Grade Levels: K-3

This page contains information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about saving and spending money responsibly. The information is designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. movie Saving and Spending. It explains the type of content covered in the movie, provides ideas for how teachers and parents can develop related understandings, and suggests how other BrainPOP Jr. resources can be used to scaffold and extend student learning.

Promote financial literacy! Help your children learn how to save and spend money wisely. Empower your children with the skills to be conscious consumers. Help them understand the difference between needs and wants and teach them ways to budget and plan. Practicing financial management skills will help them become more responsible and organized.

How do people earn money? Brainstorm with your children and write down their ideas. Some people provide services for other people. For example, dentists, teachers, and bus drivers provide services. Other people sell goods, or items that are made or grown. For example, farmers grow and sell goods. You may want to review the Goods and Services movie with your children. Many children receive an allowance, or a regular amount of money earned from a parent or family member. Discuss the ways kids might earn an allowance, such as doing chores or helping out family members with tasks. Remind your children that it is their responsibility to save and spend their money wisely.

Discuss with your children the differences between needs and wants. We recommend reviewing our Needs and Wants movie. People buy what they need, such as food and medicine, and they also buy things they want, such as toys and treats. Encourage children to think about what they need versus what they want. They should buy the things they need before they buy the things they want. People work hard to earn their money, so it’s important that they spend it wisely. When purchasing an item, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare prices to find the lowest price. You can visit different stores, research prices online, find money-saving coupons, look for a cheaper or used alternative, or wait until the item goes on sale and the price is lower. Brainstorm other money-saving tips together and help your children to become conscious consumers.

Explain to your children that a budget is a plan for spending and saving money. A budget can help organize and keep track of how money is used. Create a sample budget together. A budget can show how much money has been earned, how much has been spent so far, and how much is left. It can also show expected expenses, in order to plan how much to save. Teach children how to predict their expenses and find out how much money is left for non-essential purchases. What might happen if they use up their allowance on one purchase? They should understand that they should get the things they need first, and they might not have enough money left to get things they want. However, they can save up for the things they want!

Brainstorm different ways your children can save money. By saving just a few cents a day, they can have a good amount saved by the end of the week, month, or year. For example, saving just 10¢ each day will yield about $3.00 by the end of the month. That’s enough to spend on a special treat or a book. Now imagine the savings you might have in a year or more! People can save just a little a day to help them pay for big purchases and expenses, such as college tuition, a car, or even a home.

Encourage your children to share. Discuss times when people have come together and pooled money and resources. Some communities have bake sales and fundraisers to raise money for a community center or library. Students in a class might pool their money to fund a trip. Remind your children that when they donate, they give something away. People donate clothes, money, and services. One person can put aside a penny a day to donate. But, if many people put aside a penny a day for a common cause, it all adds up! Review with your children that a charity is a group that helps a community. Brainstorm charities in your neighborhood, town, or state. What charities can benefit an entire country? This is a great opportunity to raise awareness on global issues.

Help your children become conscious consumers and empower them with the skills to manage their personal finances at an early age. Help them understand that it is their responsibility to spend, save, and share their money thoughtfully.