Just about everything costs money. The bike you love to ride outside? Yep. The books you like to read? Check. The toys you enjoy playing with? You got it. They all cost money. When you open up presents on your birthday, someone – Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa went to the store (or went online), picked it out and then paid the person selling the item what they said it was worth.

Just about nothing is free.

So, if you want to go places, buy things (like a new bike or, when you’re older, a new car) or help out a friend in need, you will need some money to make it happen. In addition to being something you’ll most likely need to reach your dreams, money is what you give someone else for something they have that you want to buy. From food and water to clothes and houses, everything costs money.

Why does everything cost money? Think about LEGO bricks. Somewhere, in a really cool factory, big machines and powerful computers are run by smart, fun people who dream up and make LEGO sets. Then, they put them in packages and ship them around the world to stores where you can buy them. It costs money to buy the machines and keep them running; the people who work for LEGO deserve to get paid for what they do. When you buy a LEGO set, the money goes to pay those people who make them.

Just like the LEGO people, you make money by selling something that someone else wants (like lemonade on a hot summer day) or by doing something for someone (like mowing lawns or walking dogs).

You take that money and use it to buy something you want, save for the future or give to someone. An easy way to take good care of your money so that it does the most good for you and others is to remember S-S-G: Spend, Save, Give. If you follow this pattern, even when you’re a grown up, you’ll have enough money to buy the things you want now and later and you’ll be able to help people who need it.

Get a piggy bank or make your own using a container with three parts to it (even three jars will work) and put the label on each part or jar. When you get money, split it up three ways. Talk with your parents about how you want to split up the money; you can do it in three equal parts, or you can put more toward saving and less toward giving and spending or can divide it up another way.

#1 - Spend

It’s fun to use money to buy things you enjoy! Whether it’s a toy, book or treat, put some of your money into the “Spend” jar to buy the things you want. When you’re ready, you can move up from a jar to a checking account, like the ones we offer here at Four Points and use it to keep your money safe and ready to spend.

#2 - Save

It’s also important to save money for the future. Someday you will need money to buy things. Big or small, planned or unplanned, when you start saving now, you’ll have money later to buy what you want and need. Like the checking account, when you’re ready you can open a savings account, which is a special place where a bank, like Four Points, can keep your money safe for you until you’re ready to use it.

#3 - Give

Finally, it’s also good to give money to people or causes you care about. Do you really like dogs? Then you can give some of your money to an animal shelter! You can also give money to your church or to other organizations helping people.

That’s money in a nutshell! What other questions do you have? What do you want to know about money? What will you start saving for?

Youth Print and Complete budget (PDF)