10 Money Saving Challenge Ideas To Teach Your Children About Budgeting

money saving challenge

The Great Money Saving Challenge Ideas For Parents To Teach Their Children To Save Money

The old money saving puzzle. A baffling mystery of how money seems to disappear every once in a while from the savings jar. It happens so often that it’s been given a name – the money jar mystery! Well, that’s not good! You started this because you thought you could save some money and your kids would follow the lead. But now, it’s becoming an enigma, and you start throwing suspicion at your family members, especially kids. And then there comes the day when kids respond to your doubt. You hear the usual “I didn’t take the money!” “You did too.” “Did not!” “Did so!” 

money saving challenge

You get thoughts about how to solve this mess and teach your kids to save money. How indeed? Simple, through gameplay and money saving challenges. It’s a well-known fact that kids respond best to challenges and competition. The age-old question: who is better, who is faster? Roll up your sleeves and set some rules because we are sharing ideas you can practice with your whole family. With money saving challenges like these, you can help shape your child into a money-smart person!


What is Money Saving Challenge, and How can you Get Your Kids to Save

A challenge is nothing more than a tiny obstacle that kids are compelled to overcome to achieve the greater goal of winning. But when you think about it, the playground is always full of challenges. Kids’ games are based on them, and they benefit kids. Either way, we look at it.

They can help them grow and realize that they are capable of much more than they give themselves credit for. When compelled to overcome a challenge, we learn new things about ourselves and the world around us. Kids may not realize it immediately, but challenges are opportunities for growth that ultimately lead us to success. 


You’ll be surprised by how much more motivated they are to overcome the challenge.

The money-saving challenge aims to teach children about financial responsibility. There is a start, challenge, and goal that leads to rewarding. Your plan can be having better spending habits or teaching your kids to keep track of their budgets. Whatever it is, a money saving challenge can help you reach those goals. 

These challenges are not only fun, but they help kids get a sense of real-world money problems. Teaches them how to budget, save money, set goals, and improve their finances. 


Make Money Saving Challenge Fun

So you’re ready to take the leap and get your kids involved in saving money? That’s great! But before you do, you must ensure you’re setting them up for success. It can be easy to forget that they are still children, with all the limitations of being a child. So we have put together some tips on making saving money fun so that parents and children can enjoy this challenge together and persist in reaching the goal.


Make it fun

You might be tempted to just jump into things head first when introducing your kids to the idea of saving money, but there is one thing you need first – an idea that will motivate them! Make sure whatever money saving challenge you choose is something they will want to do. 

Maybe it’s a competition against their cousins, or it’s just about getting excited about having more money at hand when it’s time for a new computer. Whatever works for them is what should be a part of your plan!


Make it exciting

The next thing to do is make sure that the challenge is exciting. You can do this in several ways, but let’s name just a few. For instance, you are setting a jar with their logo instead of the name. While presenting the challenge, make it exciting, and give them a reason to endure. 

Additionally, the prize has to be something they look forward to, so be sure to mention it to each family member. You may initially face high interest from them, but it can wind down after a couple of days, so don’t let them give up.

Not giving up at the first sign of a problem is a new lesson in life. Whatever happens, be supportive and encourage them to continue. The final reward will be something they will remember for life. Not for the money but for the feeling they get after achieving something meaningful.

Motivation is an essential part of pursuing a goal. Children see how much they have saved over time through their efforts. This encourages them to work harder at keeping more each time until they’ve reached their target amount needed for whatever they want.


10 Money Saving Challenges to Try With Your Kids

Fun money saving challenges are a great way to kick off your budgeting. You can share it with your family and kids! Let’s say you want to save for something big, like a family trip, or your kid wants a new bike. You can agree and whoever wins gets a reward of their choice. A fun challenge can help you get started by making saving more exciting and giving yourself mini goals that are easier to achieve.

