How to teach kids about money when you aren’t even sure how to teach your child the value of money? I share tips and strategies for how to explain a budget to a child, teaching kids money management, money management activities for kids, money management activities for youth, etc.

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Money Books for Kids

Money books for kids (by age) that will jump-start their money learning. Use the bonus activities I'm giving you alongside these children's stories about money.

Money books for kids (by age) that will jump start their financial literacy. BONUS money lessons + activities for each of the books!

Earlier this year I went through a research project of sorts. I wanted to read tons of money books for kids to see what materials are out there.

But I wanted to take it a step further. See, you’re a busy parent. And you don’t necessarily have time to read all of the books that your child is going to read.

So, for each of the 29 money books for kids that made the cut below, I’ve added in:

  • the age range
  • what money lesson(s) your child will learn from reading this book
  • what life lesson(s) they’ll learn

I’ve even included a bunch of *bonus money activity ideas* to use after reading specific books!

Let's get started with how to teach kids money management through books.

Children's Stories about Money for Kids Under 5

Money Book #1: Sheep in a Shop, Nancy Shaw

Ages: 2-3 years old

Stores are a great place to help with how to teach kids about money. And this is the perfect book to show your very young kiddo what the purpose of a store is for: to go with money with something specific in mind that you want to buy. A group of sheep are on the mission to purchase a birthday gift. Unfortunately, they don’t have enough in their piggy bank for what they want to buy. So they learn to barter for it!

The Money Lesson(s): Sheep can’t count. Haha − just kidding. The real money lesson here is that things in stores are not free. Also, saving up to buy something is best…or else you might have to barter something like your own fur!

Life Lesson(s): It’s nice to both have fun while shopping, as well as to put some thought and energy into someone’s birthday.

Bonus Money Activity: For the next birthday-buying occasion in your household, walk your child through the process of buying a gift for someone. It doesn’t have to be from their money, or it could be − the point to this exercise is for them to be part of the money transaction. Set a budget for what they can spend on the gift, then brainstorm several ideas with them before heading to the store. Once you get to the store, walk them through the process. Let them choose from the shelf something close to one of the brainstormed ideas, as well as price compare if there are similar items. Ask them if the item is under the agreed-upon budget. If not, look around for another item. Have them put the item up on the counter at the cashier, and if you’re ready for it, have them hand over the money. Walk them through accepting the change, getting a receipt, and picking up the bag.

Money Book #2: Bunny Money, Rosemary Wells

Ages: 3-5

Bunnies Ruby and Max want to buy the perfect birthday gift for their grandmother: a beautiful music box with skating ballerinas. They’ve saved up their own money to do so, and head to the store for this one purpose. However, things start happening, and temptations arise that cost them some of their money. Also, they didn’t research the cost of what they wanted ahead of time, so they didn’t have enough money to buy it to begin with.

They end up making a pretty bad spending decision − purchasing glow-in-the-dark vampire fangs that cost them their bus ride fare home. In the end they spend their last $0.25 calling their grandmother to come and pick them up.

The Money Lesson(s): Researching what you want to buy before you head to the store is a good idea so that you can make sure you have enough money. There are almost always less expensive alternative options for when you can’t afford what you originally wanted. You need to prioritize your spending for needs first (bus far home), then wants. Otherwise you might get stuck somewhere!

Life Lesson(s): Your family will be there for you, just as you should be there for your family. And sometimes you’ll make mistakes! It happens. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you do.

Bonus Money Activity: Have your child go through each item the bunnies spent their money on, and tell you whether it was a want or a need. Let them defend their answers before telling them your answer.

Money Book #3: The Ant and the Grasshopper, Amy Lowry Poole

Ages:  4+ years

This is probably one of the oldest examples of parents figuring out how to teach kids about money through storytelling. This particular version of the classic Aesop’s fable offers a twist, where the ants consistently, and without hesitation, prepare for the winter months while the grasshopper focuses on games + entertainment in the Chinese Emperor’s Summer Palace.

The Money Lesson(s): Consistent, and sometimes hard, work pays off. Preparation for tough times to come − financially or otherwise − is a good idea.

Life Lesson(s): The ants may be super prepared for winter while the grasshopper is out in the cold, but there is something to be said for enjoying life more. The lesson here is somewhere along the lines of “work hard, but don’t forget to play hard. Play hard, but don’t forget to leave time for work.”

Bonus Money Activity: Relate this lesson to something in your own household that you do throughout the year in financial preparation. For example, when my sister worked for a school bus company she did not receive a paycheck during the summer months. So throughout the year she would need to save extra each month to make up for having no paycheck for 2.5 months.

Money Book #4: Paddy’s Payday, Alexandra Day

Ages: 3-8 years

Wondering how to teach kids about money? A great introduction to the most common way for money to get into a person’s hands is a good place to start. Paddy is an Irish Terrier who performs for a living. It’s his payday, and he’s got a long list of ways to spend his money.

The message that I don’t like in this book is to spend, spend, spend on your payday.

However, you could turn this around by opening a discussion about which of the things Paddy spends on that are needs versus wants. Think: Boston Cream donuts, haircut, movie ticket, dinner at a restaurant, a bouquet of flowers (Paddy’s on track to be poor before his next payday!).

The Money Lesson(s): Payday means you have money to spend on both needs and wants. To truly get this lesson, you’d have to add that in, though, because Paddy seems to spend, spend, spend (without any remark on how he’s spending his paycheck away!).

Life Lesson(s): It’s important to play as well as work, not just one without the other. Paddy works for a living, so it’s nice to see him take some time off and enjoy himself.

Bonus Money Activity: Take a few minutes to discuss with your little one where you and/or your spouse work. Discuss some of the ways you use the money you get on payday to keep the household going.

Money Book #5: Apple Farmer Annie, Monica Wellington

Ages: 3-7 years

I get exhausted just thinking back to my cow-milking, hay-making, silo-filling days.

What I like about this book is that your child will start to get an idea of the process involved in farming and turning it into an end product − dipping their toes in entrepreneurship. Annie, an orchard farmer, takes your child through (though in a really cursory way) picking apples, sorting them, producing sweet apple cider, applesauce, various baked goods, and then selling the most beautiful of all of them at the farmer’s market.

The Money Lesson(s): When you grow your own food, you can keep some for yourself to munch on (or bake really yummy things with), and then you can sell the excess and make some money. This is also a great opener for discussing with your child your own job and how it enables you to earn money.

Life Lesson(s): All throughout the book you can feel Annie’ s enthusiasm for what she does. It’s nice to show kids that you can love what you do in life.

Bonus Money Activity: there are Annie’s recipes in the back. So you could extend the study by picking your own apples, sorting them, then making a recipe together with your child. To add money flair to it, calculate the cost to create the recipe, and how much you could earn if you sold it for X amount of dollars.

Money Book #6: Pigs Will Be Pigs, Amy Axelrod

Ages: 5-8 years

The Pigs will be Pigs series, including this book, has been designed around the National Council of teachers of Mathematics’ Thirteen Standards.

But that’s not the fun part about this book (nor did that sound fun, right?).

This pig family has eaten through all their groceries from the morning (yes, pigs will be pigs!), and they’re hungry for a snack. The problem? There’s only a dollar between the lot of them. So, they go about hunting for money in all kinds of peculiar places around their home. What I like is they don’t give the dollar denominations, but just the kinds of coins found, so that your child can do the math and add things up for themselves.

They are presented with a menu with prices, and so your child gets a chance at the end to figure out what else they could have bought from that menu. A very interactive book (probably not best for bedtime, as you’ll want them to break out a pencil and piece of paper to work on a few things).

The Money Lesson(s): Use the resources you’ve got at your hands (such as finding change in your own home versus going to the bank to get money out). Also, your child will get a bit more comfy with adding up different coins and dollar denominations, then trying to figure out what they can buy from it.

Life Lesson(s): Working together as a family means you’ll get to the goal that you want quicker. Plus it’s kinda fun!

Bonus Money Activity: At your family’s next restaurant visit, have your child choose something based on price. Give them a budget to work with, then ask them how many different combinations they can come up with from the menu and still stay under that budget.

Money Book #7: Follow the Money, Loreen Leedy

Ages 4-8

George is a newly minted quarter that gets used in a variety of ways. This book will give your child a great overview of money circulation + different ways that money can be used (like in a vending machine or as a donation).

The Money Lesson(s): There are a few calculations your kiddo is asked to make, such as how much change a customer should receive. This is also a great lesson in different ways money is used, and how far it can “travel”. It will answer the question of where money comes from, and what happens to it once it leaves their hands.

Bonus Money Activity: Have your child follow up reading this by going on a Virtual Money Field Trip to The U.S. Mint. This will show them where George the quarter came from!

Money Book #8: Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday, Judith Viorst

Ages: 4-8 years

You remember Alexander, the kid who had that terrible, horrible, no-good day? Well, the poor guy can’t catch a break. Reading about his life is like watching the many trials and tribulations of Greg Focker in the movie Meet the Parents all over again (hmmm…I think I just figured out Alexander’s adult avatar?).

Can’t this poor kid have a GOOD day?

In this book your child will see that Alexander used to be rich (and by rich, he means he used to have $1 his grandparents gave him) until he spent his money a bit foolishly. Honestly, what barely-out-of-a-car-seat-kid wouldn’t?

The Money Lesson(s): There are always “opportunities” to buy things with your money. But sometimes, they’re not opportunities at all. Like a one-eyed teddy bear.

Life Lesson(s): Hmmm…maybe don’t make friends with this Alexander kid? Haha:). For real though, spending choices are your own, and no one else’s. So make them wisely! (Wait…that’s another money lesson. Oh well).

Bonus Money Activity:  Have your child identify what they think are “wants” that he spends his money on. Now, add up how much each of these wants cost Alexander. How much money would he still have if he had not spent on all his wants? What else could he have done with that money?

Money Books for Kids 5 to 10 Years Old

Money Book #1: Those Shoes, Maribeth Boelts

Ages: 5-8 years

How to teach kids about money without including this timeless issue: peer pressure. Whether we like to remember this happened to us as tweens/teens or not, there is a lot of peer pressure when it comes to having “cool” clothes. And often the “cool” clothes cost more than parents’ paychecks can support.

That’s why I like this book. A boy gets transfixed by the newest trend of shoes at his school. His jealousy is palpable. Unfortunately, his grandmother can only afford to get him shoes that he needs − winter boots.

Even worse, his own “everyday” shoes fall apart at school. A helpful guidance counselor gives him a pair to have, but they’re what’s considered “baby” shoes and he gets embarrassed.

What happens? He finds that the one boy who didn’t laugh at his “baby” shoes actually was worse off than him. When he actually finds the shoes of his dreams − albeit one size too small − from a thrift store, he ends up gifting them to this other boy.

The Money Lesson(s): First off, I love how this boy figures out an alternative way of finding the shoes he wants for a price his grandmother can afford − the thrift store. I also love how the grandmother unabashedly told him what they could and could not afford instead of racking up a charge she didn’t need on her credit card to satisfy a current trend.

Life Lesson(s): Helping out someone else is hugely rewarding, just like when someone helps you out.

Bonus Money Activity: Have your child talk to you about something that they want that they cannot currently afford. Then ask them to think about ways they could get what they wanted for less money so that they could afford it sooner. Give them some hints to help this exercise along, especially if they’re not used to finding discounts for items.

Money Book #2: Jenny Found a Penny, Trudy Harris

Ages: 5+ years

Jenny has her eyes set on something special (though you don’t find out what it is until the end). She needs a whole dollar, so she sets out to find all the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters she can. She also earns a dime from sweeping her grandfather’s porch and sidewalk − this is one determined gal! Unfortunately, she’s thrown for a loop at the cash register when she learns that not only does she have to save up for what she wants to buy, but also for the sales tax that is assessed on it.

The Money Lesson(s): Something you could talk about from this book is an alternative way to get that plastic piggy bank without having spent all her savings on it (such as making one from a two-liter soda bottle, or from a mason jar. Just look on Pinterest for ideas). Also, your child will be introduced to sales tax in this book, something that may well have confused them before (especially if they’ve paid attention to the price tag on an item + how it is always more at the register).

Life Lesson(s): Let others know what your goals are, and they just might help you with them.

Bonus Money Activity: Discuss sales tax with your child, and the idea that it’s different in different states and areas. Look up the sales tax in your own area for reference. Are there any items that are not assessed a sales tax?

Money Book #3: How the Second Grade Got $8,205.50 to Visit the Statue of Liberty, Nathan Zimelman

Ages: 5-8 years

I love how this book organizes such a huge task − raising a large sum of money − with a child Treasurer who makes reports. The reports break down their interesting and sometimes funny methods to raise money by the expenses and then overall profits. But it’s done in a very story-telling kind of way, not like a profit-n-loss meeting. This book is hilarious!

The Money Lesson(s): You can shoot for high money goals! Also, remember that when you sell something, not all of the money you bring in is actually profit. There are expenses you incurred that you need to account for to come to your profit number.

Life Lesson(s): Have a big idea − like checking out the Statue of Liberty? All of your goals are doable. You just need to brainstorm and take action on your ideas for how to get there.

