How Old Were You When You Started Saving? (Answer and Win!)

According to a study commissioned by the AICPA, for every dollar of assets owned by 25-34 year old consumers in the United States, they are carrying 70 cents worth of debt.  If that seems excessive, then you understand how important it is to begin saving as soon as possible!  Lucky for us, we now have more resources available to help the young (and the not-so-young) set attainable savings goals and keep moving forward with putting away money for their future. 

We want to know about your savings experiences!  How old were you when you began to seriously start saving?  What tools and tricks have you found to be helpful?  If you're among the many people who haven't been able to save, what is holding you back?

In addition to being entered to win our typical Trivia Tuesday prize of one of two $10 Amazon Gift Cards, we have a special prize to giveaway in conjunction with  6 winners will be chosen to get a prize pack, containing piggy bank, stress ball, key chain, and weepul, all inspired by “spokespig” Benjamin Bankes.  (Benjamin urges young adults to spend within or below their means as part of the FeedThePig campaign.) Prize packs are pictured above.

Those of you who aren’t familiar with the “drill,” read below for full details:

Win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate

We're doing two giveaways -- one for random comments, and another one for a random tweets.

How to Enter:

  1. Post your answer in the comments below, or
  2. Tweet your answer.  Include "@wisebread" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

At the end of the drawing, we'll update this post to include (and link to) all of your helpful responses.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Wednesday, July 8th at 11:59pm CST. Winners will be announced after July 9th on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email and Twitter Direct Message.
  • You can enter both drawings -- once by leaving a comment and once by tweeting.
  • Only tweets with "@wisebread" will be entered. (Otherwise, we won't see it.)

 Good luck!

Looking for more fun tools to help in saving for your future?  Maybe you'll like:

  • Beat the brain - A quick quiz to help you identify thinking and behavioral patterns that lead to overspending
  • 5% challenge  - An interactive tool to help you calculate your savings goals
  • Resource section - This nifty list of "must reads" will give you a good start in learning more about money

( is sponsored by the AICPA.)


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Guest's picture

I started saving money when I asked for my first allowance at age 5. The deal was that I would be paid bi-weekly for doing a list of chores around the house. However, I had to put half of my allowance into a savings account, and I could spend the other half. This got me into a great habit, and even now I save around 50% of my income.

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I started seriously saving last year, with my first post-college job at 21. I'm doing the 10% save for now.

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Not sure how old but in 2nd grade at Catholic school Mrs Kreckel's class I sold cinnamon toothpicks 3 for 5 cents.Bought the cinnamon oil at pharmacy and wooden tooth picks let them soak and Waaah la my product was ready.The boys bought them like hot cakes, and then the girls tried them but did not like a toothpick hanging out of mouth.My marketing ploy for the girls became "suck on them to freshen breath".Geesh! Saved all the nickels not sure how much I made total by 3rd grade I had moved on at the encouragement of the nuns who thought myselling was crass for a girl! In third grade learned to cover/ weave hangers with yarn to protect delicate clothes,give as gifts etc. more acceptable for a girl YIKES

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I started seriously saving money last year, at age 24. I paid off $10,000 in debt and began to consistently put aside money every week for savings.

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At the ripe age of 16, I got an afterschool job working in a local supermarket. After about 4 paychecks, I had more money than I knew what to do with. I was frugal then (and now). So I opened a savings account which I have continued to maintain to this day. I am now in my 50's. The balance has gone up and down with life's ups and downs, but it is the same account I started almost 40 years ago.

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It was very early, probably 6 or 7 years old. My parents set up a savings account for each of us and we had the choice of putting money in there and taking it out when we wanted, within reason.

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I started working at 12 and would stash money away religiously, saving 80% and spending 20%. My parents told me early that they wouldn't be able to contribute to college, so if I wanted to go, I had to save and get scholarships.

I took that to heart and saved almost $10,000 by the time I went to college. Between that and my scholarships, I only had to take $6000 in loans out for private college tuition. I was very blessed to have parents that taught me how to handle money.

Guest's picture

I had some petty savings here and there, but I didn't think of REALLY saving until I was 23 and started my budgeting spreadsheet.

Incidentally, my dad kept my money from work, for me.. but I never really kept an accurate track of how much I made so I think he cheated me out of my earnings too....

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I was 28. I'm 29 now.

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Essentially, I've been saving since I was born (if you include savings made on my behalf). My grandmother used to buy bonds for me, which my parents saved until after I graduated from college.

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I've been saving for as long as I can remember. My parents got me a passbook savings account at our local bank when I was little and deposited part of my allowance there so I could watch it grow. It was nice to have money saved up so I could buy a new Barbie or something a little nice for myself during the year (as long as I got permission first!).

