Your kids are never too young to start to learn about the value of money and the role it plays in our daily lives. We created a 52 Week Kids Money Saving Challenge to get them excited about saving money and learning valuable life-skills.
Not only will your kids learn the value of money, but they will also begin to see and understand what it feels like to be truly committed to something. You and your kids will be amazed by how much money they can save after a year. It’s impressive, and we knew we just had to share it with you.
💵 What is the Challenge
Let’s first talk about this 52 Week Kids Money Saving Challenge. It is similar to the concept of our adult version of a 52 Week Challenge, and it might be fun to do it together as a family. You will guide and teach your children how to save money and the impact of their commitment to saving.
It’s important for kids to understand why they can’t have that Barbie Dreamhouse or those fancy shoes just because they want it – right NOW! Saving is hard work and it takes time, but the impact is huge!
Each week your children will make a deposit towards their savings and they’ll figure out their new balance. Did they earn some money by mowing a neighbor’s lawn or did they want to put their allowance towards this goal?
They will be hands-on with this challenge and when it is written out and placed on the fridge, they’ll be constantly reminded that they need to remain dedicated towards their goals. This convenient printable challenge will help get them started to achieving their goals.
💰 Teach Kids to Save
You’ll want to set your kids up for success when you start this process. They will need a way or system for earning money and various ways to understand how buying and spending works. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
Set up an allowance that corresponds to chores.
While there are many methods for giving kids an allowance, having them earn their money is a wonderful way to start. They will see early on that if they work hard, they will earn money. Come up with a system that explains what the chores are, what’s expected, and how much money they will make. This gives them a goal, and you can give chores that fit their ages.
Next, explain to them the value of their allowance. If they slack off and don’t do their chores, then that’s less money they have to save. Or, if they head to the local toy store and buy a bunch of toys, then they can’t save for more significant items that they want.
Show your children that you are doing the same thing. I made it a point to “walk the walk” and cut out my lattes each week. That small sacrifice set a good example (I hope) and showed that it takes a commitment to save money and achieve your goals.
Teach kids about money and how much items cost.
You and your kids will be blown away by how effective it can be to teach them about how much items ACTUALLY cost. Take your children to the grocery store with you. Don’t make the trip about shopping for groceries. Instead, have it be a trip to spend time learning about the prices of food and how to make decisions and tradeoffs.
Make it fun and give them some challenges. For example, tell them they have a pretend $20 to spend. Have them think through the tradeoffs:
- They could buy a couple of frozen pizzas for the $20.
- Would they be better off to buy a package of lunch meat, bread, and fresh fruit that will last several meals?
- Would some chicken, pasta, and veggies be better?
Let them think hard about what they could buy with this imaginary money to make a meal. Odds are your kiddo will have fun trying to plan what to buy.
We did this when my son was younger and you wouldn’t believe how much he learned. We gave him the challenge of having to cook one meal a week. It was great practice for him to get used to the prices of food and what he could do with the money.
As he got better and older, we had him break down the cost of the meal per serving. This really made him think about the costs of different meals. We taught him to think about the cost tradeoff between a meatless spaghetti or stroganoff with hamburger instead of sliced beef. Could they even really tell the difference if they went with a less expensive meat? Was it worth the savings? All of these questions make your children use critical thinking skills to make decisions.
Have kids engage in a family budget challenge.
While this is a challenge, I promise you that the rewards and fun that ends up taking place is incredible. Have your kids plan that you have $30 to plan the entire weekend’s activities. Have everyone get together and start brainstorming ideas. Look up ideas of things you can do that fits in the budget. Be strict with the dollar figure you give.
Once you have a list of ideas, make a decision on what everyone wants to do the most. Have fun doing whatever you decide. You earned it! Don’t forget to take photos along the way because you will need them later.
After you are finished, have everyone talk about the event. What did they enjoy the most, what they would have done differently? Use the photos that you took to remind everyone what you did. Did everyone feel they made the right decision on what was chosen as an activity?
Maybe the things everyone loved most were actually FREE?! Running through the sprinkler, camping in the backyard, playing board games. There are no right or wrong answers here, but it’s a great way to have your kids really put some thought into their decisions. The underlying question should always be “Is this how we want to spend the family money?”
Have the kids create a list of fun “no spend” things to do.
Without a doubt, this is our favorite thing to do. You can be so creative and come up with a huge list of ideas. This will show your kiddos that everything you enjoy doesn’t have to cost money. These ideas actually keep everyone entertained and excited. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Toddlers & Smaller Kids
- Scavenger Hunts – Type out a list of fun scavenger hunts and help your kids collect items from your yard or the nearby park. Have them look for special items like rocks, sticks, flowers, animals, or trees. Pick things that are going to be easy for a toddler or younger child to find.
- Build A Fort – Gather a bunch of blankets, pillows, and flashlights and build an epic fort. Kids can play in forts for hours and hours!
- Make Some Lemonade – Get the kids in the kitchen and make something easy like lemonade. They will love it, and it doesn’t cost a thing.
- Make A Pretend Zoo – Little kids who have a bunch of stuffed animals will LOVE making a zoo with their toys. They can pick fun spots to put all the toys, like monkeys in the tree or alligators on the lawn. Everyone can go around and visit and talk about all the animals.
Elementary Aged Kids
- Have A Spa Day – Use cucumber slices to put on your eyes, paint your toes and fingers, give the kids a foot massage, etc. It’s also a great way to relax and unwind.
- Have A Movie Marathon – Let the kids pick the movies, and everyone can hang out eating popcorn. There are so many fun and family-friendly movies out there to choose from.
- Go On A Picnic – Either have a picnic in your backyard or find a special place at a park or on the beach. Have everyone gather food and drinks, pack up, and head out. It’s even more fun when everyone is involved.
Older Kids and Teens
- Go Fishing – Gather the fishing poles and head to the water. It’s so relaxing and enjoyable to spend time outside with the family fishing. Plus, you may even end up with supper too.
- Do Some Science Experiments – Look online and find some science experiments. Kids love learning when they don’t realize they are learning! HA!
- Camp In The Backyard – It’s a blast to spend the night outside without ever having to leave the yard. Look at the stars, make s’ mores, tell spooky stories or anything else you think would be fun.
Pro Tip: These ideas are meant to be sweet and simple. My son’s favorite no-spend treat was to have sleepovers on Friday nights. We provided popcorn, drinks and non-stop Wizards of Waverly Place. Both of us would watch without outside interruptions while we curled up on the sofa with big blankets in our pajamas. We look back at those memories and they were the BEST and cost nothing.
📌 Staying On Track During The Challenge
I can’t stress enough how vital your role is in this Savings Challenge. If you don’t set a good example, it’s going to be next to impossible for them to jump on board. Let them see your behaviors because they will want to mimic what you do. If you are responsible with your finances and find ways to save, they will do the same.
While the challenge is intended to learn how to save money and the value of a dollar, it’s also designed to be fun too. If you all stick together and continue to work together, you will end up with kids that can be successful adults when it comes to money and spending.
🖨️ Download and Print
Download the 52 Week Kids Money Saving Printable and print it! I found the best success to keep this on the fridge at their eye-level and have them add money each week that they earned. They’ll be shocked at how fast it adds up!
We are all about sharing the love of no-spend/low spend weekends! Make sure to check out these ideas!