Lauren J. Muzzy | Posted on Jan 23, 2016
It’s never too early to begin teaching children about money – how to save and invest wisely, spend frugally, and give generously. The road to financial responsibility begins in pre-school and continues through a child’s high school years. Start a dialogue about money now and teach kids important lessons about saving, making choices, and avoiding debt.
Here are some pointers parents can utilize at every stage of their child’s development:
Pre-School - 2nd Grade
- Ask grandparents and other relatives to contribute to your children’s savings accounts or college funds, instead of giving toys or other items for birthdays and holidays.
- As a parent, start saving early for your children’s future educational and other expenses.
3rd – 5th Grade
- Take your kids to the bank to help them gain an understanding of depositing money and making basic transactions. Introduce them to a teller and show them a deposit slip.
- Use an allowance that’s appropriate for your family to teach kids about prioritizing their money habits.
- Create a savings jar, spending jar, sharing jar and investing jar to show the different ways that money can be organized and used.
6th – 8th Grade
- Help your kids find simple jobs, such as leaf raking, lawn mowing, or car washing, to start earning and saving money.
- Include your children when planning finances that involve them, such as a vacation, so they can learn how to save for a trip before they leave home.
- Take your kids to the grocery store. Have them help make decisions about what to buy based on your budget.
9th – 10th Grade
- When starting a first job, help your children create a savings and spending plan so they learn smart strategies for using their money in the future.
- Plan now for other major expenses such as a car purchase. Set a goal and stick to it.
11th – 12th Grade
- Talk to your teenagers about credit and avoiding identity theft. They should understand the implications of accumulating debt, how to pay off any monthly balance in full, as well as the importance of not sharing personal information -- especially on the internet.
- Help your teens learn about scholarships, investments, and funding plans now so they’re better prepared to make decisions on what college, trade school, or university to attend.
- Ask relatives and friends to contribute to a savings fund as a graduation gift.
Teaching children about money is critically important to every child’s development, and the time spent can be rewarding and fun for both parent and child. You can explore more financial activities for different age groups of children at moneyasyougrow.org.