Lesson 3

Saving My Money


Lesson Overview:

Lesson 3 covers 1) responsibility, especially financial responsibility; 2) saving money at home; and 3) saving with a bank.


Learning Objectives:

The children will:

  • Explain they can save, share or spend money.
  • Relate personal responsibility to other's trust in them.
  • Tell why people choose to save money.
  • State the guideline that they should save about half their money.
  • Compare saving money at home with saving in a bank.
  • Define interest and explain its benefit.


Content Standards Addressed:

Common Core State Standards 

National Standards



  • Deposit - to put money into a bank account.
  • Interest - an amount paid by a bank to customers in return for the use of their money.
  • Responsibility - the ability to be depended upon.
  • Save - to set money aside for use in the future.
  • Savings account - money deposited into a bank, which pays interest.
  • Trustworthiness - deserving of confidence.
  • Withdraw - to take money out of a bank account.



To reinforce Lesson 2, review these points:

  • Children get money through 1) gifts and allowances, 2) by earning or 3) borrowing.
  • Kids can earn money in various ways, including doing extra tasks and selling unwanted possessions.
  • People should carefully consider when to borrow money.


Part 1: Making Responsible Choices

Materials Needed:

In the previous lesson, the children learned to think carefully before borrowing money or possessions.


  • Has anyone ever borrowed money, a toy or other item from you? Allow volunteers to share.
  • Was the item returned or the money repaid?
  • If someone didn't return what they borrowed, how would you feel?

Repaying money or returning a borrowed item demonstrates responsibility and trustworthiness. Keeping a promise to repay takes effort; a person may have to limit spending and miss out on fun opportunities. But maintaining trust is important.

People listen to and believe responsible, trustworthy people; they can depend on their honesty. Breaking a promise, on the other hand, cheats others and breaks our trust with them. Discuss some characteristics of responsible, trustworthy people.

Responsible, trustworthy people:

  • Do what they say they'll do.
  • Are honest.
  • Do the right thing, even if it's hard.
  • Think before they do or say something.
  • Finish what they start.

Adults trust responsible children more because they don't need constant supervision to do the right thing. Because they're trusted, responsible children may enjoy more freedom, or receive favors like extra privileges or an increase in allowance.


Activity: Responsibility Role-Play

Divide the group into pairs, and provide each with a prop. Using the prop, one child in each pair will demonstrate or describe responsible behavior; the other will show irresponsible behavior. Below are some prop and behavior suggestions:


Prop​ Responsible Behavior Irresponsible Behavior
Toy ​Put toy in toy box. Leave toy on floor or table.
Puzzle Place puzzle pieces in box. ​Leave pieces scattered.
Crayon Color paper with crayon.​ ​Break crayon.
​Trash ​Toss in wastebasket. ​Drop on floor.
​Important papers ​Place carefully in folder. ​Fold and stuff in pants pocket.
​Cup ​Wash cup or place in sink. ​Leave on table.
​Towel ​Fold towel neatly or hang. ​Leave towel in crumpled heap on floor.
Backpack​ ​Hang on peg. ​Leave on floor.
​Shoes ​Put neatly by door. ​Leave in two spots on floor.
Books​ ​File back in bookcase. ​Leave scattered on table.

Reproducible: Responsibility Leads to Trust

Make copies of the reproducible. You may wish to review the pictures before the children complete the worksheet independently. Afterward, discuss. Can the children make up examples of their own?

For more information on positive character traits like trustworthiness and responsibility, click here.


Part 2: Saving Money At Home
Materials Needed:
  • Financial Literacy Program bank (provided)
Once people get money (through receiving, earning or borrowing - see Lesson 2), they have choices to make:
  • They can save it.
  • They can share it.
  • They can spend it. 
Write the underlined words on the board. Saving, sharing and spending money are covered individually in Lesson 3, Lesson 4 and Lesson 5.
Saving is responsible behavior. When people save money, they demonstrate they are willing to delay spending now to buy something in the future. For instance, a child may pass up baseball cards, candy or a small toy now in order to save money toward a DVD or video game in a month or two.


Learning to save money is important because it helps prevent borrowing when an important need or emergency situation arises. A good savings guideline at this age is to save about half the amount they receive or earn, or 50 cents of each dollar.

Preschoolers and kindergartners enjoy watching their savings grow in a clear jar or bank. Pasting or taping a picture from a magazine or newspaper of something they'd like to buy in the future is also helpful to remind of the savings goal. Delayed gratification is especially difficult at this age!


Activity: Financial Literacy Program Bank

Follow the provided instructions to assemble the paper banks. (Younger children may need adult help to put the bank together.) Suggest the children keep their banks in a safe but handy place, where they'll see it often and be reminded to save.


Part 3: Saving Money in a Bank

Materials Needed:

By first or second grade, children are ready to open a savings account at a local bank. Banks use money deposited in savings accounts for many purposes, including making loans. To encourage people to save their money, banks add a small amount to savings accounts. This extra money, interest, grows the amount in a savings account over time.

Earning interest is just one difference between saving at home and saving at a bank. Can the children think of more?


Saving Money at Home Bank Savings Account
Not safe (could be lost, stolen or destroyed) Safe​
​Can see money ​Can't see money
​Temptation to withdraw (take out) money ​Less temptation to withdraw money
​Convenient to withdraw money ​Not as convenient to withdraw money



  • Where do you save your money - at home or in a bank?
  • What are you saving for?

Reproducible: Saving at Home - or in a Bank? 

Make copies of the reproducible. You may want to review the pictures with the children before they complete the worksheet independently.


Activity: "Savings" demonstration

Brainstorm an inexpensive group incentive, like a popcorn party. Use a marker to indicate on the outside of a clear jar the level at which the incentive will be given. (The younger the children, the smaller the jar should be.) Tape or paste a picture of the incentive on the jar, and keep it in plain view so everyone can watch the "savings" grow.

Frequently add a marble or other similar "currency" to the jar to reward desired behavior, quality work, a "good day," etc. At times, you may find it necessary to withdraw a marble; point out that withdrawing marbles delays the incentive, just as withdrawing money from a piggy bank (or savings account) delays reaching one's savings goals.

When the marbles reach the mark on the jar, provide the incentive. Remind the children they can reach their savings goals more quickly when they 1) regularly add to their savings; and 2) refrain from withdrawing money to satisfy short-term wants.