In today’s economy, saving a dollar is something that we all need to do. With the ease of credit cards, we can sometimes fall into spending traps. So it’s time to get back to the fundamentals of saving, helping teach our children to save as well, preparing them for their future.

As my son is getting older, he’s starting to learn what the value of a dollar is. What a quarter is really worth, and that you need 4 of them to buy Super Silly Sour Spray! I want to start helping him understand more about what it means to spend money, so I’m going to start grocery shopping with him. He’ll get to see it costs $4.95 for a rotisserie chicken, $2.29 for tortillas, and $3.59 for shredded cheese, all to make chicken and cheese quesadillas, one of our family favorites. That’s $11.50 with tax. But, with all of those ingredients, it’s enough to feed our family for two meals, cutting the price in half for dinner. When we go to a fast food restaurant, they may get a nifty little toy, but it will cost our family double what it costs for two homemade meals! Hopefully my son will be able to understand that with the money we save by eating at home, we’ll be able to save up for a fun family trip, possibly to Disneyland!

I was recently given this children’s book called, Three Cups by Mark St. Germain. It’s a fun illustrated picture book for kids, and I’m happy to say that my son who’s 7, is already doing what it suggests. It suggests children divide their money into 3 categories, spending, saving, and charity.

It also introduces kids to some big words, like deposit and interest, in an way they’ll grasp. And the little boy wants to buy a toy and saves up for it until he has enough money, helping to reinforce good spending and saving habits. There’s even a parent’s guide in the back of the book teaching you how to introduce your children to saving.

There are a lot of great frugal and economically minded blogs out there, sharing their knowledge for saving. Here’s just a few links sharing how they’re teaching kids to save:

How have you helped your kids learn about money and the need to save?