Introducing the 3 little piggy banks

It may be time to rethink that piggy bank perched on your child’s dresser. Experts say a piggy bank—or three of them—can help teach children as young as 5 or 6 the cornerstone of financial literacy: to save and manage money.

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Give children three piggy banks

One bank collects money for spending, another collects money for saving, and the last collects money for giving.

Every time your child gets cash, whether it’s an allowance or birthday money, she can allocate a percentage to each piggy bank.

Spending

These are the funds that children get to spend as soon as they want: pocket change for sweets, small toys, or apps for a parent’s tablet or phone.

Experts recommend

50%–80% of money go toward spending.

Whatever percentage you decide, what’s important is that your child sticks to it.

Tip: Giving children an allowance made up of small denominations makes splitting it up easy, according to Consolidated Credit. If a child has to wait for change, a portion of it may never end up in the savings or giving banks.

Saving

This is the cash children put toward a more expensive item. Some younger kids may find it helpful to write their goal down or paste a picture of the item near the bank as a constant reminder.

Experts recommend

10%–25% of kids’ money be put into the savings pig.

Set a savings goal

Write it down

Tip: Some parents choose to pay interest, say 5 percent, on the funds in the savings bank. As kids see the interest accumulate, the trade-off between saving and spending is clearer, according to Threejars.com, a virtual piggy bank and educational website about saving money.

Giving

When it comes to giving, kids tend to get excited about helping nearby students (for example, donating school supplies) or the environment (specifically, helping cute endangered animals), so consider letting your child help choose a cause.

Experts recommend

10%–25% of their money be put into the giving bank. You can select a charity together so children understand where their money goes.

Tip: Need help choosing? Check out Charity Navigator, where you can search for highly rated organizations and your child can get excited about the charity’s work. For example, World Wildlife Fund allows kids to “adopt” an endangered animal, like a panda or tiger. DonorsChoose.org offers a searchable list of schools that need supplies.

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The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional when making decisions regarding your financial or investment options.

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