How to Motivate Kids to Save

It's not easy teaching your child to save. Here are some ways readers have incentivized their kids to keep track of their finances.

Mom with young daughter putting coin in piggybank
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When I last wrote about kids and money, I posed a question from reader Victoria L., who was seeking advice on how to pique her granddaughter’s interest in saving and managing money. Readers responded en masse, and I can categorize their suggestions in one word: incentives.

“I came up with a way to incentivize my daughters and my son to save money when they were teenagers and starting to think about driving,” writes Rick Griffith. “I explained that I would match their savings dollar for dollar toward a car for them to drive.” Not only did this strategy help them afford a car that “was safe and wouldn’t need as much maintenance,” but it had additional benefits, says Griffith. “They also earned a sense of accomplishment, the value of hard work, and pride that this was their car and not one Daddy bought them.”

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Janet Bodnar

Janet Bodnar is editor-at-large of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, a position she assumed after retiring as editor of the magazine after eight years at the helm. She is a nationally recognized expert on the subjects of women and money, children's and family finances, and financial literacy. She is the author of two books, Money Smart Women and Raising Money Smart Kids. As editor-at-large, she writes two popular columns for Kiplinger, "Money Smart Women" and "Living in Retirement." Bodnar is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and is a member of its Board of Trustees. She received her master's degree from Columbia University, where she was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism.