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Back-to-School: Teach Your Kids and Yourself How to Save Money


Saving money is an essential life skill everyone needs to learn. As you raise your children, one of the subjects you will need to cover is how to spend and save money. School might teach some basics, but a majority of financial teaching falls to parents. 

Back-to-school season is a great time to teach your kids how to save money, while trying new money saving tips yourself!

Create a Budget for Back-to-School Shopping

two kids writing in a bookBefore heading to the stores, you need to have a game plan and hopefully know everything you need to buy for back-to-school. Gather those supply lists from the teachers and know exactly what you do and don’t need. With a written list, you can begin to budget out how much you’ll need and can spend while shopping.

Do this budget with your kids. Show them how you put the items you need into a spreadsheet and how you do research on how much each item will probably cost. You should also keep them informed how much money you have available to spend on back-to-school shopping. That way, they know there is a limit on how much they can spend, (which might help with those hard conversations about not buying a new fancy backpack when their old one works just fine).

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Supplies

parents handing a kid a backpackNow that you have a budget and list of needed supplies, it is time to see what you already own and can reuse. Many of the more expensive items on a list can be items that last years, like a backpack, lunchbox, clothes, and even some basic school supplies. For example, if you child is required to have a notebook, and has a leftover one from last year that they only used a few pages from, you have a notebook!

If you have multiple children going into subsequent grades, see if any hand-me-down supplies will still work. For example, if one child needs a box of markers, and your older child has a leftover box with all the markers from last year, reuse those markers rather than buying new ones.

This lesson of reusing what you already have is seen by your children. Rather than always purchasing new items because it’s on a list, you’ve taught them to be resourceful and utilize what they already have to meet goals.

Where to Keep the Money You’ve Saved

two girls looking at a laptopThere is more to saving money than simply buying less when shopping, it’s about keeping the money in a safe place where they won’t be tempted to spend it. 

Your children might have heard the phrase “a penny saved is a penny earned,” but probably don’t understand the meaning behind it. By saving a penny, or a dollar, or more, they’ve “earned” that money that can be spent on a later expense. 

But where to keep that money is important too. Piggy banks are great for loose change and the occasional dollar, but what your child really should have is a savings account of their own. Pioneer’s Super Star Youth Savings account is great for teaching them how to use a saving account. They can deposit, make withdrawals and manage their own money in the savings account. 

Teach About Saving For a Goal

girl writing in a notebookIt’s important to have goals when saving money, and the back-to-school season can be a useful time to set goals with your children. Maybe they want to purchase something special before they head back to school, like a new backpack, or start saving for the holidays that are coming up in a few months. 

You can even show them what steps you take to save for a specific goal and see if it can apply for their goal too. Do you try to cut back on some expenses and save that way? Do you earn extra money to put towards the goal? These choices can be taught to your child.

Another useful skill is putting the money you are earning towards a specific goal in a separate place from the rest of your savings. Pioneer’s Special Purpose Savings account is a useful tool for keeping your money separate and staying on track to reach your savings goals.

Earn Money with Your Savings

One lesson that many people miss growing up is putting your extra savings to work to earn more money. Yes, savings accounts can earn you a small amount of interest each month, but there are more effective ways to earn money with your savings. 

Investing is one way to earn more money with your savings. One way to invest is to utilize a Term Certificate with Pioneer. How it works is you put your money into a Term Certificate for a set term with a locked-in interest rate. At the end of the term, you get your savings and extra interest back. Term Certificates have higher interest rates than standard savings accounts, netting your more money in the long run.

Open a Term Certificate

Member Benefits
Term Certificate Super Star Youth Savings
Special Purpose Savings  


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