Schwab MoneyWise ®

Motivating Your Kids to Save

Create incentives to encourage teens to save.

Kids, and especially teenagers, may need a little extra incentive to make saving a habit. Here are some ideas to get them to save more—and more often.

  • Consider matching your child's savings, say 25 or 50 cents on the dollar. It helps their savings grow and introduces the idea of the company match in many 401(k) plans.
  • Help your kids set goals and write down a savings plan to meet them. Encourage them (especially teens) to use our savings calculator to project how long it could take to reach a specific objective. It can be both exciting and gratifying to watch firsthand how savings can accumulate toward a goal.
  • Set a good example. Remember, the best way for you to teach your kids is to be a good role model. Talk to them about your own goals and your progress in reaching them. If you’re making tradeoffs too, like making coffee at home instead of buying a latte, share this with your kids so they can understand that saving is an important lifelong endeavor.

Want more ideas? Here are hands-on activities for every age.


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