Based on fieldwork in Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, and Ghana, in the paper we provide new evidence that young people’s engagement with savings groups in Africa is deeply embedded in networks of family and social relations. Savings group members rely on money that is given to them by partners and family members to make savings contributions to the groups, while they also transfer some of their share-outs and loans to family members and friends. This is particularly true for younger members. As such we argue that the socially embedded nature of young people's engagement with savings group needs to be taken into account. The tension between the primary focus on the individual within youth saving programming, and the socially embedded nature of their engagement, has important implications for programme design, implementation and evaluation.