≡ Menu

Tools for Teaching Kids About Money

My sister and her husband recently started teaching their 5 and unders about earning money. 50 cents for every poop patrol and other generally gross, but safe, jobs.  

Jimmy (5) is saving for a skateboard, no wait, now it’s a snorkel, and even that’s likely to change before the $10 goal is reached.  Not really sure why a kid in an landlocked state has want of a snorkel.  

Cooper (3), on the other hand, has remained dead set on the totally rad skateboard; and no, he wouldn’t even change his mind for Underdog’s original cape.  I asked.  Apparently this kid doesn’t understand the value of a collector’s item.

Interesting isn’t?  How money-saving personalities are already emerging at such a young age.  It’s like teaching your kids about money is important or something.  

I don’t remember how to play piano (short attention span).  Those tennis lessons didn’t stick (minimal upper-body strength).  But I’ve sure found some of the lessons my parents taught me about money management invaluable (but if I had to tag a number on it, I’d say around $1 billion).  

Here are some ideas from my own childhood for covertly planting the seeds of good money habits in your own children’s brains.  Subtlety is key, because we all know kids will resist what they know is good for them; like hair cuts and properly fitting jeans.  

Darn kids with their rock n’ roll music.  

I’m getting old.


You think this is some kind of game?!  Well, I suppose it is.


You may find it slightly depressing to reduce this thing called “life” down to a colorful, hour-long board game, but let’s put your mid-life crisis aside, just for now, and teach your kids some valuable life-decision-making skills.  

Sure it’s not completely realistic, but if you were expecting that in a board game, I’m actually a little worried about you. 

Note: Make sure to read reviews on the different versions because the game has had some updates.  


A Traditional Way of Tracking Progress

Bank This piggy bank may be a wee bit advanced for most kids; unless Junior is into checking his portfolio on a regular basis (in that case, congratulations).

Until they’re old enough to open an online account with Edward Jones, piggy banks are still a wonderful way for kids to watch savings add up visually.  

I know some adults who still like them.  What is it about filling a jar that makes you feel so accomplished?  Who knows, but it is awesome. 


Tell a Good Story 

Red Hen Grasshopper They’ll be enough time for scary stories (Enron, Bernie Madoff, Scream, etc.) when the kids are older.  

In the mean time, read them positive tales about hard work, the power of industry, and completely unrealistic talking animals.

These are two of our favorites!


Bestow Responsibility – And the Pain that Goes with It 

When we turned 10, all of us girls got our first checkbooks.  At that point we started receiving our allowances quarterly, which in turn forced us to budget our discretionary spending.

Kids can handle more responsibility than you might think, not blow torches or anything, but more.  Better they make small mistakes early than big mistakes later.


What important lessons did you learn about money in your childhood?   



Article publié pour la première fois le 07/10/2010