Guest's picture
Amber Storck

I literally began saving when I was 5 years old. My mom gave me $1 to clean my room. I did a great job and worked really hard and knew with my new dollar I could buy 2 pieces of candy. After that, I scrimped and saved by collecting cans every day from school and taking them in for recycling. After I'd saved $20.00 I would take my Mom (single mother with 2 kids) out for dinner at Sizzler. This usually took me about a month to save up. I really loved the one-on-one time I got with my mom going to Sizzler because she had to work 2 or 3 jobs at a time to make ends meet. It was a special mother/daughter only treat for us both.

After that, I'd seen my mother fussing over the bills, writing checks and crying. I knew I could do more than collect bottles and cans. I lied about my age when I was 8 years old and got a paper route so I could pay for my own clothes and candy and school supplies. I think it really gave my mom some relief and pride and taught me the value of hard work.

Guest's picture

My parents started giving me allowance since I entered elementary school. I also earned points for doing chores. One point for easy things like making the bed every morning, putting my toys away. Three points for big things like helping mom separating clothes for laundry, etc. One point equals to one quarter. I would save all of my money because I felt like I had to work hard for it. I bought my first bicycle at the end of third grade. Boy, did I love that bike! Oh, at that time, I kept all of my money inside a piggy bank. I had like 3 or 4 of them. It was simple really but I did learn that saving money does not require big effort just consistency.

I am 26 now. Every month, I only spend 10 percent (after rent,utilities) of my paycheck as my "I can but whatever" money. The rest goes into my saving account. I don't have credit card debt. I bought my car in cash. I don't deprive myself because of being frugal. It is actually quite liberating to know that I have a good safety net.

Guest's picture

I started a savings account as a ten year old child... however an unscrupulous family member that was my co-account holder took all my money. Then I started saving coins at home and that was also stolen. So that really put me off from saving and from 12 when I worked as a baby sitter to college I never saved again. My family did not teach me about money because they were always living paycheck to paycheck. Once I was midway through college and had a job with good benefits, I started saving again and paid off debt, opened a 401k. Sadly all this went down the hill after a job loss, my 401k was cashed in, debt piled on again and savings was depleted. I read some financial books and blogs and then at the age of 25 I started to pay off debt again and save my money all over again. While my savings account at ING is not too full, I am slowly making my way through. From $15k in credit card debt to under $10k in one year, small savings account, and nothing new on the credit card. Paying bills such as student loans and mortgage with a little extra each month has got me feeling good. It took a while to get over the trauma of childhood theft, but now I know my money is safe in the bank! I think children should be taught financial information in school... unfortunately some parents don't teach it at home and this would help those that are not taught.

Guest's picture

I started saving the moment I was born. All the money given to me was put in a money market account, which was a good investment at the time. when I was old enough, I got to review the statements and see how much interest I was making. I was always given the choice of spending B-Day money or putting it in the account - I put most of it in the account. I liked watching the interest increase.

Now with expenses it is a little more difficult, but I still am a saver and find it difficult to cut back when I am not that frivolous to begin with.

Remember Saving is great but you still should enjoy life.

Guest's picture

I began saving around the age of 22 (I'm almost 32 now). Back then I was a struggling waitress who then got a job at a bank & learned first hand how important saving was & how the younger you start, the better. My trick is to always pay myself first. I do it automatically & diversify a little - TSP (I'm in the military now), savings bonds, Roth IRA, Money Market Funds, CDs, as well as the traditional savings account for emergencies.
I always stress to the younger guys at work how important it is to save & save early. A lot of these folks are 18 or 19 years old & its their first time away from home. With a steady paycheck & no one looking over their shoulder to see how they spend it, you'll see them at the local electronics store looking for that flat screen TV or latest gaming system. Once they see how that money could grow for them they get excited about saving & then spread the word to their peers.
Also, even though I can now afford to pay full price for what I want, I LOVE clipping coupons & finding deals. I try not to pay full price for anything & love to haggle. Its funny, in the US, some people feel it would offend the seller, but overseas, haggling is expected. Try it folks, it takes practice, but you'll feel great when your wallet is not as light as it would've been if you paid full price.
On a side note, I apologize to all you English majors for my poor grammatical errors - I'm sure there are a few... I was an engineering major.

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I started getting allowance when I was about 7. $5 every other week. I had to pay 10% as tithing to my church, and put 50% in to a savings account. The same rules applied for any other money I got too.

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love love love love

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I think my parents opened a savings account for me when I was in the third grade. I remember how excited I was when I made a deposit and saw that I earned a quarter in interest. I told my parents the bank gave me money for no reason