Tips for Teaching Kids About Money

It’s never too early to teach kids the basics about money! We’ve got tips and activities to help your kids understand spending, saving, investing and more.

A parent teaching their child about finances

Growing up involves learning about grown-up stuff – including money. However, for a variety of reasons, many young people simply don’t understand money management basics.

It doesn’t have to be that way!  There are steps you can take today to prepare the kids in your life to be smart with their money. Here are tips for getting started.

Spending

An understanding of spending is perhaps the most essential money skill you can teach. Young kids can quickly grasp the concept of money as a limited resource. After all, even grown-ups can’t simply buy whatever they want!

Teaching kids about spending pairs well with lessons on budgeting. Help them understand that planning their spending enables them to buy what they need.

One way to teach young kids about spending is to set up an in-home store. You can either give your child some money or have them use their own for special treats, small toys or “coupons” for experiences such as a movie night, a trip to the ice cream shop or 30 extra minutes of screen time – whatever is most motivating. Start with $5 and offer items at different prices. This helps the child understand they can’t get everything they want, but if they spend carefully, they can make the most out of their money.

Saving

To unlock smart saving habits in kids, help them understand that saving can be rewarding. Does your child have their eye on the latest electronic device, new sneakers or tickets to a concert? Help them set – and stick to – savings goals so they can work toward purchasing that special thing.

Encourage good savings habits by helping kids track their progress in a a highly visible a way. Young kids might benefit from adding rings to a paper chain every time they save a dime, or from seeing a jar fill up over time. You could also incentivize saving by chipping in 50 cents for every dollar your child saves.

Investing

It’s never too early to start educating kids about investing. You can boil down the complexities to a relatively simple rule: buy when things are inexpensive and sell later when they’re worth more.

 Introduce kids to the stock market by having them track a few companies in which they’re interested – like a gaming corporation, tech brand or sports equipment manufacturer. Together, you can monitor those companies’ stocks and ask your child to predict how current events might influence share prices.

First accounts

Setting up a savings account is a great way to introduce your child to a financial institution. Share with them the benefits of such accounts, and how interest can help them in the long run.

Older kids who are perhaps earning money of their own might be ready to open their first checking account. There are numerous options to consider, each with varying degrees of parental oversight.

Children as young as 10 can share a joint checking account with a parent or guardian. Examples include a Clear checking account or Rewards checking account – both have unique features, click the links for details.

Teens 14-17 who are ready for another degree of independence can open a fee-free* Launch account, which offers overdraft protection so both kids and parents have peace of mind. 

Educating kids about money management is a great way to set them on the path toward financial and personal independence. If you have questions, get in touch. We’re here to help.

*No monthly fees for members under 18. If you choose to receive paper statements, a $2 fee applies on both Clear and Launch Accounts. Paperless statements are free.

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