Bonus Money Activity: What are some school fundraisers you’ve participated in the past? List them out. Now, talk about which ones were successful, and which ones were not. Why do you think some were successful and some weren’t?

Money Book #4: Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock, Sheila Bair

Ages: 6-9 years

This book describes two twins who live very differently, and who treat their money very differently. This becomes hugely apparent when their grandfather gives them a very intriguing proposition: He’ll pay them each $1 per week to mow his lawn and wash his car. Then he’ll match whatever they have in savings. One twin cannot keep his impulse purchases at bay − broccoli-flavored gum, anyone? − and the other ends up with a sweet $512 after 10 weeks.

The Money Lesson(s): Aside from ‘you need to have a grandfather who will match your savings from mowing his lawn and washing his car, dollar for dollar’ (ha!)? Saving money is wise for two reasons. Number one, you can afford more quality-of-life changing items. And number two, because your savings grows through interest (and through matches you can score).

Life Lesson(s): Don’t judge a person by their outside achievements. The beginning of this book is interesting because it sets up the twins in that one is a winner, and the other one is a loser. But it turns out the “loser” twin knew his stuff when it came to saving money.

Money Book #5: Lulu Walks the Dogs, Judith Viorst

Age Range: 6-10 years

Lulu is quite the sassy little girl. She decides she needs to make some cash for something REALLY special, and sets her eyes on figuring out anything that will roll the dough in. Dog-walking seems to be the best suited (err, most easily lucrative) occupation. Except that she’s pretty bad at dog-walking. There’s this neighborhood kid who seems to be good at everything + super polite and helpful…but she refuses his help and good advice time and time again.

I also like that this is a short chapter book, so you can read it over several nights to your little one (or they can read it themselves).

The Money Lesson(s): Money can be made from a variety of sources if you’ve got some determination.

Life Lesson(s): Don’t be too prideful to ask for help, especially from people who could be the key in you getting what you are tirelessly trying for. A lesson that’s good for both kids and adults to learn!

Bonus Money Activity: Share several ways (or just one) of how you earned cash as a kid. How much did you make? Were you saving up for something special?

Money Book #6: Rickshaw Girl, Mitali Perkins

Ages: 7-10 years

How to teach kids about money + beyond can start by introducing them to the economics and realities of different cultures. Ten-year-old Naima is exceptionally good at painting (specifically designs called Alpanas). She lives in a Bangladeshi village with her mother, father, and younger sister. Unfortunately, even though they make little money, she can’t use her talents to earn money for the family because she is a girl. The father makes a living by pulling a rickshaw all day. In order to get into the profession, he had to first purchase the rickshaw. But since they have very little, he’s making payments on it.

One day Naima gets the rickshaw into an accident, threatening their entire livelihood.

Bonus Money Activity: On one rickshaw drive Naima’s, father makes is 3 taka. How much is that in US dollars? What is the US minimum wage, and how does that compare with what Naima’s father made?

Money Book #7: The Lemonade War, Jacqueline Davies

Age Range: 7-10 years

I absolutely adored this book.

Jessie and her brother, Evan, love each other. Deep down. And usually they function well as a brother/sister unit. But when Evan finds out that his very intelligent sister is going to be skipping ahead to his own grade, his bad emotions come out of nowhere.

They begin selling lemonade together, and end up starting an all-out lemonade war due to lots of miscommunication that escalate things (gee, that never happens in real life!). And who wins? The person who makes a profit of $100 by the end of the week.

The Money Lesson(s): One of the great money lessons in this book is how it’s geared towards making big business concepts understandable in terms of something your tween gets — a lemonade stand. So, they learn about things like Underselling, Value-Added, Profit Margin, and Franchises. An overall highly valuable money lesson is how to take an idea you have to make money, and see it through. These two really know how to implement, and that’s where the rubber meets the road.

Life Lesson(s): I think one of the best life lessons in this book that isn’t necessarily pointed out is that each person, no matter what their skills or capabilities, can bring valuable assets to the table. Jessie is a whiz when it comes to math, calculations, and ideas for how to increase profits. Evan is more of a people person, which is hugely important in a business.

Bonus Money Activity: If you were going to open a lemonade stand, who would you appoint to the different positions? For example, who in your family would be good at advertising for the business? Who would be good at counting the money? Where would you locate your lemonade stand? Start to think about these questions.

Money Book #8: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Grace Lin

Age Range: 8-12 years

In this jade-gem of a book, Minli and her family live very meagerly (poor according to American standards), but they have what they need. Though yes, just barely. The mother is always discontented with their circumstances. Her daughter is quite content, listening to her father’s stories are night, but she knows that her mother is not and she knows they have to work to the bone for the little they have.

So Minli decides to take some of the information from these stories and seek these people out so that she can change her family’s fortunes.

The Money Lesson(s):  This is a beautifully written tale about greed, humbleness, dragons (yes, there are dragons!), and learning to be thankful with what you have.

Life Lesson(s): Being thankful with what you have, and feeling like you have “enough” is the secret to happiness. There’s also a strong lesson here about helping others along their journey, and accepting help from others along the way.

Bonus Money Activity: Ask your child these follow-up questions to what they’re reading:

Minli and her family have very little money and very few possessions. Yet they have everything that they need. List out at least 4 needs that people must have in order to survive (a home, rice to eat, fields to plant a crop in and harvest, water, clothes to wear, each other’s company).

Now from the list of needs you made, write down what Minli and her family have in order to meet those needs. For example, if you list “water”, you could write that she and her family go to the well to get the water that they need.

The only money Minli’s family has are the two copper coins given to Minli when she was a baby. And she spends one of these copper coins on a goldfish from some man who was selling them. Her mother is furious about this. Why do you think that is? What else could Minli have spent this precious money on?

Money Book #9: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Money (American Girl), Nancy Holyoke

Age Range: 9-12 years

If you’re looking for money education geared towards young girls that has a cosmo-girl feel to it, this is your book. I particularly love the guidance on how to not only start up a business, but how to figure out your actual profits and not just your overall intake (something would-be biz owners at any age need to hear). I also dig the 101 money-making ideas in the back.

Overall, the book was a little too shopping-happy for my liking for kids (example: for a typical money moments day they include things like noticing another teen has a purse that costs more than someone’s car and determining that she’s stuck-up, meeting up with teen friends at the mall after school, etc.). To be fair though, there is a chapter on Shopping that goes into the value of needs versus wants, six ways not to buy, etc.

The Money Lesson(s): This is an entire guide about money, so there are many. The list includes being a smart shopper, starting up a business, running a business, and saving money.

Life Lesson(s): Once again, it’s not a book really set up for one particular lesson or even two. However, one that caught my eye was how to negotiate with your parents to raise your allowance.

Money Book #10: Lawn Boy, Gary Paulsen

Age Range: 8-12

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: financial limits and boundaries breed creativity. In this case, being a broke kid bred a whole business!

Lawn Boy is a pretty great book about a kid who started an entire lawn-mowing business − complete with workers − all because his parents didn’t have enough money to help him buy a new bike inner tube.

While this book is bent towards economics, it’s also great for making entrepreneurship seem a bit more accessible. It gives your kiddo a look into how another kid their age filled a demand for a service, and in the meantime, earned lots of money.

The Money Lesson(s): Get this book for your kiddo for the business and entrepreneur lessons. However, warn your kid about the use of penny stocks and investing their money with random people. Yes, Lawn Boy makes a small fortune when his stockbroker neighbor-turned business manager invests his money into penny stocks. But that’s not likely to happen.

Life Lesson(s): Keep your eyes open for opportunities. And sometimes? It comes in the form of work. A lot of work.

Bonus Money Activity: Think about yourself trying to start a lawn mowing business. What would you need to purchase in order to get started? How would you come up with that money to begin the business?

Money Book #11: Lunch Money, Andrew Clements

Age Range: 8-12

Greg Kenton has a mind and an eye for earning cash. You could say he’s a little money-crazy. When he figures out that all of his friends and schoolmates carry around extra quarters with them − for things like ice-cream sandwiches, cupcakes, neon pens, pencils, and other things to buy at school − he knows he needs to cash in on it in order to help him make his fortune.

The book follows his entrepreneurial journey as he navigates selling first toys, then self-made, mini-comic books to his students. Along the way he figures out how to mass-produce, he comes up against a fierce competitor, and tough school regulations against selling things where learning should be the ultimate goal.

The Money Lesson(s): I like how this book takes a subject that can be very difficult to wrap your head around − entrepreneurship and starting up a small biz − and makes it accessible to kids and adults alike. Most things are addressed in a completely non-intimidating way, such as trademark issues, creation, marketing, figuring out a solid audience to market to, earning money, gross earnings versus profits Greg gets to pocket, etc. However, the book does not get into a bit more complex subjects like taxes on earnings.

Life Lesson(s): There’s an underlying message here of learning how to read things for yourself, analyze them, then stick up for what you believe in. This happens when Greg and his competitor find out that even though they’re told they cannot sell products to kids in school, they point out the huge amount of advertisements and products being sold to the kids everyday (such as Coke in the vending machines, and books through the scholastic school program). Greg, his competitor, and a teacher end up going over the regulations and then presenting their side at the school board meeting.

Bonus Money Activity: Greg’s idea to create miniature comic books and sell them to kids is pretty unique. Ask your child if they wanted to make some extra money, what are three ways they could start doing so?

Money Book #12: Better than a Lemonade Stand!, Daryl Bernstein

Age Range: 9-13 years

I love the fact that this book was written by a 15-year old. How cool for your kid to see that!

There are 55 different business ideas for kids that go well beyond just the lemonade stand. I also love the fact that sprinkled throughout the book are real life examples of kids who took this guy’s advice (he originally wrote the book in 1992) and started their own businesses.

There’s a lot of positivity in this book, and I’ll have to warn you that you may not agree with all the advice spouted off by the then-15 year old in the beginning of the book. Examples include, “When you earn your own money, it’s yours to spend as you wish…[i]f you prefer to buy loads of candy, go ahead!” And you might want to reinforce the idea of charity against his statement of, “When I see a need, I charge a fee to fill it.”

Then again, getting to read a book from a child who is so confident with money, business building, gleaning life lessons from mistakes, and asking for the sale is an awesome role model for your own child.

The Money Lesson(s): Your child will definitely understand what start-up costs are after reading this book, as each of the 55 ideas comes with a list of what they’ll need to get the biz up and going. The crucial role of advertising, along with tons of ideas for how to, is discussed. Each idea also comes with an example of how much to charge, as well as ways to cut down on costs and increase your profits as you move along. Lots of other nuggets like “the less you spend on supplies, the more you make!”, collecting some money upfront so that you have the funds to purchase supplies, and small details to get repeat customers (like bringing along a little bell toy to leave in a bird’s cage after cleaning it so that every time the customer hears the bell they’ll think of you in a sweet way and want you to come again).

Life Lesson(s): Daryl really reinforces the idea that when you make a mistake or fail you can use the lessons as fodder for your next business. I love this “keep going” attitude.

Money Books for Kids Aged 10-13 years

Money Book #1: The Toothpaste Millionaire, Jean Merrill

Ages: 10-12

Originally published in 1972, this book takes place in an era when many authors, including this one, talked about things like race/age/sex discrimination. So just a heads up!

What I liked about this book for your Money Rookie is that it takes the idea of earning money through manufacturing and makes it a very tangible subject. In fact, this line from the book pretty much sums up why I’m recommending it: “As I mentioned before, math isn’t my favorite subject. But I think everybody should take a course in toothpaste.”

A child, appalled by how expensive toothpaste costs at the store, knows he can make his own for a very, very small fraction of the cost. So he does. And with the help of his friends and his math teacher, works his way up to opening several toothpaste manufacturing facilities. Apparently the US is hungry for $0.15 tubes of toothpaste!

The Money Lesson(s): One lesson is an overall introduction into the manufacturing business (as in how a product is made, some of the costs of production that go into the overall price, price wars with other brands, etc.). So it’s taking lessons your child may have learned running a lemonade stand as a pre-tween and using some real-world examples to teach them the lessons now.

Life Lesson(s): The main character, Rufus, gets a lot of help and ideas from friends, families, and his teacher. I think this is an extremely important lesson, as we’ll all get where we’re going a lot faster (and help others get where they’re going a lot faster) when we let others help us.

Money Book #2: Payday, Kathryn Beaton

Ages: 10-13

If you’re looking for some foundational money lessons for your Money Apprentice, then this is your book. However, this book reads more like a textbook (albeit a very juicy one if you’re into learning about money) than a regular read.

The author takes your child through money concepts such as higher-paying jobs usually mean you need more education, common paycheck deductions and why they happen, health insurance co-pays, and some of the more logistical, but basic-for-an-adult-in-the-real-world, stuff that will untangle children’s natural confusion about how money works.

A note for parents: this book is heavy on the concept of getting an allowance that is tied with your age/the complexity of chores you can complete. It also says that the average allowance given to kids is between $5-$10/week. So make sure you’re cool with this before unknowingly giving some ammo to your kids to potentially raise their allowance (yes, the book also suggests negotiating with parents for extra allowance; however, they pair this with taking on more work around the house to justify the request)!

