That's right it's not only your own children ( if you have any), but also good for anyone if you can show them the values of saving and not spending every penny or cent.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 2 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I don't have children so it's hard for me to comment, but I do know that my nephew needs to learn more about the value of money.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      @Jemjoseph thanks for the visit and comment. You are right once children get the idea of saving there is a great satisfaction of buying something that they have achieve by saving. It is worth far more to them than something they have brought at the spur of the moment, which in most cases they didn't really want it at all.

    • Jemjoseph profile image

      Jemjoseph 2 years ago

      It's great when kids can develop an early appreciation of money and saving, it can provide a fun learning experience and an appreciation for the value of saving a dollar. Just being able to save enough for a special occasion makes it memorable and fun.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks beliza for stopping-by and commenting. I appreciate it.

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      beliza 2 years ago

      Great ideas! Thanks.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks OhMe, for commenting, for sure it's not stressed enough these days, but unless we keep talking about it and hoping that some of the younger generation read and take action, and start saving there is going to be a very big problem for them, they need to stopped spending money they haven't got.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      saving is such an important lesson for children to learn and is not stressed near enough these days.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      @travmaj, Thanks for commenting. Yes us older ones remember very well what we were taught, but it is very hard to get the idea into a child's head they think if they have money in their hands they must spend it straight away, no matter what you say to them about saving it is not going to work.

      The thing we need to do is think of ways to encourage them to save, it's not easy, but were are we to start?

      I believe we as parent are too free with money, we should be saying, okay you just spend all your weekly earnings, well next week we will go and open a account and bank half of your weekly earnings even if it only 5o cents, and if you save it this week I will meet you with a further 50 cents the following week, so every week they save a $1. Give them say three months of saving a $1 a week and at the end of 3 months they will have saved $13. I think they have to see the money mount up in a bank account then they continue saving for years to come.

      It is important that we find a way now to teach children to save money.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Lovely Elsie and so important. Despite my age I remember as a child how important saving was to me at school and also to my parents. Now, as a grandmother trying to instil the saving ethic is difficult. Still I'm hanging in there. Thanks for this...

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      @MsDora, Thank you for that nice comment about "Old time New Zealand Way" I am old and know the values of saving.

      In my younger years if we didn't save we had nothing there was no help from the government (or State).

      This is a very important topic we must teach the younger generation to save. I would love to see the schools doing a little more, if something isn't done we will have more and more poverty in the world.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      I love the old time New Zealand way. Children need to understand the concept and value of money. You have given parents and grandparents much to think about. Thank you for dealing with this important topic.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks @Snakesmum for commenting and especially the mention about the young having no idea of how to save and always on credit.

      I as an older person and having many younger family members around me , I see it all so plainly, it makes me sad. I have no idea with the changing situations in the world however they are going to cope with there debts if there was a real disaster in the world, many with be homeless and in dire-straight.

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Totally agree with you Elsie! People today, particularly the young, have no idea how to save; it's always on credit. When we arrived in Australia many years ago, one of the first things our father did, before we even left the ship, was to open a savings account for each of us with a bank. I'm still with that bank today, and still saving. :-)

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks @Pawpawwrites for visiting and commenting. It is one of the best things we can do for our children, without it the future for them is very limited with no money, home or belongings, a feeling of complete hopelessness.

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 2 years ago from Kansas

      Teaching children about money, and how to save it, is one of the best things a parent can do for a child. It can help them for the rest of their lives.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Very true @DealForALiving we certainly don't know what the future holds for the future generation.

      Maybe it wouldn't even be anything to do with money, but what ever it is, it is very important that they set some goals and learn to save for their own forthcomings, of living in this world. So we must as parents, teach them to save and be prepared for any situation that comes by them, for their own sakes.

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 2 years ago from Earth

      Such an important topic especially given that we don't know what the world and the economy is going to hold for them when they're young adults. Let's start early on and teach kids the value of money!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for the nice comment.

      The thing now is "I think", it maybe up to the parent to teach children to save money, but it is the teachers place to teach them the value of money, how to spend wisely and show them how to set goals for their future, it is something that to succeed needs more that parents to get it across to the children.

      What do you think?

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 2 years ago from USA

      It's so important to get kids in the habit of saving and giving on a regular basis. Good ideas for making that happen.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for visiting. Nice to know your husband keeps one. Maybe one day you will have enough to come and see New Zealand.

      This is a good way to save, if children see your husband adding money to a saving bank whether it's a piggy bank or what ever, they may want to try saving money also.

      Could be a nice stocking filler for christmas.