You don’t have to do everything yourself—it’s about sharing the savings journey with those around you. Plus, when everyone is working together towards one goal, it makes the process feel less daunting! Saving money is challenging, but it doesn’t have to be boring. Here are some ways you can make your savings challenge more fun:


  • Make it interesting. If you want to keep yourself engaged for longer than a week or two (which is good!), make sure there are plenty of different things going on so that you don’t get bored too quickly! For example, if one team finds a way to spend less, they get a small reward. This could include any number of things, such as competitions between friends or family members. 
  • Set a goal for the month. For instance, each member has to save a specific amount of money by the end of the month. 
  • Set a limitation, for example, paying another family member each time you make a wrong purchase.
  • Mix different challenges to make things more exciting and keep your kids engaged. Kids love games, and the money saving challenge can be one big real-world board game. 


#1. Matching Funds Challenge

Set timing for this challenge, for instance, one week or one month. It is one of those activities that will teach kids about investing. Task your kids to contribute their money made from doing chores to a jar. You might face some indignation once you make it public. However, when the time ends, let them count the total in the pot and match it with the same amount. Imagine that! Their earnings just doubled. You may now enjoy the excitement and happy dances.  


#2. The Dinner on a Budget Challenge

Many of us don’t have time to prepare dinner, and compared to the time we spend cooking, it’s easier to order takeout. However, calculating how much you spend till the end of the month on takeout is a hefty amount. This challenge is intended to let your kids plan, purchase, and make dinner with your help using a preset budget. 

Finding a recipe that fits within the specific budget is challenging, but they can do it. You can go together as a family to the grocery store and let them pick the ingredients based on their list. It’s a family activity, and the kids get a chance to make decisions that will help them grow independent and teach them to budget simultaneously. 


#3. A Week of Grocery Shopping Challenge

Similar to the previous money saving challenge, the point is to save money wherever possible. For instance, when you go grocery shopping, many of us make food reserves. It’s more than planning. It’s the fact that we shop for groceries we often use, and some of them remain unopened for a very long time. 

When planning meals, you shop only for the ingredients you use that week. So, gather your family, set a budget, and plan a feast for the entire week. Your kids can purchase ingredients, think of recipes, and create a plan. As a reward, anything else that remains unspent from your initial budget is their reward for following up on an agreement. 

The good thing is that it can last the entire month or year, depending on how much your kids are motivated to do it. So instead of doing it for one week, you can expand it to 30-day meal planning. In addition, it can help you ease the burden of thinking about making something new every day. 


#4. The Zero Out Challenge

The zero-out challenge is a way to save money on spare change. The idea is simple: when you pay your bills, anything left from the round sum is put into savings. For instance, you have $128.67 left when you pay your bills. The idea of zeroing out is to use that $8.67 and put them into the savings. 

To make this enjoyable, you can set a separate jar for Zero Out and let your kids put their change in the jar each time they go to the grocery store or buy candy. Then, at the end of the month, count the money in the pot. You’ll be surprised how much you and your kids can save. 


#5. 365 Day Challenge

The challenge’s goal is to save small amounts of money each day of the year. That sums up to 365 days. First, you can gather your family and make a chart with clear instructions on how much money goes into the jar daily. Then, your kid can save that money from allowance, chores around the house, or any other income. Once they put that money in the pot, they can cross it in the chart you made. 

How does that work? Simply set amounts in the chart. For example, the first day, it can be $0.05, the next day $1.15, and so on. By the end of the year, your kid can save up to close to $600. The same as the Zero Out challenge, it can teach them that even small amounts can make up for good savings after some time. 


#6. Spin the Luck

This is more of a game like a money saving challenge. Write down a daily amount for the week on a piece of paper and place them in a circle on the table. Then, get your kids to use an empty bottle to spin it, and wherever the container stops, that’s their budget for a week. It can be a different amount for every kid. 

Let them save each day the amount they got. Then, at the end of the week, a child that managed to save money for seven days receives a reward, whether staying up till midnight or whatever will motivate them to complete the challenge.