The Money Lesson(s): This book reads kind of like an 80s educational reference book, so the money lessons are vast. Aside from the obvious ones they tackle (budgeting, paycheck, earning money, shopping wisely), they also brush on negotiating for higher pay (or higher allowance, in this case), the necessity of health insurance, why older kids in the family might receive more allowance than the younger ones, money is negotiable, becoming an NFL player is not necessarily a life plan, etc.

Money Book #3: Seventeen Against the Dealer, Cynthia Voigt

Ages: 12+

Your child may have thought about wanting to start a business, or shown some interest in running a lemonade stand. For me and my friend, it was starting a bean bag business (not much demand in them…nor supply, for that matter).

Great! Have them read this book. It’s actually Book #7 in a series; however, I didn’t read the other ones before it and thought the story worked well on its own. Dicey Tillerman sets her eyes on opening a boatyard business where she’ll craft boats for a living.

The problem? While she has a little bit of money to start, she doesn’t have a lot of business sense and she doesn’t even have a ton of boat-making experience. Of course business sense can be picked up as you go (*cough* not that I would know ANYTHING about that).

Your child can read along her journey as she makes decisions of which she suffers from consequences later, as well as subtracts out expenses from her checkbook.

The Money Lesson(s): In business, you need to have contracts with the people you are serving to protect both you and them. Having enough money in the bank to pay six months’ rent + utilities is woefully inadequate when starting your own business and being unsure of where the money is going to come from. Having more than one income source “stream” is very helpful for when your other income streams aren’t doing so hot (but the bills keep coming, as they so often do). It’s important to look into business insurance so that if/when you are robbed, your ability to make money (in her case, her specialty tools needed) is not completely taken away. What you earn from business is not all the money you get to take home thanks to operating costs + fees.

Life Lesson(s): There are lots of life lessons in this book. My favorites include the need to have Plans B-D at least, not trusting complete strangers with your money, and everyone pitching in to help each other out.

Well, there you have it – a huge list of good to great money books to stock your child’s reading list. Plus a ton of ideas for bonus money activities to go along with many of the books!

Children's Books on Financial Literacy – How to Save Money

If you’re like me, then you like to prime your kids for the next phases in their lives through books. And books are an excellent way of introducing new concepts to them, peaking their interest, or diving much deeper into a topic you want them to explore.

While my little 21-month old is more into the realm of potty-training + identifying colors in books, yours is likely ready to tackle some of the money issues − and specifically, how to teach children to save money − you’d like to pass onto them.

So today, we’re going to do just that by offering a curated list of books to teach children to save (yes, kids save money! Atleast they can…).

Saving Money Book #1: The Ant and the Grasshopper, Amy Lowry Poole

Ages:  4+ years

This is a twist on the classic Aesop’s fable, where the ants consistently, and without hesitation, prepare for the winter months while the grasshopper focuses on games + entertainment in the Chinese Emperor’s Summer Palace.

The Money Lesson(s): Consistent, and sometimes hard, work pays off. Preparation for tough times to come − financially or otherwise − is a good idea. That's why we want to teach children to save money!

Life Lesson(s): The ants may be super prepared for winter while the grasshopper is out in the cold, but there is something to be said for enjoying life more. The lesson here is somewhere along the lines of “work hard, but don’t forget to play hard. Play hard, but don’t forget to leave time for work.”

Bonus Money Talk Starter: Relate this lesson to something in your own household that you do throughout the year in financial preparation. For example, when my sister worked for a school bus company she did not receive a paycheck during the summer months. So, throughout the year she would need to save extra each month to make up for having no paycheck for 2.5 months. What season/item/bill do you financially prepare for ahead of time? Property taxes? Christmas? Summer Camp fees?

Saving Money Book #2: How the Second Grade Got $8,205.50 to Visit the Statue of Liberty, Nathan Zimelman

Ages: 5-8 years

I love how this book organizes such a huge task − raising a large sum of money − with a child Treasurer who makes reports. The reports break down their interesting and sometimes funny methods to raise money by the expenses and then overall profits. But it’s done in a very story-telling kind of way, not like a profit-n-loss meeting. This book is hilarious!

The Money Lesson(s): You can shoot for high money goals! Also, remember that when you sell something, not all of the money you bring in is actually profit. There are expenses you incurred that you need to account for to come to your profit number.

Life Lesson(s): Have a big idea − like checking out the Statue of Liberty? All of your goals are doable. You just need to brainstorm and take action on your ideas for how to get there.

Bonus Money Talk Starter: What are some school fundraisers you’ve participated in the past? List them out. Now, talk about which ones were successful, and which ones were not. Why do you think some were successful and some weren’t? Which ones did your child enjoy the most?

Saving Money Book #3: Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock, Sheila Bair

Ages: 6-9 years

This book describes two twins who live very differently, and who treat their money very differently. This becomes hugely apparent when their grandfather gives them a very intriguing proposition: He’ll pay them each $1 per week to mow his lawn and wash his car. Then he’ll match whatever they have in savings. One twin cannot keep his impulse purchases at bay − broccoli-flavored gum, anyone? − and the other ends up with a sweet $512 after 10 weeks.

The Money Lesson(s): Aside from ‘you need to have a grandfather who will match your savings from mowing his lawn and washing his car, dollar for dollar’ (ha!)? Saving money is wise for two reasons. Number one, you can afford more quality-of-life changing items. And number two, because your savings grows through interest (and through matches you can score).

Life Lesson(s): Don’t judge a person by their outside achievements. The beginning of this book is interesting because it sets up the twins in that one is a winner, and the other one is a loser. But it turns out the “loser” twin knew his stuff when it came to saving money.

Bonus Money Talk Starter: Ask your kiddo to describe a time that they purchased something and felt really bad about it afterwards. Tell them it's called “buyer's remorse”, and that sometimes it happens to adults as well. Share your own story of buyer's remorse with them.

Saving Money Book #4: Less than Zero, Stuart J. Murphy

Ages: 6-10 years

In a little penguin’s world, the currency is clams and the thing to have? An ice scooter (costs 9 clams). Of course, there are other temptations along the way – the Ice Circus, Sardine Fishy Treats, and Fishy Fries.

This book clearly demonstrates both a savings goal, as well as what it means to go down to “less than zero” (owing others money).

The Money Lesson(s): You can go into debt with people, and that’s what happens when you take out a loan. Also, temptations will always show up when you have a savings goal; it’s your decision what to choose to spend your money on.

Life Lesson(s): Be kind and honest – when someone loses their money and you find it, be sure to attempt to give it back to them. It might be their last “clam”!

Bonus Money Talk Starter: Ask your kiddo about trendy things that lots of kids are buying right now. Then ask them about a trend in the past that was “all the rage”, but died out (for example, you don't still have your slap bracelet, do you Mama Bear? Does your kiddo think it's smart to spend money on items that become uncool so quickly?

Saving Money Book #5: Start Saving, Henry!, Nancy L. Carlson

Ages: 5-8 years

After weeks and months of mindless spending, Henry the mouse sets his eyes on a Super Robot Dude. The cost? A whole $30. His allowance per week is just $5. That’s when the idea that he can save up his allowance from week to week dawns on him.

Fun aside: does anyone else here remember those giant jawbreakers from our childhood?

The Money Lesson(s): Life keeps happening, despite your savings goal. So, you need to keep coming back to it no matter how far away it might seem. You’ll get there, one day!

The Life Lesson(s): I like how Henry makes the realization at the end that even though he got what he wanted, he’s just going to start saving more money from now on because you never know when you’ll need the cash.

Bonus Money Talk Starter: Talk to your child about a savings goal that they have that would cost more than their weekly/bi-weekly/monthly allowance. Ask your child if they would like to set aside a certain amount of money each allowance to put towards it. See how they're feeling.

Saving Money Book #6: Anna & Solomon, Elaine Snyder

Ages: 4-8 years

This is a heart-warming book about a Jewish couple who decides it’s in their best interest to leave Russia due to persecution.

What I like about their savings goal – to send the husband to America and establish a business, then send money back for her ticket – is wrapped around both earning money from their talents, as well as a goal with real life consequences.

This isn’t just about saving up for a new ice scooter!

What’s endearing is that Anna actually sends her younger brother, her older brother, and her mother before she uses the money her husband sends for her own ticket. While her husband is disappointed, each time he goes back to work and earns/saves up for another ticket.

Eventually, all are reunited.

Pssst: this is a true story!

The Money Lesson(s): Sometimes you save up for really fun and non-necessary items, like a video game, or a new robot. And other times? You save up for very important, life-altering things, like a ticket so that your family can be reunited with you. Also, once you’ve successfully saved up for one goal, you can just start right in on the next one. And the next one.

The Life Lesson(s): Life takes patience. Getting what you want can take a lot of patience. Keep at it – short-term sacrifices can oftentimes lead to long-term happiness and stability.

Bonus Money Talk Starter: Share a time that you saved money as a family for something very important — more so than a want, something that was a need.

Saving Money Book #7: Just Saving My Money, Mercer Mayer

Ages: 4-8 years

Little Critter wants a new skateboard because his old one has bit the dust. So his father asks him to save up for it. The little guy comes up with different chores he can do around the house for money – with varying degrees of success – and finally his mason jar is so full that he needs to open a savings account!

I like how this book takes your child through the process of first saving money in a jar, and then transitioning to a savings account at a bank.

The Money Lesson(s): You can earn money to put towards a savings goal. Also, you can choose to either save your money in a jar, or at a bank.

The Life Lesson(s): It’s okay to change your mind! Just like Little Critter did at the end.

Bonus Money Talk Starter: Talk to your kiddo about the positives and negatives of saving money in a mason jar/piggy bank versus saving money in a savings account.

Saving Money Book #8: Mamá’s Birthday Surprise, Elizabeth Spurr

Ages: 8-9 years

I love the details of Mexican culture in this book, as well as the concrete savings goal this family has and sees through.

Three children and their hard-working mother – working, going to college – live in Glendale, CA. After a large earthquake, her mother was taken in by her rich Uncle in Guadalajara, and often recounts his many luxuries and the goodness of life there. She married an American, who took them to California. Unfortunately, he died in a car crash.

The mother wanted to return on a visit to Mexico and bring her family to meet her Uncle. To save up for the trip, they have a piggy bank on top of the fridge that they affectionately named Jamón.

Follow along as several life events, such as job loss, coincide with the kids saving up all their earnings on the side so that they can surprise their mother with a birthday gift – enough money to pay for all four plane tickets to Guadalajara.

I love all the details on Mexican culture!

The Money Lesson(s): Kids can earn + save up enough money to actually make a difference to a real-life situation. That's empowering! This book also briefly mentions life insurance from the death of her husband. Also, because of what they found out happened to the Uncle, it's a good thing for them to understand that money can come and go.

The Life Lesson(s): Have faith in your parents. Sometimes they tell stories that aren't true with your benefit in mind. And other times? They're telling the truth, even if it might not seem like it at first.

Bonus Money Talk Starter: Since your  kiddo will learn that the once-rich Uncle loses everything, now's the perfect time to discuss with them the need for emergency funds. Save money during the good times, so that you have it in the bad times.

Saving Money Book # 9: Not Your Parents’ Money Book, Jean Chatzky

Age: 10+ years

I really like how the various subjects of this book – making, saving, and spending your own money – are led by actual kids’ questions that Chatzky surveyed from around the U.S.

Let’s be honest: kids are real! They want to know ways to earn money that don’t have to do with babysitting, or they confess that their parents have a rule that if they receive $10 in one day they’re not allowed to spend it all that day (good rule).

Chatzky advises your child to save 10% of all of their income for life and shows them the breakdown of how this would land them over a million dollars (if they invest it as well) by retirement. Not so bad. I wish I had started when I was a teen!

She dives into the difference between simple and compound interest, why you want to use a bank instead of your mattress to stash your savings, and lots more.

A section I particularly like in the book? Is when she breaks down incomes from common job types. Not necessarily related to savings, but eye-opening for your child, anyhow (and, let’s face it, you need money to save money!).

Another favorite? The chapter on “Why does money make people so crazy?”

Bonus Money Talk Starter: This book is different from the others as it reads more like a kids' money textbook (but a fun one). So you could ask your kiddo what questions they have after reading through everything.

Children's Books about Coins

If you want children's books specifically about coins, I would recommend the following from above: 

What are your favorite kids' stories that teach children to save money? Please leave them in the comments below!

Money books for kids to help me start my kid learning about money (definitely important life skills for kids)! I love how she breaks it down by age and money topic, so like books for children, books for kids preschool, chapter books for kids, books for preteens, etc. These are awesome stem books, and she includes children’s educational activities that go along with each book. Math books for kids | financial literacy activities #lifeskills #booksforkids #money

Teaching Money Skills: Let Your Child Leave a Tip for a Waitress

Teaching money skills starts at home. Let me show you a simple lesson – how to leave a tip for a waitress – that you can add to your child’s money life skills.

I just love teachable money teaching moments where teaching money skills to your child just happens naturally.

You know, the moments that pop up in everyday life that are just too ripe for the taking to impart a lesson to your child?

