Money doesn't grow on trees

Kids know they need money to buy things, but it can take a while to figure out just how much they need and how long it takes to save. Setting them up from the start with some simple tools and advice can be one of the most valuable things you do for them.


About 80% of 8 year olds have already developed spending and savings patterns.

Young Enterprise Trust November 2010 submissions to Savings Working Group. Credit Counselling and National Council for Economics Education (US).

From age 7

  • Get them to save a bit of their pocket money.
  • Set savings goals for something they want.
  • Also check out ‘read only’ internet banking so they can see their balance.

From age 10

  • With your permission, your 10 year old can get an ATM/EFTPOS Age card for their account.
  • Keep going with savings goals.
  • Involve them in family budgeting decisions – how much is a holiday? How much is each Sky channel? It helps kids grasp the value of money.
  • Don’t automatically pick up the tab if they overspend or haven’t reached their savings goals. It’s a tough but crucial lesson.

From age 13

  • Kids can withdraw money and make over–the–counter transactions on their own. They can get access to internet banking and phone banking to transfer money between other Kiwibank accounts. They can also get an ATM card without parental permission.
  • Give them a little more spending power – shopping for their own clothes, gadgets and stuff like that. Think about giving them a monthly budget and put them in charge.
  • Educate them about online security. Check out
  • If your child is under 16 years old they can open a new account after they’ve had a parent or guardian complete a one-off declaration to certify their tax residency.

Simple starters

  • When you get cash from an ATM, show your child the receipt so they get that you need money in your account before you can take it out.
  • Help your kids set savings goals and track how they’re doing, how long it will take to get and how it will change if they increase or decrease what they save. If you’re on internet banking show them our new Goal Tracker tool – a great way to show how they’re progressing.
  • Explain how they get interest when they save – but have to pay it to borrow money.
  • Help your kids budget for things they need, such as phone top ups – make it relevant to their lives so it’s not just adult gobbledegook!
  • Without making it too heavy, share some of the basics of how budgeting at home works.

Track savings with Goal Tracker

Bank on it

  • Online banking (as opposed to a money box) offers a visible way of seeing their money grow.
  • They can see for themselves the interest their own money is earning.
  • Show them the ins and outs of internet and mobile banking, and ATMs.

A First Saver account

  • No minimum balance required.
  • No account management or transaction fees.
  • Kids can personalise their account 'Sam’s surfboard savings'.
  • They can track their savings goals with Goal Tracker in their internet banking.
  • They’ll get a statement in the mail every six months.

Find out more about our a First Saver account

Download Kiwibank’s Disclosure Statement (PDF 474.3 KB) or pick up a copy at your local Kiwibank.