#7. The $5 Challenge

This is a challenge because you have little money to spend on things you want. For instance, if you go shopping for a T-shirt, you can’t pay more than $5. Tough isn’t it? The essence of this challenge is not to overspend and limit yourself to spending no more than $5 a week. 

The point is that we often don’t look at the prices, and when you sum up your spending in the spreadsheet at the end of the month, you get a ridiculously high amount for unnecessary things. This is a great challenge to start practicing with your kids. Tell them they have the same money limit every time they ask for something. If they manage to stir through the challenge, you can give them $5 as a reward at the end of the week. 


#8. No-Spend Money Saving Challenge

This is genuinely a financial fasting challenge. That means you cannot spend money on anything but bare necessities, such as food and gas, to go to work for the entire month. But, this challenge can include kids too. We all know that kids need to be entertained, especially on the weekends when they have both parents at home for the entire two days. 

You may not know it, but they are excited to spend time with you. Hence, you can include them in this money saving challenge by giving them a choice of spending a weekend. For instance, you can take hiking in the nearest forest instead of going to a local amusement park. Instead of an arcade, you can think of a game night at home or invent a treasure hunt for the entire family. 


#9. 12-Month Money Saving Challenge

This challenge is the easiest one on this list, but it’s also the most important. If you’ve never saved money before, this is a great way to get started!

Start by setting a goal of saving $1,000 in 12 months. To do this, start with $100 in your savings account and add $100 each month until you reach your goal.

Make sure you plan what you will do with the money once you’ve reached it (like investing more). The 12-month savings challenge is a great way to save money. You can save money by setting up an automatic deposit into a savings account, cutting back on spending, or paying off debt.


#10. The $100 Envelope Challenge

The goal of the game is simple. You need 100 envelopes and good motivation to stick to this money saving challenge. Perhaps it would help if you knew that by the time it’s over, you will have close to $5,000. Not that bad.

So, to get your kids motivated for this, you need to gauge what they want. Then, you must do detective work to learn more about their wishes. But either way, make sure it’s something they want. So, the game consists of writing down numbers from 1 to 100 on each envelope. 

Now comes the fun part: mix the envelopes and put them in a bowl. Each week, one person takes one envelope and has to put the exact sum marked on the envelope. That’s all fine and well for envelopes with $1 to $10, but what if you are unlucky enough to get $100? That’s where you need strong motivation and mutual goals. 


Teach Your Kids to be Financially Smart

Money is a big deal, and it’s important to teach kids the value of it from an early age. Challenges can help you reach that goal. They are fun and get you to bond with your kids. In essence, the kids are the driving force of the money saving challenge because you don’t want to disappoint them. Being a role model is hard, and you must stick to what you preach. So, not only do your kids learn about money saving, but they also get you to save money. 

Challenges are easily done through games. In the same manner, you can teach kids about the basics of budgeting. How you teach your kids to save money depends on their age. You can start by teaching them the three S’s: save, spend, share through their allowance, or do chores around the house.



Saving money is a skill. All of us, at one point in our lives or another, have had to learn how to save. It can be challenging for kids and adults, but it’s a skill that can be learned and mastered.

There are many ways of teaching children to save money. One way is by setting up an allowance system. You can do this by giving them a certain amount of money every week or month and allowing them to spend it however they please. However, if they want to purchase something that costs more than their allowance, save up for it until they have enough money to pay for it without asking Mom or Dad for more money.

The best way to teach kids about saving is with real-life examples. Explain that when they see something they want, your kids should think about whether or not it is needed—and if it is, whether they can delay the purchase. For example, if your child wants to buy a video game right away, explain that he’ll have more fun if he waits until Christmas or his birthday to get another present.

Once you’ve explained saving, the next step is getting your kids involved. One of the best ways to do this is with a money saving challenge! Set a goal for your child and let them figure out how they will do it. This can be as simple as asking them to pick one thing they won’t buy each week or as complicated as setting up an allowance and requiring that they pay rent on their room at home. Once you’ve set up parameters for success and failure, let your child have their own experience with it!


