We all have things that we want, need, and hope to have in the future. An adult may want a vacation. A kid may want new sneakers or a cool new toy.

Here’s the thing. Many of these things we want (and need) cost money. This activity can teach kids how they can save for their goals and learn how long it takes (and how awesome it is) to achieve a goal.

No need to get fancy or be boring. All you need is a plan, plus four jars and a few simple craft supplies.

Teach your kids about saving and investing

Download the activity sheet

Let’s get started

Each jar will have a label for each “Stash” to be labeled: Needs, Wants, Goals, Causes.

What’s a “need?” – Something kids will use every day. Maybe new sneakers for basketball or a new writing journal.

What’s a “want?” – Something that’s special that may take a little while to save for. Think a new guitar or a tickets to see a favorite team.

What’s a “goal?” – Does this child want to get better at something? Or be something special when he or she grows up? A goal could be years into the future. Maybe foreign language camp? Or a fancy set of turntables to become an amazing DJ? Goals take time, this jar may take a while to fill.

What’s a “cause?” – Kids want to make the world a better place. Maybe he or she wants to donate money to support finding a cure for a disease or keeping their public library open. A little bit of change over the course of a year can make for a big donation. It’s never too early to be a philanthropist!

Final note! Consider rewarding your child for their great saving habits by matching their contributions in their Stash custodial account. You can use Stash dollars to signify each deposit!

What You Need

  • Wants, Needs, Causes and Goals activity sheet — Download and Print [PDF]
  • 4 jars or containers
  • Scissors
  • Tape or glue
  • Writing or drawing utensils, decorations (optional)

Instructions

  1. Brainstorm a list of wants, needs, goals, and causes that the child cares about.
  2. Use scissors to cut out each label.
  3. Adhere one label to each jar using tape or glue. (Optional: personalize your jars with decorations)
  4. Place your jars somewhere safe, but in plain sight (so you don’t forget!).
  5. Add money, loose change, or Stash dollars to them regularly. Spread the money among your four Stashes.

Talk to your kids

How is a want different from a need? Is clothing a want or a need?

What’s the difference between a need and a goal? Is owning a house a need or a goal?

How much money do you need for your Wants? Needs? Goals? Causes?

How much time do you have to save for these?

How much money should you contribute each day?

How will you spread your money across all four jars? Are some jars more important than others?

Invest in their futures

Open a custodial account for the kids in your life

Start now