Teaching about Money--Savings, Charity and Spending

Piggy Bank
Piggy Bank (Source)
Well for Easter, my mother-in-law hid plastic Eater eggs for Hazel. Some had Lindt white chocolate truffles in them and some had money. Steve and I thought nothing of the money since we assumed they would be coins, however she put bills in them. One even had a $5 bill. (I should also note that she has already given Hazel a $5 bill as well as all of her change.) We decided it was time to talk about money with Hazel. I should also add we have two savings accounts for Hazel. One is money we received as gifts (mostly when she was a baby) and the other is one we opened recently and I have put some spare money in it as well as we take her piggy banks and deposit it there. Hazel went with me to open the account and received a piggy bank similar to the one pictured above (but it is blue and has the bank name on it). They have a change counting machine that is free if you have an account, so we always take the piggy bank there.

It just so happened that I browsed the used book store last week and found a copy of Three Cups by Mark St. Germain. I had picked it up to think about and then ended up buying it without thinking about it. I guess it was God's way of saying I would need it and I did.  This book tells about how Mark St. Germain's parents introduced money to him. They gave him three cups for his fifth birthday. One was for spending, one for charity and one for savings. They helped him figure out how much of each allowance should go into each one. He wrote this book to explain the method and to use with his own son. 

On Sunday I read the story to Hazel and asked her if she wanted to have three cups like the boy in the story. She did. So we set them up. I grabbed three mugs from our spare mugs and we labeled them with sticky paper and tape. I let her pick the colors for the labels. Then we divided the bills among the cups. The next day we took the savings cup and her two piggy banks (we left her quarter supply since she uses those for rides at local malls and stores) to the bank to deposit in her savings account. The book went into how the bank paid you to keep your money there. 
The bank is next to Target, and we needed to do an exchange there, so we headed in. While looking through the toys and such she kept seeing things she wanted. We talked about how we can put them on her wish list (I keep one on Amazon as well as in Pinterest, so I can easily send it to family members) or she can save her spending money for an item.
The final cup is the charity cup. Trying to explain charity to a four-year-old is not really easy. She knows we have gathered clothes and toys for children in need at her birthday parties, but I don't think she really gets it. And right now I am about to kick-off our stewardship campaign at church including lessons for the Sunday School classes, so I have had a lot of charity and giving on my mind. I found a book at Amazon, The Giving Book by Ellen Sabin. This book explains about charity and really works as a journal for children to explore giving and helping throughout the world. It includes stories and things to explain situations as well as places for the children to draw, write and record.
I am going to introduce this book to her as her charity cup begins to fill a bit more.
We have decided to start an allowance for Hazel. I think we will be giving it in change so she can divide it among her three cups. How have you handled money with your young children? What age did you start? What has worked for you?


  1. Its was so wonderful blog, I love craft things and I enjoy it. adding the purpose of this is for the better.

    God Bless!

  2. These are good ideas to teach the children how to save money and keep some for charity. Am so excited to do this.

  3. What an sweaome way to visually teach good money habits! Thanks for sharing with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday!! Hope you come link up again today!

  4. This is a great way to teach money skills.


I love to hear your comments and ideas. Thank you for reading and contributing!