Getting your children to start saving

Getting your children to start saving

It’s never too early to teach your children about the importance of saving their money. Here are a few tips you can use to help them grasp the concept.

When you give your child some pocket change, do they immediately squander it on knick-knacks or candy? Don’t panic! SSQ has ideas to help teach kids of all ages how to save.

4 to 6 years of age

At this age, the concept of money is very hazy.

Playing games is the best way to help your child understand the symbolic value of money.

Get them to pay for you at the checkout

When you get to the cashier, give your child the money so that they will better understand the transaction of cash for goods.

Learn with games

To teach them the value of money, play storekeeper with your child.

6 to 12 years of age

Let your child experience the trials and tribulations of money.

They won’t be as disciplined as you’d like them to be, but that’s normal.

Be strict when it comes to money

Let your child spend their allowance as they see fit. However, be firm when it comes to their frivolous spending.

Never give them their allowance ahead of time just because they ran out and need more.

They must learn to be patient and accept the consequences of overspending.

There’s no need to lecture them; the deception and frustration they will feel should be enough of a lesson.

Start with a coin jar

Put your child’s pocket change in a piggy bank.

This will allow them to actually see their fortune grow, more so than in a bank account.

12 to 16 years of age

Teach your child about the real world and the challenges of long-term saving.

Maximize your savings account

Now’s the time to take advantage of the savings account you opened for your child.

One way to encourage them is to match the amount they deposit every time they make one.

Make them understand that you have to save up as long as your objectives are not reached. A savings account is not meant for trivial things.

Show them your household budget

Money should never be taboo. Include your child when talking about your mortgageinsurance, car payments, municipal taxes, groceries, etc.

This will make them aware of the cost of living and will prepare them to carefully manage their income and expenses.

Pay them for chores

Why not pay your child to do special chores around the house, like washing windows or helping you with repairs?

Don’t pay them for the normal chores that they’re expected to do. This will show them that money doesn’t grow on trees and you have to work to earn it.

Think long term

It’s normal for your child to find it difficult to project themselves into the future and set long-term financial goals.

Your child will need your help and encouragement to save up for an expensive device like a tablet or smartphone.

16 years and up

Your child is nearly mature enough to deal with complex financial challenges.

Help your child with their job hunting

The job market can be a daunting place for those who aren’t already part of it… so help your child find their first job.

Keep in mind that earning money for themselves will give them purchasing power and a sense of pride.

Help them with their taxes

He who says job says income tax.

Even though they likely won’t owe any, teaching your child about the complicated universe of taxes and credits will be beneficial.

This is also the perfect opportunity to explain RRSPs and TFSAs.

Teach them about credit

The best way to teach your child about credit is to do so incrementally.

Start by getting them a prepaid card or one with a reasonable limit and interest rates.

Prepare a reimbursement calendar so that they don’t fall behind on their payments.

Additional resources


Frivolous spendthrifts will definitely enjoy Mylo!

This app rounds off each purchase and invests the change.

App Store


This app, which was developed by the Fondation Paul Gérin-Lajoie, combines playing with learning about sound financial management.

App Store
Google Play

Preach by example

Despite all this advice, the best way to teach your child is by example.

Don’t hesitate to reassess your budget and your expenses to improve your financial health, and make sure you always remain in good terms with money.

Note: This blog post is provided for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional legal, financial or fiscal advice. For advice specific to your personal situation, always speak with your advisor. SSQ cannot be held responsible for any decision made as a result of reading this blog post.