Though they’re normally spontaneous – like when the checkout person forgets to scan something on the bottom of your cart and you show your child what it means to be honest, or when a too-good-to-be-true offer comes on the tv and you sit down with your child + a calculator to show them that “just pay extra shipping & handling” means you’re basically paying for the second product (a product you didn’t want two of, anyway).

But, you can also plan a few of them ahead of time by thinking through some typical things your family does in a week or month, such as dining at a restaurant, and the moments that will likely pop up.

Use Your Next Restaurant Trip for Teaching Money Skills

I just love it when real life meets theory. When you can do the two together – both teach your child in advance + actually have them do it in real life – then you’ve got a winner of a lesson.

I want you to seize your next restaurant trip with your family (dine-in) for a teachable money moment: how and why to tip a waitress.

In fact, you can set it up so that your child either tips the waitress themselves, or decides on how much to tip them and uses your money to do so!

But before you do so? Let’s cover the theory part.

Restaurant Tipping Prep-work

You’ve likely got a little prep-work to do here to get your child ready to tip a waiter/waitress. Some are just conversations you can have, while others are little activities you can do to prep them for what they’ll do on your next restaurant trip.

Here are some suggested conversation topics to have ahead of time:

  1. How Waiters/Waitresses are Paid in the United States: Let’s outline a conversation you can have. “There are some professions in the United States where people are paid a very small wage by the company/restaurant itself, and make the majority of their pay based on their performance. These professions are normally in the service industry, where someone is serving something to someone else. A waiter/waitress makes very little money each hour. Under federal law, the minimum cash wage payment is $2.13/hour. Some states make employers pay more than this, but no employer can pay less.” (Pssst: it actually turns out that tipped wages must equal that of minimum wage, or the employer has to ante up to make up the difference…but you can keep things simple at this point).
  2. What is a Tip?: A tip (aka, gratuity) is an optional payment you make to an individual on top of the bill. The amount that you give can be based off of different factors, with the primary one being that you were given good service.
  3. Do you Tip Pre-Tax Amount, or Post-Tax?: You typically tip based on the pre-tax amount…but honestly, most people (myself included) forget this and just tip based off of the total amount at the bottom of the receipt. Could be a good conversation to have.
  4. Do you Tip on Pre-Discount Amount, or Post-Discount Amount?: Generally speaking, when you use a coupon at a restaurant, you should tip on the pre-discounted amount. Think about it – the server is putting in the same amount of work.
  5. Dine-In Vs. Takeout Tipping: What happens if you dine-in versus pick up an order of food – do you need to tip the pick-up? Tipping gets a little shady sometimes, so it’s good to answer these questions for your kids with an eye towards both common etiquette and your own values. The article above looks at this from various angles (fyi: it’s got some language in it, so don’t send your kiddo directly over!).
  6. How Do You Identify Good Vs. Bad Service?: Again, part of this is your judgement call, and what you value. Do you value and compensate for speedy service? If your order isn’t right, is it the waiter’s fault or do you not reflect this in the tip? Do you tip 20% regardless because of the low amount waiters are paid? Answer these questions for yourself before talking to your child about what you consider good versus bad service, and how you adjust your tip accordingly.

Here are some suggested activities to have them do ahead of time to make teaching money skills easier:

Compare the Average Waitress Hourly Earnings with Hourly Minimum Wage

To give your child some perspective plus understanding for why you tip a waiter/waitress, you might want to have them research what the federal (and maybe even your state’s) tipped wages minimum is versus what the federal minimum wage is.

To give you a reference point for a good money conversation, the federal tipped wage minimum is $2.13/hour, and the federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour.

Note: Again, I’d like to mention that employers have to actually make up the difference in tips + minimum tipped wage received so that waiters/waitresses receive the equivalent of the federal minimum wage. Whether or not you want to go into this level of detail is up to you and where your child’s at. If they’re ready to get a job of their own soon? Then this could be a good discussion to have.

Practice Calculating Tips on a Few Restaurant Bill Scenarios

Ideally, you would have a few old restaurant receipts to do this with. But no worries if you don’t! Just throw a few scenarios to your child and hand them a calculator.

Here’s three scenarios for you to tweak to make your own:

  • Restaurant Experience #1: You and your friends go out to eat at your local restaurant. Everything goes pretty well, but you do notice that the waitress forgets to refill your drink order. She also accidentally gives you the wrong order from another table. The total bill is $43.14, before taxes. How much tip do you leave?
  • Restaurant Experience #2: You and your family go out to eat for a nice, long, Saturday brunch. It’s a restaurant you don’t normally go to, and it’s actually more expensive than you guys usually spend. The service is very good, and the food is quite yummy! The total bill comes to $69.06 after tax, and $65.00 before tax. How much tip do you leave?
  • Restaurant Experience #3: You and your family go to a restaurant, and your Mom has a $15-coupon she uses. The service and food are pretty good, and you guys all have a good time. The bill comes to $35.00 after the coupon is used. The total before the discount is $50.00. How much tip do you leave?

Game Time: Have them Tip

Now that you’ve done some prep-work to get your child ready to tip, it’s time to actually let them do it!

You can let your child in on the tipping process in a number of ways – choose what makes you most comfortable:

  • Give them Full Control: Ready to give your child full control over the tipping of your next restaurant experience? Go for it! If the tip is too much or too little, it’s up to you whether or not you’ll fix it with the wait staff.
  • Let them Decide How Much of Your Money will be Tipped: You can also let them do the decision-making and calculating for how much the tip is for, and then you leave the actual tip.
  • Let them Pay for the Tip Out of their Pocket: You can let them know they get to leave the tip, but that they also must do so out of their own money.

Tools to Use for Calculating the Tip

I wanted to leave you with one final resource – a few different options to give your child for actually doing the tip calculation.

Your child can use one of the following:

  • Good ‘old paper and pen
  • Calculator on their smart phone (or yours)
  • Have them download a free tip app to their smart phone (or yours)

So, what do you think – are you ready to let your child leave a tip? I’d love to hear about your experience.

I never thought of tipping at a resturant as teaching money skills to my kids. Definitely going to try this mama bear's money teaching idea to see if my kiddos catch on! G teaching money skills, | money teaching | learning money | money lessons | teaching money activities | how to teach money | teaching kids money | teaching life skills | teaching | kids | parents | parenting | #teachingmoneyskills, #moneyteaching #learningmoney #moneylessons #teachingmoneyactivities #howtoteachmoney #teachingkidsmoney #teachinglifeskills #teaching #kids #parents #parenting

Banking for Kids: Create a Family Banking Day

Are you trying to teach banking for kids? How about general money management? One of the best ways to normalize banking in your household is to establish a family banking day.

One of the ways to teach banking for kids is to normalize the banking process to them.

I mean, up to this point, they’ve likely gotten used to putting coins and dollars into a money jar. Perhaps they keep some of their dollars in a wallet or a purse.

But the bank? It’s probably just a place where they see their money disappear to – a few times a year, at that.

Banking is going to become a big part of their lives as they get older. So, let’s talk about family finances, particularly how to establish a family banking day to help them establish their own healthy banking habits.

What is a Family Banking Day?

Everyone needs to go to the bank, at some point.

It might not be often – thank goodness for things like direct deposit!

But at some point, you’ll need something. In fact, even though I haven’t been to the bank this entire year, last week I needed to go and get some business checks so I could pay my estimated quarterly taxes to the IRS.

It was the perfect time to take my almost-3-year-old.

What if, instead of avoiding the bank like the plague, you establish a family banking day – a day when the whole family does a little field trip on the way home from work/school and everyone takes care of their banking needs at the same time?

This would help out with several areas of teaching your kids money management skills. For starters, your kids would watch you do banking, and get comfortable with that. Not only that, but because you are consistently taking time to get to the bank and take care of things, you are showing your child that money management is a priority to you.

Secondly, your child would have more opportunities/cues to put their money into their savings account. Which means more might actually make it there.

And thirdly, it’s a fun family tradition. Maybe not every time. But anytime you can have a reason to get everyone in the same car and go on a little trip together is an opportunity to bond. That’s a win, in my book!

Different Lessons to Teach them Around this Day

Doing this will naturally bring up some great teachable moments for you.

I’d like to point out several ways to use these days as money lessons for your child.

  • How to Correct a Banking Mistake (and question authority, respectfully): Banking mistakes happen. And yes, I was the 13-year-old who went into a bank and showed them their mistake! Long story short: I noticed I was $93 short in my checking account when I was a teen. And there was NO WAY I had spent that money. So, I headed to the bank immediately. The banker was nice enough to sit down with me, condescendingly explaining that people – especially kids – overspend on their accounts all the time. I asked her to look again, and behold, she found that someone else’s check for $93 had mysteriously been taken out of MY account!
  • Money in Savings Tends to get Spent Less than Money in Your Wallet: You might want to talk to your child about how putting money into a savings account, where it takes several days to move it to checking and get to it, means the money doesn’t get spent as easily. In fact, they might experience that as they get better about saving.
  • Change Matters Too: Periodically have your child roll up the family’s change jar using coin wrappers you get from the bank. Then deposit them into the family’s savings account, your own, or your kids’ – your choice! This shows your child that coins really do add up.
  • Compound Interest is Pretty Cool: As your kid gets more and more comfortable putting money into a bank and seeing savings account statements (either online or on paper), they’ll start to notice things. Like, maybe they notice they’re getting paid for their money. That’s an upgrade from a money jar! Something you’ll want to point out to them is that not only are they getting paid for their money, but their interest earnings are earning them money as well. And if you’re not comfortable explaining compound interest? Asking a bank personnel to explain it to your child is a great idea.
  • You Can Check Your Balance at the ATM: Show them that they can check their account balance at the ATM on the receipt, or online, or by asking a bank teller.
  • Periodically Change Passwords: Now’s a great time to teach your child the need to periodically change their online account passwords.

Alright – so how do you set up banking for kids through a Family Bank Day?

How to Start a Family Banking Day

Here’s what you’ll need to do to start this tradition:

  • Schedule a Day: Choose one day a week/bi-weekly/month where everyone gets to update their banking needs by physically going to the bank or an atm to make deposits, transfers, etc. It’s best if you put it on your calendar in your family command center so that everyone knows when they’ll need to be ready for it.
  • Explain to Your Child What They Can Do at the Bank: You’ll want to explain to your child all of the things they can do at the bank, by explaining all of the things that you do at the bank. You know, make deposits, general account maintenance, set up online banking, associate your accounts together, etc.
  • Get Everyone a Bank Account: It’s hard to do banking if your child doesn’t have a bank account! Your first family banking day is the perfect opportunity to open a savings account for them.
  • Take Turns Doing Your Banking: You guys can all stand in line, or line up at the ATM (try for less busy times if there will be multiple transactions). Each person gets to take their turn making deposits or withdrawals, as needed.
  • Take Stock of Your Account Balances: Remind your child that it’s a great opportunity to see how their savings account is growing.

Bonus: since your kids know that a family banking day is scheduled into each week, every other week, or each month, then they’ll start to learn to plan some of their money handling needs out ahead of time.

How to Keep Up the Family Banking Day

It’s likely you won’t have chores to do at the bank every other week, or even every month.

And that’s okay. In fact, some of your family banking days might just be you driving by and when you get close, asking if anyone has any banking needs to take care of today.

If the consensus is “no”, then just keep on truckin’.

I’ll give you a list of ideas for things you can do at the bank, in case you want to go each time, no matter what (yes, I know that many of these things can be done online as well):

  • Roll up change and deposit it.
  • Order new checks.
  • Open someone a new bank account.
  • Close down an old bank account and move the money over.
  • Take care of business banking needs.
  • Get change for things you need to pay cash for.
  • Use the ATM.
  • Open up a savings account for your family savings goal.

Other variations you can do: choose a family digital banking day, where everyone learns how to use their bank’s app to deposit checks and views their statements online, from home. These things certainly aren’t going away, so it’s good practice for them.

Also, don’t be afraid to make several of your family banking day trips ATM trips, with you guys depositing and withdrawing on different accounts as needed.

Remember, banking for kids is all about normalizing the banking process for them – something Family Banking Days will surely do.

My bank offers checking accounts for those who do banking with kids. I'll open one up next time we go. | banking for kids | family finances | field trip ideas | managing money | money kids | kids money management | learning money | teaching kids | teaching children | money activities for kids | money saving plan for teens | routine for kids | #bankingforkids #familyfinances #fieldtripideas #managingmoney #moneykids #kidsmoneymanagement #learningmoney #teachingkids #teachingchildren #moneyactivitiesforkid #moneysavingplanforteens #routineforkids https://www.moneyprodigy.com/banking-for-kids/

Get Family Chores Done with a Family Chore System

Do you have a family chores system set up? Let me help you do that, or tweak the one you’ve got.

In the world of chores, there are personal chores/responsibilities, and then there are family chores.

Personal chores are cleaning up things that personally benefit yourself or things you’re personally responsible for. Like cleaning up your room, organizing your closet, putting your shoes away when you come home, ironing your shirt for that job interview.

Family chores include tasks that contribute to the overall good of the household and, in some way, to each family member. Family chores are also known as house chores. This could be cleaning up the living room area, wiping down the kitchen counters, and loading up the dishwasher after a meal.

