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I wrote Give, Save, Spend with the Three Little Pigs to begin teaching my children about money in a fun way. The concept of give, save, spend has grown in popularity over the past few years and seemed like a great foundation. I wanted to explain it to them in simple terms and make it an enjoyable process as well. Many parents who want to encourage their children to be responsible with money have struggled with the best way to do it. I hope this story can be a first step in your child’s financial education. As you read, you may want to teach other lessons or include other activities. Here are some ideas.


  • What are some of the different ways people earn money and why?

  • How do you earn money and how does the family give, save, and sped it?

  • What is a business and why did the Pigs start one?

  • What does it mean to charge a fair price or do quality work?


  • Set up three banks for your children (just like the Pigs did) and focus on giving money in increments that are easily divisible by three.

    • Tip!: Let your children decorate their own banks!  This is a fun way to continue the give-save-spend discussion with your children and to generate excitement about the skills they learned from the Three Little Pigs. Give your children three white ceramic or plastic piggy banks and an assortment of art supplies and let them use their creativity to decorate each of their banks.  Your child’s “Give” bank could be decorated with the name or symbol of your place of worship, or of a charity that is important to them.  The “Save” bank could feature a picture of a bank, the college that your child hopes to attend, or a big item, such as a car.  The “Spend” bank tends to be the most exciting. We’ve seen pigs decked out with drawings of candy, toys—most anything our children can imagine!  After they've personalized them, encourage your children to use the banks and watch their money grow in ways that are responsible, thoughtful, and especially fun.  (DOWNLOAD THIS ACTIVITY GUIDE (PDF))

  • Teach your children how to count money – it seems to be a dying art. Children love to play with coins; counting money is a great way to develop basic math skills.

  • When choosing where to give money, involve your child in the decision and in actually giving their money – you don’t want to force a cause on them or make them think that giving is a tax.

  • Help your child set up a bank account and talk about the goal of putting money aside so that it can grow and be available for a rainy day. Ask the bank if they can send you monthly statements by mail – kids love to get mail and it will be a regular reminder that they are saving. (You might choose to subsidize the interest rate, as low rates might discourage a youngster.)

  • Print out your own copies of illustrations directly from the Give, Save, Spend storybook so your children can make the story their own. (DOWNLOAD THE COLORING PAGES)

  • Let your children "waste" their spend money.  Your parenting style will dictate how much you want to be involved in what your child buys. However, remember that it’s much better for kids to make mistakes early on in their lives than as adults, so try to focus on giving your child first-hand experience rather than influencing every decision.



We want to hear from you!  If you have a story to share, a fun educational idea or questions, please let us know.  We want to grow everyone's ability to teach and better understand youth finance, and it will take all of us working together to do it right.

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