Saving for a future project

Financial skills

  • Saving
  • Using an account at a financial institution
  • Drawing up a budget

Activity summary

For children ages 10 to 11

Learning to save is a valuable skill, whether your child is planning a big purchase or working toward a longer-term goal. After taking part in this activity, your child will understand the concept of saving and have discovered motivations for it.

Saving for a short- or medium-term purchase takes perseverance, and your child may have difficulty understanding what's to be gained. Here are some explanations to use.

Saving can help us:

  • purchase items we like, including things we've wanted for a long time
  • put money in an account that pays interest, so our savings grow
  • share with people who are in need or organizations that help them
  • create an emergency fund for unexpected expenses or times when we aren't bringing in as much money

Discover 8 reasons to encourage your child to save (PDF, 144 KB).

For children, saving can be a way to obtain things they have wanted for some time, or a way to become more independent. But despite the many benefits of saving, your child may also equate it with deprivation. So finding the motivation to save for a specific goal can be viewed as a type of sacrifice.

Our video on saving and budgeting is a good way to introduce the basic concept of financial education.

To get your child thinking about savings goals and sustain his or her motivation, My Goals includes fill-in-the-blank sentences you child can complete and save.

What parents are saying

“When my children figured out that the money I gave them every month for allowance belonged to them—and that they could do what they wanted with it—their immediate reaction was to put it in their coin banks! Then they could chose what they wanted to do with it, like buy new toys or clothes, or do something with their friends. I was really proud of them.”
- Anita, mother of Joé, age 8, and Rosalie, age 11

“My daughter and her classmates are taking a trip to the U.S. at the end of the school year. She’s started doing more chores around the house so she can save more of her allowance. That’s helped her save over half the money she’ll need, and there are still several weeks to go before they leave!”
- Yvan, father of Clara, age 12

“I often talk about the future with my 2 sons. Even if they don’t yet understand the importance of financial investments, I seize every opportunity to show them that 1 dollar—if it’s invested wisely—can lead to more down the road. It’s my way of showing them that you can’t go wrong when you save.”
- Victoria, mother of Adam, age 6, and Louis-Félix, age 9

“Every year we do a classroom activity where each student receives an (imaginary) amount of money plus 2 envelopes, one representing a savings account, the other an account to be used for expenses. I then ask them to describe their ideal lives, with homes, cars, kids, etc.—everything they want to have in the future. Once we do that exercise, they have to choose what’s important; they can decide to use the money to make their every dream come true, or they can save it and achieve each of their goals, one at a time. This leads to a lot of good discussions!”
- Amina, third-grade teacher

“My kids understand debt and the idea of a monthly budget; they know that their mom and I pay bills each month to cover normal living expenses. The earlier they get used to saving, the sooner they'll be able to pay their own way once they start having expenses.”
- Vlad, father of Manni, age 7, and Jason, age 8