The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod is celebrating “Teach Children to Save” with savings education online. Established by the American Bankers Association Foundation in 1997, Teach Children to Save and the Foundation’s other financial education initiatives have helped reached 10.5 million young people through the commitment of more than 260,000 banker volunteers. Today, we’re focusing on setting financial goals and saving.

What is the difference between a goal and a wish?

Goals should be specific while wishes are usually more general. The goal posts in football, for example, or the goal in soccer, provide a very specific target for the ball. If you make it between the posts or into the net, you score. If the goal was less defined, it might be harder to tell when you score or even to know where to aim.

Make a Wish, Get a Goal

Think of something you’ve wished for when you’ve blown out the candles on your birthday cake. Let’s say it was for a new bike. Now, how do we turn the wish of a bike into reality? We’ll set a goal. For example, “I will save 75 percent of my allowance and gift money and do jobs for neighbors for the next six months to get a new bike.” Remember goals identify where the money will come from, and the goal gives a time frame.

Now, it’s your turn!

  • Click to download the following worksheet to think of a wish and how you can set goals to make your wish come true!

Make a Wish, Set a Goal activityMake a Wish, Set a Goal activity

A Good Habit

Save some money before you’re tempted to spend it. When you get cash for your birthday or from a job, automatically put a portion of it — at least 10 percent, but possibly more — into a savings or investment account. This strategy is what financial advisors call “paying yourself first.” 

Also put your spare change to use. When you empty your pockets at the end of the day, consider putting some of that loose change into a jar or any other container, and then about once a month put that money into a savings account at the bank.

Try it at home!

If you don’t have a piggy bank at home, you can make one by recycling materials that you already have. You can turn an old jar into your own bank buy cleaning and decorating it. For an idea on how to create a piggy bank from a plastic container, watch the video below:

Bonus: Word Search

Wordsearch activityWordsearch activity


Here are additional resources about banking with child-friendly activities and information:

Save and Invest

Money Tips for All Ages

Tips for Kids to Save