Extension Logo
Extension Logo
University of Minnesota Extension

How to make a "save, spend, share" bank with kids

When teaching kids about finances, we usually divide the ways we use our money into three categories – save, spend, and share. A simple way to explain this to your child is:

  • Save: Money can be used to buy something in the future or prepare for an emergency.
  • Spend: We buy or pay for something that we want or need right now.
  • Share: We give it to others who may not have enough money for the things they need or to causes we support. 

You can create your own save, spend, share banks with your kids to create a money moment!


  • Cardboard box or 3 empty jars with lids or plastic containers with lids
  • Construction paper
  • Crayons or markers or paint
  • Scissors
  • Tape or glue
  • Extra’s: googly eyes, glitter, stamps, stickers, etc.

Instructions for creating a bank using a cardboard box 

Please note that cutting through the top of the box is a task for an adult or older child. 

1. Take the cardboard box and  put in three money slots using a scissors or straight edge.

A cardboard box top with three hand-cut holes.

2. Cut cardboard pieces to separate the container into three and tape or glue in place.

An open cardboard box divided into three sections.

3. Decorate the box. Label the "Save, Spend, Share" money slots on the box.

A brightly decorated and finished save, share, spend bank.

Instructions for creating a bank using three separate jars or plastic containers

1. Cut the construction paper for your child so it’s the size of the containers and put holes in the lids of all three jars. Or use duct tape to identify which jar is which.

2. Have your child decorate the construction paper to show what they’ll do with the money they have set aside in each jar. Or decorate the jar with extra’s.

3. When they’re finished, tape or glue their pictures to the jars and display the jars for use.

Three jars decorated with glitter and flowers, one says "save", one says "spend", and the last says "share".

When your child receives money, help them decide how they want to divide it up. When money builds up in their save jar, have them deposit it into a savings account to help keep it safe.

Reviewed in 2021

Share this page:
Page survey

© 2023 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.