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Teaching Young Kids About Money

Teaching Young Kids About Money

It’s never too early to start teaching kids about personal finance. Children as early as pre-school age are learning simple money concepts through counting, playing store, and having piggy banks. Money management is a critical lifelong skill that will help them set the stage for their financial future and avoid bad money habits later in life. There are numerous resources available for families and educators that teach kids how to earn, save, spend, and invest wisely.

Here are some simple tips to help start teaching financial literacy to kids in their pre-school and elementary years.


Read to kids about financial literacy

Stories help young children understand concepts and ideas. Start building a library of books with financial literacy themes. By using fun and engaging books to teach children about financial well-being, you will have the opportunity to share knowledge without them even knowing it!

Here are a few to get you started:

“Spend It!” by Cinders McLeod, a charming introduction to simple money concepts in which a bunny learns he can't buy everything he wants with his allowance.

“Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money” by Emily Jenkins, teaches kids about entrepreneurship, commerce, and math basics.

“A Chair for My Mother” by Vera B. Williams, teaches kids about budgeting and planning for the unexpected.

“The Berenstain Bears' Trouble with Money” by Stan and Jan Berenstain, teaches kids about the importance of being responsible with money.


Make learning fun

Simple at-home coin-counting games including playing store and hosting lemonade stands are great activities to boost financial literacy basics.

Also, board games can help develop a child’s understanding of valuable financial strategies and concepts. Four popular board games for elementary age children include: Cash Flow for Kids, The Allowance Game, Money Bags – A Crazy Coin Counting Game, and Exact Change.

Apps for tablets and mobile devices are another way to educate kids about money management. Here are a few options geared toward elementary children:

Piggy Bot allows kids to earn a virtual allowance and practice saving, spending, and sharing.

FamZoo Family Finance gets the entire family working together to manage money, understand a budget and save.

Bankaroo teaches kids basic money tracking and checkbook-balancing skills.


Have honest conversations about money

The most important thing you can do to boost your child’s financial lieteracy is to be honest about your family’s finances. Parents often worry that being to open will lead to worry, but the somewhere down the line, your kids will face their own hardships, and they’ll be better equipped to handle them if they know how to respond. This doesn’t mean you have to show them bank statements, but you might find it helpful to discuss family budgets or involve them in grocery shopping. Kids model adult behavior, and what better way to set the tone than to implement health financial habits right before their eyes.


Open a savings account

In a world of online banking and shopping, money management can seem like an abstract concept to young children. One way to make banking concepts tangible is to visit your local financial institution branch and open a savings account. Developing a savings plan early is a great step toward future financial goals.