Have you been wondering about when and how to teach your kids about money? As part of National Get Organized Month, ACCC wants to encourage parents, guardians and teachers to get organized to teach those important money lessons to kids. We have outlined the core financial concepts for each age group below to help you on your way.
Money Lesson 1: Money Does Not Grow on Trees, Grades K-2
When kids see money come out of the ATM or see their parents swipe their credit card, they may not realize where money comes from. It’s important to teach them that money has to be earned by working. There are a few hands-on ways to instruct on this money lesson:
- Help them set up a bank account for saving, and make them work for their money.
- Give them a chore chart and an allowance for successfully completing their extra jobs (it’s okay to expect them to do things without getting paid).
Money Lesson 2: Importance of Saving, Grades 3-6
Life is expensive. Since everyone has a limited amount of money, it’s important to make smart choices based on wants and needs. Learning to save is a financial cornerstone for everyone to learn and use.
Have your kids make a list of five things they need and five things they want. Take their lists and put in an estimated cost for each item. This will show them how long they will have to save their allowance to actually purchase something. Encourage them to set goals, spend less and save wisely to get the things that they need and then the things they want.
Money Lesson 3: Understanding Credit and Avoiding Debt, Grades 7-12
Understanding credit cards and how they work can be confusing, even for adults. It’s important that kids understand that credit is not free money. Rather than ending up with too much credit card debt, kids will be prepared to save and live within a budget through this money lesson.
For kids under 18, have them practice using credit by borrowing money from parents or guardians. Set up a credit limit, repayment terms and a standard interest rate. If they miss a payment, don’t hesitate to charge a small late fee. This will help teach them the consequences of credit and the habit of paying on time.
Resources for Kids
Money is a part of everyday life and can have major consequences on our future, both good and bad. Since only 6 states require financial education testing in high schools, the responsibility falls elsewhere and should start sooner in a child’s life. Parents and guardians are the main resources, examples and teachers for kids regarding money. Remember, ACCC is here to help guide you through this process. Check out our other resources to get organized to teach kids about money.
If you need to work on your own finances, ACCC is here to help. To speak to a credit counselor today about budgeting and managing your finances, call 800-769-3571