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Teaching Kids about Money

Teaching your children to be financially responsible is one of life’s critical lessons. As your children mature, you will have many opportunities to teach them about good financial management, from kindergarten to adulthood.

Early Years

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Talk about money choices with your kids.

Shop with your young children and show them how to compare items for price and value. Let them help put together a grocery list and come shop with you while you discuss how food costs money and the importance of family budgeting. Or perhaps on vacation, your kid can help decide how family money will be best spent on a few outings or can watch you fill-up the gas tank to get an understanding of how much your road trip costs.

Needs vs. wants.

Teach your kid early that it costs money to do fun things and how saving helps you achieve certain financial goals. You might be surprised how much your kid remembers later from your early and repeated money conversations in the future.

Give an allowance.

Giving children an allowance can provide an important first step towards financial responsibility. Discuss the importance of earning money and how to make it last. It’s generally recommended to begin giving an allowance once children are in school.

Open a savings account for your child.

When it comes to helping kids become financially savvy, teaching them how to save and why savings are important is crucial. Your kid doesn’t have to be walking yet for you to open a savings account in their name. Once your child is old enough for an allowance, you can discuss why everyone should have savings and how much to put away.

Middle Years

Matching contributions.

You can give your children an incentive to save by matching what they save. For example, in addition to giving them their allowance, at the end of the year, match the amount they’ve accrued throughout the year.

Show them how to budget.

As your children begin to understand more about money and decision-making, take them through your monthly budget to show them where the money goes and to demonstrate responsible decision-making.

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Be a role model of responsible money management.

Paying off all your bills on time and staying out of financial trouble could set the right tone for the next generation.

Tell stories about good and bad money management to convey your monetary values.

For example, you could share with them the worst financial mistake you ever made and how you learned from that experience. Or tell them of famous athletes or other celebrities who spent everything they made and then were left with nothing.

Teenagers

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Teach teenagers how to invest.

Discuss the basics with them and consider opening an investment account for them.

Open a college savings account for your child & contribute to it.

Periodically, check the balance with the child, who can watch the money grow. Similarly, once they start working, provide a kick-start to their retirement savings by opening up and making an initial contribution to a Roth IRA.

 

Work with your older teens to help them establish a good credit score.

Consider listing them as a joint account holder on your credit card. Then when they are issued a card on their own, encourage them to charge a small amount and pay it off each month. 


How to Teach Your Child About InvestingHave you taught your children about investing?

 As they become aware of money and other financial concepts, it is vital that you arm them with investment tools that can last a lifetime. Read on for tips on teaching investment to kids.

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Additional Learning Resources

If you're looking to set your kids up for financial success later in life, here are 17 strategies to consider:

17 Ways to Teach kids about Money

The CFPB offers age-appropriate activities to help build children’s money skills, habits, and attitudes on their resource page:

Money As You Grow

Many parents wonder where to find age-appropriate resources online. To find some fun websites to explore visit USSFCU's youth savings account page

Youth Savings

Smart About Money is one of the many programs of the National Endowment for Financial Education®. NEFE is an independent, nonprofit foundation committed to educating Americans on a broad range of financial topics and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach their financial goals.

Smart About Money

For topics, ways, and tools to teach your kids about money use the resources from TheMint.org.

Pointers for Parents

The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of third-party information.

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