Smart spending

Kids are masters of spending money. But that’s because they don’t understand that you must work hard to get it. Their world is confined to toys and play. So why not use it to explain what it takes to get to the point when you get into a toy store and buy an expensive toy. 

Suppose you are teaching your kids to spend smart means showing them how to balance their wants and needs and plan for the future. It’s not just about saving up for that new video game or getting a new pair of shoes—it’s also about planning for college and retirement.

Spending smart is an important skill to teach your children. It can help them avoid debt and make sound financial decisions. Here are some tips for teaching kids how to spend smart:


  1. Start early. Children are most impressionable at a young age, so it’s best to start teaching them about smart spending when they’re young. This will help them form good habits and avoid debt later in life.
  2. Model responsible spending behaviors yourself. Children learn by example, so parents need to show them what responsible spending looks like by practicing it and setting a good example.
  3. Teach children how to budget by giving them an allowance when they’re young. The amount should be enough that kids can buy things they want without having to worry about money—but not so much that they feel like they’re getting rich quickly! A good rule of thumb is $3 per week per year old, plus another dollar or two per week, depending on the life costs in your location.
  4. Make sure they understand that sometimes, like when buying clothes or food, there is no perfect price point—you have to decide whether something is worth the cost before deciding it’s worth buying.
  5. Finally, teach them about delayed gratification: if there’s something they want but don’t need right now (like an iPhone), let them wait until later when it will be less expensive (like after Christmas). Teaching this skill early on will also help them learn how to delay gratification in other areas of their lives!


Teaching kids about charity

One of the most important ways to teach your kids about money is to teach them about charity. You can show them how much good they can do and then help them find ways to help others in their community. 

When you give money to someone, you’re not just giving them cash—you’re giving them hope. You’re teaching them that there are people in this world who care about them and want to help, even if they don’t know them personally.

Charity is a virtue. Giving money to someone who needs it is one of the best ways you can help others, and it’s also a great way to teach your children empathy and compassion. It’s something that parents can show to children, and it’s something that will help them grow into kind, empathetic human beings.

As parents, we know that example is the best way to teach our kids about charity. Of course, you can volunteer or donate money to causes you believe in. But, your child will learn best when they see you doing good things for others.

It’s also important to explain what charity means. Hence, your child understands the difference between giving money because they want to and giving money because they feel obligated or pressured by someone else. They also need to know how much of an impact their donations can have on people in need—and how much it means to those people when someone gives them a little extra help.

Children need to know that there are times when other people aren’t as fortunate as they are. Helping those less fortunate can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life!


BusyKid app

Teaching kids the basics of saving, spending, and sharing with the BusyKid app is the best way to help your child understand the concept of money management in an age-appropriate way. They can see the graphic representation of what they have, how much they spent, saved, or shared with charities. 

BusyKid is a chore and allowance app made for kids. You can download BusyKid on your iPhone or Android. BusyKid allows you to set up an allowance for your kids, adding a few chores they have to do to earn their funds. It also allows parents to set up a “Save” account where the child can save some money each week or month.

This is a great way to teach them how banks work! Parents’ favorite feature is that the app comes with a debit card so they can withdraw their money if they want. The app also gives children a sense of what it feels like to be an adult by allowing them to save their money and spend it wisely when they’re ready.

The bottom line is that you can’t teach your kids how to save money if they don’t know what it means. However, by having them participate in a challenge, they will learn the concept of saving and how it benefits us and our environment. So get ready and try one of these money saving challenges with your kids today!

A triangle and a globe on a black background.

Get Started in Minutes...
We Think You'll Love It!

Subscribe to BusyKid and get the first 30 days on us! Soon after you’ll begin to see changes in how your kids think about and use money. They will also feel motivated to grow their balances, explore out app features and help make your life easier at home.
A black and white qr code.