One of the keys to a successful family? Is dividing up the family chores + ensuring each person takes responsibility for their personal ones.

Because if you don’t have each member of the family contributing towards the household duties on top of taking care of their own, then chances are, you’ll build up resentment. (And not just between kids and parents, but also between partners!)

How to Create Your Family Chores System

You’re ready to either create your first family chores system, or to tweak the one you’ve got.

How exciting!

Let me outline for you what goes into a family chores system.

Step #1: Establish Your Household Chores Schedule

When are the family chores expected to be done by? Is the deadline different for everyone due to scheduling conflicts, or do you guys tackle all the chores in one fell swoop on Thursday nights or a Saturday afternoon?

You’ll want to choose your household chores schedule and stick with it as much as possible. Consistency is so important!

Step #2: Establish What Chores Each Person Gets

Choose the chores that each person will get (more on this in the sections below).

How will you rotate chores – when kids grow out of them, or weekly, or when you feel like it?

You might want to peek at my age appropriate chores list for kids, curated after surveying 179 mothers about what chores they’re giving to their kids.

Step #3: Establish an Oversight System

Have you ever seen those chore wheels – you know, the ones where you spin the wheel and whatever chore it lands on is the one you get?

I love that idea, but would like to see it used in a different way as well.

Instead of making chore choices random, make oversight choices random.

What I’m talking about is creating a Chore Oversight Wheel, with a picture of each family member at each spoke. Then when you spin it, the person it lands on is the person you will provide oversight for at the end of chores day or the task they’ve completed.

I think this is a fairer way to provide oversight – it’s not just the older sibling always looking over the younger sibling’s shoulders, and it’s not just the parent always looking over their kid’s shoulders.

And in the process of making sure big sister or Mom did the job right? Your child will undoubtedly learn better how to complete the task.

Hint: if you’re concerned about standards here, you should know two things. The first is, the chores process is a learning one. Mistakes and faulty cleaning techniques will run rampant. It’s okay. And the second is you can create some chore oversight cards with specific household chores checklist the oversight person can check off for some standards. Talk about some good prep for reviews from future bosses!

Step #4: Do Something Fun Together

I’m a proponent of having a Family Chores Day, which means that at the end of getting everything done, I think you all should do something fun together.

Don’t have time or the schedule allotment to make all the chores happen in one day? No problem. You can still choose a Family Chores Reward Day as a target/deadline for when all chores + oversight needs to be completed. If it’s done right, then the family gets to do something fun together.

Ideas for Family Chores Reward Day:

I’ve outlined how to set up a Family Chores System above, but now I’d like to talk about some important things to consider when choosing the chores you’ll be dishing out for everyone.

Choosing Chores to Keep the Family Growing

I have an entire article on chore ideas for how to choose chores to help your child grow in 5 key ways, but I’ll definitely give an overview of it here, as well. Because I think it’s so important!

If you’re going to go through the trouble of giving your children chores – getting them to do them, providing oversight, and starting all over again next chore day – then you might as well get the most learning-mileage from the experience you can, right?

Here’s the extra value you can get out of chores if you choose the right ones:

  • Teaching your child how to master a skill: Wow does this one help with self-confidence! Just think back to how proud your child was when they mastered the potty (ours just did this past summer!), or when they helped you prep dinner for the first time. Chores are no different.
  • Teaching your child how to work through a challenge: You shouldn’t just dole out chores that are simple and at the capability level of your child; I challenge you to give them chores that challenge them (and to help when needed).
  • Teaching your child how to instruct others: Don’t be too quick on passing down a chore your child has mastered. Allow them to then instruct their younger sibling on how to do it right, in turn teaching them how to instruct someone else (do you ever notice that when you have to teach someone something, you learn even more about it?).
  • Teaching your child how to be responsible for themselves: Give your child some of the chores that they’ll be responsible for for the rest of their lives, such as doing their personal laundry.
  • Teaching your child how to be a team player + team contributor: Choose chores where your child is not the main beneficiary. For example, if they clean their room, then they get a nice clean room to live in. But cleaning the living room? Well, that benefits everyone.

And one more thing before you choose chores for kids that I’d like to add: don’t forget to choose money chores as well.

Family Chores Should Include Money Chores as Well

Think about it – when your child grows up, not only will they have to do laundry, clean dishes, and cook themselves dinner. They’ll also have a whole bunch of money chores to take care of, like basic account maintenance, money management, resource management, rolling up change from the change jar, searching for discounts for items they need to buy, etc.

And while our culture is big on giving kids chores to do in prep for the real world, for some reason, we don’t consider giving them money chores as prep to the money tasks they’ll have to complete when they turn into adults.

You can change this!

Here are some Family Money Chores to pick from:

  • Roll up the coin jar to prep for depositing at the bank (you can get the coin wrappers at your bank).
  • Gather all the change from around the house + car (look in those seat cushions and don’t forget the laundry room!), then put in the family change jar.
  • Coupon clipping for commonly used household products.
  • Prepping for an annual family yard sale.
  • Researching prices for the next family trip.
  • Scanning receipts into cashback apps, like the CoinOut App (I checked – kids are allowed to do this!).

You’ve got what you need now to create a family chores system. I’d love to hear more about how chores work in your own household!

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Have You Established Your Family’s Money Values?

You may have money values of your own. But have you established your family’s money values? Let me show you why you’d want to, and how to do it.

In Re-Awaken the Giant Within, Tony Robbins says,

“We must remember that all decision-making comes down to values clarification.”

So, if being clear on our values is what’s behind our decision-making, and we have to make oooooohhhh…only about one gazillion money decisions in our lifetime, then can you see why it makes sense to clarify your money values?

But let’s take it further than that – we are, after all, wanting to shape our children’s money futures in positive ways.

Not only do you need to become clear about your own money values, but you also would be wise to create a set of Family Money Values that you can instill in your kiddos.

Doing so means that once they get to those money decision-making points in their own lives, it becomes a bit easier to choose the right thing.

Psst: The “right thing” for them will likely change as they age – you cannot control that. But you CAN control some of that inner dialogue that will happen as they choose. That’s why you want to make sure the inner dialogue has some really great information in it!

What are Your Money Values?

Values are what’s most important to you. And when you can clarify what those things are, then making decisions becomes much easier. That’s because you have actual values to measure each option against to see if it’s in line with what you want or find most important in life.

According to Tony Robbins, there are two types of values: ends and means.

End values include things like: caring, contribution, freedom, feeling like you’re making an impact, love, success, freedom, intimacy, security, adventure, power, growth, passion, comfort, health, etc.

Means values are “simply a way for you to trigger the emotional states you really desire.”

Your money values are means – they are one way (there are others) for you to get to the deeper, emotional values that you want in life, such as freedom, love, security, a feeling of impact, etc.

Think about it – we all know the saying, “money can’t buy happiness.” And this is totally true. However, there are ways that we can spend + manage our money in order to lead us towards the end values we are looking for, such as time freedom, raising a family, etc.

So, what are money values? My definition:

Money values = the rules and guiding lights you use in order to maximize your money so that it can support the life you want to live.

Let’s look at some examples of personal finance values and money values examples.

Examples of Personal Financial + Money Values

Let me give you some examples of money values to get you started identifying your own (steal ‘em if they speak to you):

  • Charitable giving/tithing
  • Saving a certain amount of money off the top of your earnings
  • Valuing people over things (Suze Orman)
  • Not stealing
  • Work ethic
  • Prioritizing purchasing experiences over things
  • Not wasting resources
  • You do/don’t “get what you paid for”
  • Financial stewardship
  • Quality over quantity, even if it costs more because it’ll last longer
  • Delayed gratification to get a bigger reward/be able to afford more
  • Responsibility for oneself
  • Financial independence

Why You’d Want to Create Family Money Values

One thing about values is that they’re very personal. Each person has a different set of values.

And even within the same set of values, one person will prioritize certain values over another.

So, why would you want to create a set of family money values (if your kid might not end up valuing the same things you do, anyway)?

As parents, we have the unique ability to imprint upon our children. Think about the family traditions you used to do as a child that you still do, even if you may not entirely know why.

I’m not saying we should brainwash our kids; but what I am suggesting is that you choose a set of family money values that you verbally share with them + regularly model for them so that they have some sort of money foundation to go back to when they need to make their own money decisions in the future.

Here's what Lauren Gallagher, PhD, school psychologist in Long Island, New York says about this in an article from Real Simple (June 2018):

“Being consistent with the language we use with our kids will help them respond intuitively to situations over time.”

It's sort of like learning algebra – they may not use algebra as adults, but just learning about it, and working through how to solve equations without knowing everything there is to know, primes them to make better decisions in the future.

As Tony Robbins says, “We need to realize that the direction of our lives is controlled by the magnetic pull of our values. They are the force in front of us, consistently leading us to make decisions that create the direction and ultimate destination of our lives.”

Make Your Financial Values List

You’ll want to come up with a list of family money values, and then not only communicate them with your family, but also start to live them in ways that your child can see.

Answer some of these questions to help you define what those values are:

  • Do you value experiences over things?
  • Would you prefer to own a higher quality item, or spending the least amount on something and putting the rest in your savings account?
  • Do you value having loads of savings as security, or do you value having loads of protection in other ways (such as insurance)?
  • Do you value your time over making money, or making money over having more time? Do you believe in a third way?
  • Do you value saving towards the future (college, retirement)? Or, do you value living in the now, and know that the money will be there when you need through grants/scholarships/etc.?
  • Do you value spending the money in the present since you don’t know how long you’ll live so that you can live your best life now?
  • Is giving money something you value?
  • Do you value giving your time to others?
  • Are you open to taking financial risks, and how risky will you go?
  • Do you value discounts over paying full price?

Once you’ve got these down, I encourage you to create a Family Money Values poster and hang it up where everyone can see it.

As you go about your normal daily and weekly activities, don’t be afraid to use your newly clarified money values to explain why you’re making a decision while you’re actually doing the deciding so that your child can see them in action.

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White Elephant Family Chore Games!

It’s chore games for the win! Let me walk you through this really fun, White Elephant Chore Game that will instantly become a fun family tradition in your home.

Chores.

Do your kids scrub off their bathroom countertops with joy, and secretly sing your praises while cleaning their rooms?

Or…do kids chores look more like rolling eyes, sarcastic remarks, and the word “survive” gets thrown around a lot?

Some parents use chore charts with reward systems attached to them – with money, stars, stickers, extra time with video games, etc. – to motivate their kids to clean up, while others expect their child to do chores without a reward because they don’t get paid to put their dishes in the dishwasher, either.

Either way, getting your child to actually DO the chores – without the amount of nagging completely overriding any benefit the household gets from the work – is difficult to do.

If you have these struggles, or if you’re just looking for a really fun new family tradition to add to your home that will also dub as a way to keep the chore gremlins at bay – you’re in the right place.

How to Make Cleaning into a Game

Before we dive into one of my fave family chore games, I want to talk a little about how to make cleaning into a game.

If you’re like me, you don’t see cleaning as a game. You don’t even see it as fun.

But, if you think this way, then how are you supposed to make it fun for your kids? They’re probably picking up on some of your mental cues about the cleaning process in general.

Don’t worry – that can be changed over time.

Aside from changing your mental outlook on chores and cleaning, you can also “gamify” the activity. Here’s a few general examples of things you can do that will also make cleaning fun for adults:

  • Escape Room Cleaning: Give each family member a specific room to clean. Add a timer – you can adjust the times based on room difficulty levels. Have your family race against the clock – sort of like when you go to an escape room and you only have 60 minutes to solve the puzzles and get the heck ‘outta dodge. If they don’t meet the buzzer? Come up with a “fun” negative consequence, like dunking a bucket of water on them (remember that Ice Bucket Challenge a few years ago? Yep. I got dunked.).
  • Musical Chairs Cleaning: Set a timer, and each time it goes off, everyone swaps tasks with the person to their right and picks up where they left off.
  • Winner Chooses the Movie: You can pair family cleaning day with pizza + a movie afterwards. The first person who gets their tasks completed – and okay’d by everyone that it’s been completed – gets to pick the movie!

And now…I’m going to walk you through something I created that has become one of my favorite chore games out there!

What is the White Elephant Family Chore Game?

I’ve come up with a pretty fun idea you’ll want to introduce into your home: The White Elephant Chore Games.

You know the regular White Elephant Gift exchange? The one where a group of people each brings a silly, unwanted, gag gift to a get together and then swapping/exchanges/stealing happen with people trying to leave with the best option?

Well, I’ve applied the same principle to chores.

Your family is going to take one of the chores they’ve been given for the week, and they’ll bring it to a fun round of White Elephant Chore Game. During this game, everyone will swap the chore they don’t want for one that they do want, with a little fun competition as everyone tries to walk away with the “best” chore.

Prep Work for the Chore Game

Before you can play this game with your family, you’ll need to do a little prep work.

For starters, do you have a chore system of some sort? Meaning, a way that chores get divvied up among your household members?