    • Robin Marie profile image

      Robin 2 years ago from USA

      I think a piggy bank is a wonderful way to teach savings for children. My husband still keeps one too, for his pocket change.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      @CherylsArt I think every country still have coins, for instants, I always have some money on me as my husband doesn't use cards if he can help it, forgetful with remembering his numbers to enter.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 2 years ago from West Virginia

      There are still coins where we live. The concepts might be different, seeing amounts that the cards represent or seeing the cash, but it probably helps to learn the concepts of the cards by coming familiar with actual cash.

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 2 years ago from Northern California

      That purple pig is just too cute. Is it available to buy? Great tips.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thank you Billy for the comment, it certainly could help, you never know whether it's right or wrong about the way we bring up our children, as so many, have so many ways that they consider right. One thing that cannot be wrong is to teach them to save, spend wisely and hopefully everything will work out for them, to be healthy and happy within their own bodies. For a happy body has a perfect home and family.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      In today's economy, this just might be one of the best things a parent can teach their children. We certainly need more fiscal responsibility in the world. Welcome my new friend.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks Merrci. I know that piggy banks is a thing of the past, but I think if we brought it back into the homes of the young ones again, we maybe surprise in the recovery of starting to save again were it has been forgotten with all the changes in banking and spending money.

      Children will love those little banks, hearing the jingling of coins in them.

      I remember when my children transferred their school savings to the bank at the age of about 12 to 13 year old,they gave them a little piggy bank free for opening a account and they did continue adding coins to them and took them into the bank to be open and banked.

      Sad these things are not still continuing to encourage the saving spirit.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 2 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Excellent advice Elsie. It should be taught in schools, at home, and anywhere possible I think. So often it seems they are taught the opposite. On college campuses credit card companies set up tables with gifts to get kids to sign up for one. That is my pet peeve! Anyway...I also love piggy banks. Aren't they cute? Your's is especially adorable!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      @Brite-Ideas, Thanks For your comment it is a shame about saving money isn't taught at school, it is a subject that I think should be look at seriously, it is the root of all problems in the home, broken relationships, so many people in debt, so much more I could say about this subject. It is so sad to see it all around us and nothing being done about it.

      You are doing a great job by pinning it up in their rooms because you may thing they aren't taking it in at the moment, they will remember in years to come as they are maturing, and will in most cases remember and take action.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      I agree with you Susan. I'm not a person that will put up with that sort of thing as there are jobs available here in NZ, but not what they want to do. You need to start earning somewhere and you never know where a job that you are not keen on will lead you. It is better to try a job and save some money than to never earn and come dependent on the state.

      That is another part about this hub when teaching them how to save "Have they earned the pocket money? did they do the chores?" or did you just give in and give them pocket money to stop a scene of bad behavior, as well as teaching them to save, set goals and learn money value.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I was big on this with the kids when they were younger and even as young adults - honestly, if they would have only listened to mom things would be a bit better for them! This is such an important subject, and should be mandatory in schools, 'a course on money', because honestly, there are serious problems today because it isn't taught. Should be a class in every grade from grade 1. I've written scenarios for the boys and pinned it up in their room, and am not sure if it's getting through. My youngest has a handle on money the best so far.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Interest about the government situation. I think that's a growing problem here in the U.S., too. Thankfully both my kids have a great work ethic, which I think goes right along with the savings issue as something kids need to learn and have modeled. It's a shame the government rewards those who won't pull their own weight, but really, it's hard to blame kids when that view is so out there in the open these days.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi Susan,

      Thanks for visiting and the nice comment about the piggy bank. You are right about the fact that you can teach your children about money but it doesn't always work. I also have some of my family that are very spend thrip and others so tight with money that it has caused problems within their family. Still we must reach out to our young ones (like our great grand children) as I can already see a very serious problem with the attitude with the excuse they can't get a job and think the government will pay them (unemployment benefit) here in NZ.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      @ SheGetsCreative, I appreciate your visit and comment, for sure it's up to us as parents to show children the light of peace and comfort for their future by learning the values of saving for the future.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
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      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks @sallieannluvslife for visiting, commenting and the vote, I appreciate it. I have very strong feelings about how children feel about money and their knowledge about understanding the values of money and saving.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      We taught out children to save and manage their money. One has saved and invested well; the other tends to let money burn a hole in his pocket - he still can't wait to spend it whenever he gets a little extra. Funny how that worked out. I'm blessed with a husband who is great with handling money and for that I think I can thank his mother. Love your piggy bank!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 2 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I think all children can benefit by having saving goals.

    • sallieannluvslife profile image

      sallieannluvslife 2 years ago from Eastern Shore

      Good advice for our children's financial futures!! Voted up and Useful!

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