Things to Think about for Your Chore System:

  • Chore Organization System: It can be hard to keep straight who is doing what, when (or at least what each person is responsible for). Some sort of chore chart is a great way to organize which child/family member does what task, on what day, to keep everyone accountable and to keep things rolling.
  • Age Appropriate Chores for Kids: You’ll need to fill your chore chart in with chores that are appropriate for your kid’s capability level. I want to take this a step further and add that you’ll want to choose chores that will help your child learn and grow in 5 different ways – a novel chore idea!
  • Oversight System: So, how do you know when your child’s work is finished (or any family member, for that matter)? You can model the chore with your kids, then quickly look things over when they’re finished. You could create checklists for each room/chore that your child can work through. You could even have chore buddies where they check on each other’s jobs and provide some feedback before giving the “okay” that it is, in fact, completed.
  • Rewards System: This topic is highly debated, but something you’ll need to search your gut about and figure out how you want to handle. Are chores expected of your child because they are part of the household? Should kids get paid to do chores? Should you do a hybrid of rewarded and non-rewarded chores?

Whatever you choose to do, be clear about your expectations and systems with your child.

Alright, now let’s get to the really fun part!

Rules of Play for the White Elephant Chore Game

You’re about to turn family chores on its head in your household, plus create a really fun family tradition all at the same time.

You can incorporate this into your normal chore routine. Just choose one week, and play a round at the beginning of the week (or at least after chores are given but before they’re due).

Or, you can give out a new set of chores (chore card printables are included in the free kit) and use this as a way to start the chores process in your household.

In order to play this game, you’ll want to establish the following rules:

  1. Your child gets to choose one chore from their weekly/bi-weekly/daily chore list to swap.
  2. Your child will need to keep the chore a secret by writing it down on a piece of paper and sealing it in an envelope.
  3. Everyone will come together, and place their envelopes on the coffee/kitchen table.
  4. Everyone draws a number from a basket, which shows their turn.
  5. As each player’s turn comes up, they get to either choose an unopened chore envelope from the table, or steal someone else’s opened chore envelope.
  6. Whenever someone takes a newly, unopened chore from the table, they must open it and read it aloud.
  7. Once the game ends, everyone has to complete the chore they got by the deadline (you get to decide!).

I’ve got a free printable for you that will lay out all the rules, setup, plus really cute chore cards (both blank + pre-filled) to use when handing out those chores.

I can’t wait for you to try this out! Let me know how it goes.

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5 Money Activities for Kids to Involve them in Household Finances

I’ve got some great money activities for kids you can use to get your child participating in household finances (without telling them your salary).

If I had to order the top three things you can do to help your child learn to manage money, it would be this:

  1. Let them Handle Actual Money
  2. Model Good Money Strategy to Them
  3. Discuss Money with Them

Today, I want to talk about one method that will cover two of these three categories, and possibly even three.

It’s letting your child participate in your household’s finances.

And not just participate, but to contribute meaningfully to the money handling and managing in your house. The teaching  money activities I'm about to share will be doing just that.

Why You Want Your Child Involved in Household Finances

By involving your child in the household finances in meaningful ways – meaning in ways where their actions can have both positive and slightly negative consequences – you’re making the subject of money much easier to teach.

Kids care more about something when they know that it’s not a dress rehearsal. When they know that what they do matters. And when they can see the results from their own decision-making.

By involving your child in some of your household finances, you’ll both allow them to actually handle money, and model good money strategy to them (because you’ll be showing them what to do and how you do it in your household).

And you know what? This process will very likely bring up a few natural money conversations, which covers Category #3 above as well.

It’s a win-win-win.

How to Involve Your Child in the Household Finances

You don’t want to throw your child into the deep-end. Chances are, you were thrown into the deep-end of managing your own finances once you moved out from your parents, and many mothers have told me that that didn’t go so well.

Instead, you want to choose several money chores and money tasks your child can do to dip their toes into money management in your household.

These are like warm-ups for one day when they’ll be in charge of managing their own household’s finances.

Let me give you 5 ways you can meaningfully include your child in your household financial management.

Household Finance Task #1: Let them Tip a Waiter/Waitress

The next time you take your family out to eat in a sit-down setting, let one of your children tip the waitress.

Of course, you’ll need to gear them up to the process, as they likely don’t know very much about it.

Here’s an entire article about this teachable money moment.

In a nutshell, you want to prep them for the experience with some key conversations, such as why we tip in the U.S., what you consider good service vs. bad service, whether you tip pre-tax or post-tax, etc.

Once you do the prep with them, let them take control the next time you take your family out to dine in at a restaurant (provide as much oversight as you think is needed!).

Household Finance Task #2: Give them a Say Where Family Charitable Donations Go

You likely donate some money throughout the year, either in a formal way (say, 10% of your earnings), or on an ad-hoc basis (say, when you hear the Salvation Army bells around the holidays or see someone asking for money on the street corner).

Bring your child in on this act by allowing them to help you choose where part of the family’s money is going to go.

You’ll want to:

  • Come up with an amount of money that you would like to give away to a cause.
  • Decide if you want your child(ren) to have full discretion over where to donate all the money, or just part of the money. Perhaps it will be voted on by the whole family?
  • Ask them what causes interest them.
  • Include them in the research + brainstorming process. You’ll want to show them how to vet a charitable organization to make sure it’s a worthy one to funnel your hard-earned money through. Use a site like Charity Navigator to do this.

I’ve got a list of 9 kid-friendly charities they can donate to (“kid-friendly” because a small amount of money – under $12 – does some good with a tangible outcome your kids can latch onto).

Household Finance Task #3: Savings Account Shopping

Savings account interest rates are nowhere near what they were in my early 20s (a whole 5% back then!).

Still, I was very eager to switch our account at the end of last year after learning that I could get an interest rate that was over DOUBLE what my current one was.

Periodically, it makes sense to shop around to make sure that you’re getting close to the best savings account interest rate. You can show your child why they would want to do that (just put in an amount of money into this calculator, and show how much you’d earn at your current bank’s interest rate over the course of a year versus a higher one by adjusting the interest rate slider), as well as how to do the actual “shopping around”.

Household Finance Task #4: Set Up a Family Savings Goal

This has got to be one of my favorite ways to get your kids involved in household finances. Did I mention it’s also a brilliant way to model good money strategy (even if you don’t know if you’re capable of doing so)?

I’ve got an entire blog post dedicated to how to create a family savings goal, but in a nutshell, you’ll want to:

  • Invite your family into the process with a family meeting.
  • Together, choose a savings goal that will benefit each person of the family in some way.
  • Research how much this thing/experience/event will cost.
  • Brainstorm where you guys will source the money from.
  • Set up a visual savings tracker in a central location.
  • Spend the money to actually purchase the family goal!

Household Finance Task #5: Source Money

Your kids will likely love these – wait for their eyes to light up!

There are ways to source extra money from the things you already own, or from purchases you’ve already made.

Let your kids head up these two money-extraction processes:

  • Scan Receipts into this App: The CoinOut App pays you for each receipt that gets scanned in (denominations are around $0.01 – $0.22). You won’t get rich, but it’s worth it to put your kids to work making the most out of household resources.
  • Scrap Metal Cans: Your kids can be in charge of collecting all of your family’s scrap metal (cans, wire hangers, etc.) and organizing them to be taken to the scrap metal yard. Here’s an entire article about how to scrap metal for extra cash I wrote.

Household Finance Task #6: Electricity Czar

Have you ever heard of a kill-a-watt (this is the one I own)? It’s a handy-dandy gadget that let’s you measure the electricity usage of any appliance around the house (anything with a normal-looking plug).

They’re pretty fun – at least to money nerds such as myself (and probably your 10-year old).

Anyway, you can get one, and let your kid plug in each appliance to see how much electricity it uses per hour.

Once they figure that out, dig out an electricity bill, and see how much money you pay per kilowatt-hour (KWH).

Now, have them multiply the two to figure out how much one hour of use for that appliance is costing the household. Here’s detailed instructions for how to do this.

Household Finance Task #7: Find the Cheapest Gas

Your child can make a meaningful contribution to the household – something kiddos love – by being in charge of researching which gas station has the cheapest price.

Help them sign onto GasBuddy.com and look the costs up. Let them do this once a week or once a month to see how gas prices have changed, and if another station is cheaper.

Talk to them about how many miles away the gas station is, and if it’s an acceptable distance for the amount you’ll be saving.

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Chore Idea: How to Choose Chores to Help Your Child Grow

Looking for chore ideas? Before you get down to the nitty gritty of actually choosing your chores, let me show you how to choose chores that will help your child grow in 5 key ways.

You may be looking for chores for kids and wondering what types of age appropriate chores for kids you should choose.

And it’s a very valid question – in fact I think it’s so important to get guidance on, that I conducted an entire State of Kid’s Chores survey and had 179 mothers and fathers tell me what age appropriate chores they give their children.

But there’s more to this chore equation than picking “age appropriate chores for kids”.

A lot more.

And if you get it right? Then chores aren’t going to be just something to help keep your coffee table smudge-free and your bathroom counter decluttered.

Chores actually become an important vehicle for learning in your household. One that can teach your child 5 key lessons in life.

Chore Ideas: Choose Your Chores Based Off of these 5 Key Lessons to Pass Onto Your Child

So, before you make your choice of chores based on age appropriateness – definitely something you’ll need to do, but please read below first – I want to run down the 5 different lessons your child can self-discover through chores.

Because once you know the lessons you’re shooting for? Then choosing chores for your child will be much easier.

Chore Lesson #1: How to Master a Skill

You might be tempted to hand a chore off to a younger child, since your oldest has been doing it for a long time.

Or, perhaps you use a chore rotation system of some sort, so your children are constantly rotating through a set list of chores.

But if you hand off a chore too often, or too quickly, then you’re robbing your child of one beautiful thing: learning how to master something.

Mastery is how children – and anyone, really – builds self-esteem and self-confidence.

If your child is showing an interest in a particular chore, and takes some pride in their work on something, then you might think about both continuing to give them that responsibility + helping them to elevate their skill even more.

On the other hand, if your child is not-so-hot at a certain chore (and you don’t suspect it’s because they’re dragging their feet in the hopes that Mom – that’s you! – will do it herself), then continuing to give them that particular chore until they work through their frustrations and “get it right” can also significantly add to their self-confidence.

Which brings us to our next chore lesson.

Chore Lesson #2: How to Work through a Challenge

Let’s face it – we’re not all going to be amazing at each thing we do.

I can think of countless things I am not good at when it comes to blogging – such as tech, video production (I’m getting better!), image work (really getting better here!), sourcing Pinterest traffic, etc.

Your child is not going to be good at each chore they attempt. And not only attempt; they might just be plain bad at the chores you’re expecting them to do.

You want to choose chores that will challenge them beyond what they’re capable of doing right now.

I don’t suggest you do it in a way that forever frustrates them (though some frustration is ideal for getting motivation to improve something, for sure).

What I’m suggesting is to give them a chore outside of their capability level – say from the next age range up – and you completing the chore with them, side-by-side.

You won’t be doing the chore with them forever, just until they are ready to do it by themselves.

Bonus: Giving them something of a challenge will better keep their attention in the chore process (at least a bit more than they would normally!).

Chore Lesson #3: How to Instruct Someone Else

Have you ever been in a position where you needed to teach something to someone – perhaps even something you had only just learned yourself?

It solidifies your learning in a completely different way.

Your child can gain the same benefit.

So, you want to keep them in charge of a few chores that they get to instruct their younger sibling on.

This will put them in the instructor position, and they’ll learn even more about the process + about how to teach others by passing it down to someone else.

Chore Lesson #4: How to Be Responsible for Themselves

There are personal responsibilities that each of us has as humans. We have to do things like replace the toilet paper roll in the bathroom (otherwise, we won’t have toilet paper the next time!).

Your child needs to have some personal responsibility chores – the kind of responsibilities they’ll be responsible for in their adult lives.

This could be having them do their personal laundry, or put their personal laundry away. It could be having them hang up their backpack and put their shoes away as soon as they get home from school.

Hint: If you want to pay for chores, then I would suggest you do NOT pay for this category. Think about it – they won’t be paid to brush their teeth, or put their own dishes in the dishwasher as an adult. And if their only motivation to do so is an external one – getting paid – well then, they might just have a pretty grungy first apartment.

Chore Lesson #5: How to Be a Team Player + Team Contributor

It’s likely your child will join teams at work, school, and have their own family one day. They’ll have to do things for the greater good of these groups, and without necessarily getting lots of personal gain.

Choose a few chores that contribute to the greater good of the family to teach them to be team players + contribute to something outside of their own gain.

You could call these family duties.

Hint: Again, if you want to pay for chores, then I would suggest you do NOT pay for chores from this category. Think about it – you want them to be merry contributors to the greater good of people they love.

I hope I’ve opened your eyes to five amazing lessons your child can get from doing chores, so long as you pick them right. And if you’re ready now to choose your own list, then here’s that age appropriate chores list again for help.

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31+ Free Personal Finance Homeschool Resources

Need FREE personal finance homeschool curriculum? One of these 31 free homeschool resources below should cover you.

Do you homeschool your children?

Perhaps there are certain requirements you’ve got to meet when it comes to personal finance homeschool curriculum, and you want some resources to cover your bases.

Or, maybe you’ve just realized how important it is to send your child into this world with a real money education (bravo, you!), so you’re looking for some great homeschool subjects or resources that they can work through under your wing.

The other day, it dawned on me that there are lots of homeschooling parents out there on the front lines of teaching our youth about personal finance. And that it would probably make your life a lot easier if you knew where to find free personal finance homeschool curriculum.

Well, look no further for one of the most important life skills homeschool curriculum you can find!

Free Personal Finance Curriculum

I’ve got 31+ free homeschool personal finance resources for you.

And I’ve personally emailed each one to ask whether or not a homeschooling parent can sign up for their free resources as well (unless it specifically addressed this on their website – which many times it did not).

FYI: these are in no particular order, so scroll through, click around, and stay awhile!

Free Money Resource #1: Money Teach

Age Range: Grades K all the way through to Adult

Money Teach is sponsored by places like the National Endowment for Financial Education. They provide financial literacy curriculum for homeschoolers and other educational providers.

I like how you can search their lessons by the topic you want to teach (see below), the age range, the material type (activity, worksheet, visual aid, etc.), and time it will take to complete.

Topics you’ll find free lessons on:

  • Spending and Saving
  • Investing
  • Credit Cards and Debt
  • Employment and Income
  • Risk Management and Insurance
  • Financial Decision Making

Note: many of the lessons you find will be from other sites, and you’ll get a link for where to go. They currently partner with The National Endowment for Financial Education’s® (NEFE®) High School Financial Planning Program (HSFPP®), The University of Arizona’s Take Charge Today, PwC's Earn Your Future, The FDIC's Money Smart, the Mu$eum of American Finance, and Next Gen Personal Finance. For example, I was looking for a 30-60-minute activity for Grades K-6 on Credit and Debt, and one of the results is for The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Money Smart program.

Free Money Resource #2: EverFi Financial Literacy

Age Range: elementary, middle and high school students

This animated curriculum platform is trying to produce financially capable kids by making financial literacy fun again (sounds a lot like what I’m trying to do!). EverFi breaks down complex topics – such as investing to making entrepreneurship relevant – to teach your kids.

And yes, you can sign up for a free account as a homeschool teacher! You can find your school listed by state, with the title “HomeSchool” (see image for an example – here’s an educator quick start guide).

Lesson Topics include:

  • Grades 4-6: Decision Making, Income & Careers, and Savings & Investing.
  • Grades 6-8: Financial Values and Goal-Setting, Budgeting & Opportunity Costs, and Risk vs. Return.
  • Grades 7-10: Thinking Like an Entrepreneur, Building a Team and Managing a Business, and Creative an Effective Business Pitch.
  • Grades 9-12: Credit Cards and Interest Rates, Financing Higher Education, and Saving and Investing

Curriculum Alignment: They currently align with the Jump$tart Coalition’s National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education.

Free Money Resource #3: Money Prodigy

Let’s not forget about my work with kids and money!

I’ve got loads of free resources created to add some fun into those critical money lessons your child needs to learn.

Grab your free printables here:

Free Money Resource #4: Practical Money Skills by Visa

Age Range: Pre-K all the way to college

Practical Money Skills provides lesson plans and hands-on activities to help you instill good financial values and knowledge to your homeschooled children. This curriculum also offers variations of lessons with accommodations for students with special needs as well!

Each lesson, broken down by grades, comes with a Teacher’s Guide, Student Activities, PowerPoint, and Presentations.

There are way too many lessons to outline them all here; I’ll give you a sampling by listing out lessons for Grades 3-6:

  • Allowances and Spending Plan
  • Money Responsibility
  • Saving and Investing
  • Comparison Shopping

Pssst: these guys also have lots of online games, 4 free video games about money + free money comic books you can get in the mail (you don’t even pay shipping!). Here’s my Money Metropolis review – one of their games – plus money conversations to add to it for improved learning.

Curriculum Alignment: Check out how this curriculum aligns with your state’s standards here.

Free Money Resource #5: MoneySKILL®

Age Range: Middle School, High School, and College

Access 37 free modules (in both English and Spanish) with pre/post-tests that teach lots of personal finance concepts like expenses, and income, insurance, and credit.

To gain access, homeschoolers will need to select “teacher” in the registration form + explain that you’re a homeschooling parent.

Money Lessons Include:

  • Earned Income and Skill Demand
  • The Consumer Life Cycle
  • Other Deductions from Pay
  • Paying for What We Buy
  • Earned Income and Skill Supply
  • Lifetime Plan
  • Preparing to Acquire a Vehicle

Curriculum Alignments: They currently align with all national standards for personal finance curriculum in grades K-12, including the Jump$tart Coalition’s National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education.

Free Money Resource #6: NEFE High School Financial Planning Program

Age Range: Grades 8-12

The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) provides online curriculum aligned with national standards to help teens take real world concepts and apply it to financial situations.

Workbooks are also available at no cost to you if you prefer physical curriculum.

Money topics include:

  • Money Management: Manage Your Cash Flow
  • Borrowing: Use, Don’t Abuse
  • Earning Power: More than a Paycheck
  • Investing: Money Working for You
  • Financial Services: Care for Your Cash
  • Insurance: Protect What You Have

Curriculum Alignment: program content is aligned with the Jump$tart Coalition National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education, and other national academic standards related to personal finance.

Free Money Resource #7: Clay Piggy

Age Range: Grades K-6th

Through project-based interaction such as games and activities, Clay Piggy engages K-6 students to become sensibly money savvy. Aligns with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

In their own words, “Children learn the relationship of five key areas – earning, spending, saving, investing & giving through doing, collaborating with other children and making mistakes.”

Curriculum Alignment: Lessons are based on national standards in Personal Financial Education created by Jump$tart Coalition and Texas standards set by Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

*** Waiting to hear back from them if they accept homeschooling families.

Free Money Resource #8: FDIC Money Smart

Age Range: Grades K-12

Grab your four free financial literacy lesson plans, provided by the guys who make sure your savings account balance stays safe – the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). In fact, one of their goals is for youth to create positive relationships with financial institutions!

The four lesson plans are broken down by the following age groups: Pre-K through 2nd grade, grades 3-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12.

Example money lessons for Grades 3-5 include:

  • Buying Decisions
  • Setting Goals
  • Budgeting
  • Saving
  • Payment Options
  • Introduction to Investing
  • Charitable Giving
  • Exploring Careers and Income

Free Money Resource #8: H&R Block’s Budget Competition

Age Range: 14 years and older

Do you want to show your young adults how financial mistakes can have real consequences? H&R Block’s Budget Competition allows you to test these out on the “open road”, while giving your child a chance to enter for a scholarship.

This is a 10-week “online simulation tool that replicates real-world budgeting and personal finance decision-making”, available to both teachers and to homeschool educators.

Kids play by getting a regular paycheck over those 10 weeks, a checking account, and a 401(k) savings. They also must pay bills and balance everything.

Real-World Ready Rankings/Scores are determined by:

  • Behavior
  • Knowledge
  • Skill

Students can get up to a possible 400% (and can track their Real-World Ready rankings). And at the end of each semester? The top 5 students get a $20,000 scholarship!

Free Money Resource #9: Vanguard’s My Classroom Economy

Age Range: Grades K-12

This financial literacy program simulates a microeconomy, including activities like students paying rent for their desk and getting “paid” for hours spent learning.

Topics for high school students also include learning the foundations of investing money and why you’d want to purchase insurance.

Curriculum Alignment: Courses align with the Jump$tart Coalition’s National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education.

*** Waiting to hear back from them if they accept homeschooling families.

Free Money Resource #10: The Actuarial Foundation

Age Range: High School

The Actuarial Foundation provides the “Build You Future” series to allow your high schools to explore a wide range of financial concepts, from checking and savings accounts, to exploring paths to employment.

Money topics include (you can download both the student and the teacher pdfs):

  • Savings accounts/Checking Accounts
  • Taxes
  • Credit Cards
  • Loans and interest
  • Home loans
  • Bonds, stocks, mutual funds
  • Inflation
  • Path to employment
  • Making a living
  • Retirement

Curriculum: aligns with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy.

Free Money Resource #11: Compare Cards Education Center

Age Range: 6-18 years

This curriculum helps students learn the basics of building credit, what your credit entails, and using credit cards wisely.

The lesson plans are broken down by the following grades: Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5, Middle School, and High School, and 18+.

Money lessons include:

  • What Money Can Do
  • Money in the Real World
  • Middle School – Building Credit
  • High School – Intro to Credit Cards
  • First-Time Credit Card Owner
  • Basics of Investing
  • Bull and Bear Markets
  • How to Choose Stocks
  • Work of a Stockbroker
  • Other Types of Investments

Free Money Resource #12: Banzai!

Ages: Banzai Junior (8-12), Teen (13-18), and Plus (16+)

Banzai is an online platform backed by banks and credit unions to discuss how to successfully deal with real life financial dilemmas for all ages.

I contacted them specifically to ask about homeschoolers, and YES, you can sign up for an account and use their resources as a homeschooler! The only catch is, as a homeschooler, you can use their platform but you won’t be able to order their free materials.

A bit more from them:

“Teachers will sign up, creating an account. Once they're signed up, they are able to create as many classes as needed with each class having its own class code. They will have their students sign up as well (making sure to select “Students”) where they will put in a username and password and will need that class code which the teachers will give them. Once students are signed up, they will see the four different parts of the program on their page (Pretest, Life Scenarios, Game, Posttest). They will go in order completing the program. It is all online, with the booklets only need on one portion of the program (the Life Scenarios). In one setting, students can take anywhere from two to three hours to complete. If completed 30-45 minutes each day, it normally takes about a week to finish.

Students will encounter real life scenarios that show them what it's like to save and spend your money once you're on your own. They will even have a chance to save $2,000 for college in the game and know how hard it is to accomplish that.”

Curriculum Alignment: Scroll way down on this page and click on your state to see curriculum alignment with your state.

Free Money Resource #14: Saveandinvest.org

Age Range: Middle School and High School

You’ll find different money simulations, lesson plans, and games about topics covering things like the true cost of owning a car and the concept of breaking even on business ventures.

In their series Money Math for Teens, lessons teach APR, APY, and compound interest for middle and high school students.

Other money lessons include:

  • The Emergency Fund
  • Dividend-Paying Stocks
  • Opportunity Costs
  • Credit Score
  • Debt Elimination: Power Tools for Building Wealth

Free Money Resource #15: Take Charge Today

Age Range: Grades 7-12

This is free decision-based curriculum developed by the University of Arizona to help educators foster a thinking environment in regards to personal finance and decision making.

As an educator, you can access assessments, course guides, and active learning tool suggestions.

Money lessons include:

  • Introduction to Spending Plans
  • The Basics of Taxes
  • Time Value of Money Magic!

Curriculum Alignment: Lesson plans were designed, tested, and edited with university researchers, financial industry experts, and our own Master Educator Teams, and are aligned to most state and national standards.

Free Money resource #16: We the Economy

Age Range: All ages

This is personal finance education by short film!

Well, actually, it’s all about the economy – which is definitely tied to personal finance.

There are 20 free, mini-films that cover tough topics such as income wage inequality and health insurance. And there are even well-known producers and movie stars in each of the films.

Films are 5-8 minutes long.

Mini-films Include:

  • What is the Economy?
  • GDP Smackdown
  • Supply & Dance, Man
  • Lemonade War
  • A Bee’s Invoice: The Hidden Value in Nature
  • Fed Head
  • Recession
  • The Ebola Economy
  • And lots more!

Here’s a sign-up form for a limited number of free DVDs available to educators.

Curriculum Alignment: Classroom materials align with Common Core, C3, and Subject Area Standards (ELA, Social Studies, Math, Science, etc.).

Free Money Resource #17: In Charge

Age Range: High School

You’ll find 14 free lesson plans + teacher guides + presentations that discuss everything from living on your own to consumer privacy. These are targeted for teens, with additional worksheets for comprehensive learning.

Specific Money lessons Include:

  • Making Personal Finance Decisions
  • Making Money
  • The Art of Budgeting
  • Living on Your Own
  • Buying a Home
  • Banking Services
  • Credit
  • Credit Cards
  • Cars and Loans
  • The Influence of Advertising
  • Consumer Awareness
  • Saving & Investing
  • In Trouble
  • Consumer Privacy

Are you a teacher who is not comfortable teaching personal finance? This site also offers some support for you, with a free Teach Money Financial Literacy Workbook to brush up on your skills.

Free Money Resource #18: PwC’s Earn Your Future

Age Range: Grades K-12

PwC’s Access Your Potential curriculum teaches both Financial Literacy and Technology Skills (the tech skills are geared towards middle school students, fyi).

Money Lesson Include:

  • Budgeting the Bottom Line
  • Building Wealth
  • Career Exploration
  • Charitable Giving
  • Consumer Fraud
  • Creditworthiness
  • Filing a Return
  • Evaluating Financial Information
  • Income vs. Monthly Payments

Something else I love about this site/company? They offer a Career Village, where your child can get their career questions answered for free by professionals!

Curriculum Alignment: Content is aligned with Council for Economic Education standards.

Free Money Resource #19: Kids Who Discover Online

Age Range: Specific one not given

This site offers some free interactive lesson plans for science and social studies (also lots of paid lessons).

You’ll specifically want to check out the following free guides for money education:

  • KIDS DISCOVER Saving and Spending: This guide covers things like trade-offs, opportunity costs, work kids do around the world, growing human capital, etc.
  • KIDS DISCOVER Money: Your kiddos will learn about ancient forms of money, how to identify counterfeit bills, history of the U.S. Dollar, gambling/robberies, etc.
  • The Costs and Benefits of Tourism

You’ll receive a Power Vocabulary guide for each teaching guide you download, and it includes vocabulary from two different word groups – what they call “brick words” and “mortar words.” Brick words are key ideas and mortar words “hold the key ideas together”.

Aside from the teaching guides are a couple of free online money lessons include a lesson on counterfeiting money, and the topic “Economics” (lessons include: Making Choices, Goods, Services, and Resources, and Money and Currency).

Free Money Resource #20: Small Business Administration: Young Entrepreneurs

Want your child to learn how to create + finance a basic business? The Small Business Administration offers a 30-minute video course as an intro.

They’ll learn to do things like write down their business idea/plan, that entrepreneurs need to be flexible and persistent, that they need to size up the competition, picking a business model, etc.

Free Money Resource #21: PBS Learning Media

Age Range: Pre-K to 13+

There are tons of videos with varying age ranges + lesson plans for your kiddo to pick up on some entrepreneurial lessons/skills. Videos include interviewing entrepreneurs in various fields, becoming a social entrepreneur, learning about historical figures who were entrepreneurs, etc.

Curriculum Alignments: Each lesson is broken down by the National Standards it covers.

Free Money Resource #22: EntreEd

Age Range: Grades 3-12

The National Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education offers lots of videos with PDF lesson plans to go along with them to teach entrepreneurial skills.

Entrepreneurship Lessons include:

  • Success V. Challenge
  • Common Business Structures
  • How Far Does that Paycheck Go?
  • What Do You Know about Entrepreneurship?
  • Inventors V. Entrepreneurs
  • Risk
  • Teamwork
  • Making Money through Social Media

Curriculum Alignment: Here’s how EntreEd aligns with national standards of education.

Free Money Resource #23: Alison

Age Range: All ages

This site has over 1,000 free courses (not all geared towards kids). A few that pop out to me about money and entrepreneurship are:

  • Sustainable Business
  • Key Elements of Entrepreneurial Success
  • Starting a Business or Social Enterprise – the Stone Soup Way

Three learning paths you’ll definitely want to check out:

  • Entrepreneurial Skills
  • General Finance
  • Personal Finance

Something cool about this site – aside from the fact that it is free education? You can become an Alison Graduate and earn actual Certificate of Achievements for mastering courses.

Curriculum Alignment: Alison has its own Alison Academy that accredits the courses. Here’s much more info on their accreditation.

Free Money Resource #24: Foundation for Economic Education

Have your kiddo go through the Economics of Entrepreneurship series, a collection of great courses.

And homeschool co-ops can receive a free classroom kit!

Your kit includes:

Money Lessons Include:

  • What is Entrepreneurship?
  • What is the Entrepreneur’s Role in Creating Value?
  • What Do Profit and Loss Tell Us?
  • How Do I Become an Entrepreneur?

Curriculum Alignment: Upon completion of a FEE course, your child receives a certificate of achievement they can print and/or share on social media outlets.

Free Money Resource #25: Teen Business

Age Range: Tweens/Teens

Would you love for your child to become a TeenVestor?

Here’s an impressive collection of videos with specific entrepreneurial lessons for teens.

Educational tracks include:

  • Profit Series
  • Marketing Series
  • Business Plan Series
  • Finding Funds Series
  • Business Plan Series
  • Inspiration and Motivation Series

Free Money Resource #26: Biz Kid$

Age Range: 6-12 years+

Your kid can start with the Biz Kid$ 65+ videos on topics such as

  • Careers
  • Credit & debt
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial markets & the economy
  • Financial planning and personal finances
  • Saving & investing.

You can sort videos by lesson topic or by grade level, and there are also Spanish videos!

Curriculum Alignment: Biz Kid$ episodes are based on national standards for financial literacy and entrepreneurship education.

Free Money Resource #27: EconEdLink

Age Range: All Grades

The Council for Economic Education offers tons of valuable economics lessons. For money education, you’ll specifically want to check out these:

  • Grades 6-8, 9-12: Better Money Habits
  • Grades 6-8, 9-12: Math in the Real World
  • Grades K-5: Economics in Children’s Literature

Curriculum Alignment: You can choose lessons by standards, either CEE's Voluntary National Content Standards in Economics, CEE's National Standards for Financial Literacy, or Common Core State Standards for Math and English Language Arts.

Free Money Resource #28: Gen i Revolution

Age Range: Middle School and High School

This is actually an online game for kids. However, I included it because it has an extensive free download for parents/homeschoolers/educators with 21 financial lessons to go along with the game.

Kids can compete against each other in 15 financial rescue missions.

Money lessons are centered around: learning, earning, and investing.

Free Money Resource #29: Next Gen Personal Finance

Age Range: High school

NGPF provides curriculum to help your older homeschoolers learn about financial topics such as checking accounts, investing, insurance and financing their way into college. They’ve got a total of 65 lessons, 200 activities, and 400 curated videos, broken down into 12 different units.

12 Units include:

  • Checking
  • Saving
  • Types of Credit
  • Managing Credit
  • Paying for College
  • Budgeting
  • Investing
  • Financial Pitfalls
  • Career
  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Bonus Section

Create a free account (the free teacher account is available for both parents and homeschoolers as well – I checked), and you can get access to personal summative and comprehension assessments to give your child  + their answer keys for teachers – this will help you figure out what they do and do not know about personal finance (though I think they correspond to the lessons).

Two online money games worth mentioning as well: Payback, and Cat Insanity.

Curriculum Alignment: Each project states that it’s “Common Core Standards-aligned”.

Free Money Resource #30: Sesame Street

Age Range: For kids who love Sesame Street

This “Finances for Kids Toolkit” includes videos for your child that teach money lessons through their fave Sesame Street characters: Elmo and Cookie Monster.

Money lesson videos include:

  • Learning to Wait
  • Three Jars
  • Making Choices
  • Elmo’s Savings Jar
  • Elmo Makes a Choice
  • Learning to Save

You’ll find teacher/educator/parent resource guides that include questions to ask your child after they watch the videos, educator’s guide, Children’s Activity Book, and more.

Free Money Resource #31: Scholastic’s Adventures in Math

Age Range: Grades K-8

I used to love those Scholastic catalogues we got at school – my Mom would always let me order a few books (and I gobbled them down a month or so later).

It’s great to know that Scholastic also has a decent library of money lessons you can use to teach your child personal finance.

Money lessons include:

  • Money Matters
  • Plans and Goals
  • Saving Money for Your Future
  • Finding the Better Buy

Curriculum Alignment: Here’s a complete breakdown for how the money lessons correspond with Common Core State Standards Initiative.

There you have it – plenty of resources to go along with or become your personal finance homeschool curriculum so that you teach your child the critical money life skills they’ll need.

Pssst: do you offer free money lessons to homeschooling parents? Reach out to me with your resource for possible inclusion to the list. 

I was wondering how I was going to teach my kiddos about money at home but lucky for me, this mama bear has collected personal finance homeschool resources for me! Can't wait to try some of these out on my own! | free homeschool curriculum| | homeschool subjects | homeschool printable | resources | homeschool activities | homeschool teaching | homeschool education | free homeschool curriculum | homeschool freebies | planning | worksheets | #homeschoolsubjects #homeschoolprintables #resources #homeschoolactivities #homeschoolteaching #homeschooleducation #freehomeschoolcurriculum #homeschoolfreebies #planning #worksheets | https://www.moneyprodigy.com/personal-finance-homeschool/

Should Kids get Paid to Do Chores? Pros and Cons.

Should kids get paid to do chores? Let’s discuss the pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision.

If you google the phrase ‘should kids get paid to do chores?’, you’ll come across all kinds of articles debating both sides of the story. Not to mention a long list of chores for kids by age.

And in the comments section of each of those articles? Are usually a couple of mud-slinging parents touting the benefits of the side of the debate they find most aligns with their values and/or experience.

It’s hard to sift through all the opinions + judgment-calls to figure out what’s best for YOUR child.

But in the end, you’ve got to make a decision about this, right?

Hi, I’m Amanda L. Grossman from MoneyProdigy.com where I partner with mama Bears like YOU to teach your kids how to manage their money.

And today I’m going to break down for you the pros and cons of should kids get paid to do chores.

Let’s get some clarity!

Paying for Chores Con #1: It Doesn’t Help Internalize Motivation for Your Child to do Chores

The most successful adults are kids who internalized all those life lessons they were taught or experienced as kids. And completing chores is no different – you want your child to internalize and make a habit out of doing routine chores in their lives.

When you reward a child (or anyone) with money or stickers, or something else, it’s an external form of motivation.

You want kids to become adults who do the right thing without any sort of external motivation. Just because it feels ‘right’ for them to do so.

Jane Nelsen, author of Positive Discipline Parenting Tools, writes:

“Think about the long-term results of your approach. Does it encourage internal or external motivation? Internal motivation is important for the long term. Are you promoting self-evaluation or dependence on the evaluation of others? Are you inviting your child to think or telling them what to think? Are you allowing your child to figure things out for herself and engaging her in problem solving, or are you rescuing her and fixing things for her? Are you considering what your child might be thinking, feeling, and deciding in response to what you do or say, or do you avoid getting into your child’s world? Are you helping your child feel capable or dependent?”

Paying for Chores Con #2: Your Child Might Value their Time Over Money

What if one day, your child is no longer motivated by money? In other words, they just decide to not do the chores because they don’t care about the reward system you’ve set up for them?

You might be in trouble.

And this actually happens – I didn’t think it really would, but I’ve heard not only from mothers who talk about this, but also from random internet commenters in articles who complain that they have no idea how to move forward now to get their kid to do any work around the house.

If you set up a chore system where some sort of external reward is given, then you have to be prepared for if/when your child decides that that reward is no longer something they value themselves.

Paying for Chores Con #3: Your Kid Might Start Expecting to Be Rewarded for Everything

One family psychologist writes,

“I frequently hear complaints from parents about sticker charts gone awry. One mother who was initially pleased with the results of her sticker-chart system said that when she asked her 8-year-old son to stop what he was doing and help his younger brother clean up a spill, he responded: “What will you give me?”

It's a common issue, actually. If kids get rewarded for certain behavior, then they no longer want to give away good behavior for free because they think a reward might come for it. They hold out on you!

Paying for Chores Con #4: Your Child’s Lack of Chore Commitment Might Mean they Don’t Learn to Manage Money

With paying for chores, it’s easy to institute a quick punishment. Meaning, if your kid doesn’t do the chore, or does it so poorly that you’re constantly redoing it, then you just don’t pay them.

If paying your child money for their chore work is your sole means for getting money into your child’s hands on a consistent basis…then you might send them into the adult world without them knowing how to manage money simply because you withhold the money when they mess up (which happens, for sure).

That is not the goal, but something I hear from mothers pretty often – “We used to give them an allowance or pay for chores, but they never did the chores like they were supposed to do and I was always having to redo it. So, we never pay them.”

Paying for Chores Pro #1: Nagging May be a Thing of the Past

Money can be a great motivator for any number of things, and may produce immediate results. If you’re super frustrated with your current system for trying to get chores done in the house, then this might be a fast-pass ticket to some relief.

You can also institute a no-nagging policy when you pay for chores, meaning if they do the chore but you had to nag them to get it done, then they don’t get paid (though please see Con #4 from above).

Paying for Chores Pro #2: You Have an Easy Punishment System of No Play, No Pay

You have an immediate recourse for them not completing chores that you want them to. You can just not pay them.

Of course, this also may backfire – as we discussed in the “Cons” section, your child might be perfectly happy with not earning money this week or two weeks from now. This could leave you with a dirty bathroom counter and the problem of coming up with another punishment.

Tip: Remember that the reason you want to get money into your child’s hands is so that they can learn how to manage it – so I caution this approach, because if you never actually get money into your child’s hands due to them not living up to your expectations, then they’ll never learn how to manage it.

Paying for Chores Pro #3: It Helps them Associate Earning Money with Time, Energy, and Work

Paying for chores is definitely a way for a child to connect earning money with doing work, using time, and putting in energy.

Adjustments You Can Make to Your Chore/Kid Money System

If after reading this you’re unhappy with parts of your chore system, I want to offer you a few tweaks you can make:

  • Hybrid Approach: If you want to still pay for chores, but think it’s important to internalize the motivation and build natural goodwill in your child for pitching in, then you can introduce family duties. These are chores that each person in the family must do, without pay, just because they are part of the household. Let’s face it – when your child grows up, they’ll have to clean dishes and do laundry, and wipe down kitchen counters just because they have a household, not because they’re paid. So, this could be a great idea! You can frame this as “responsibilities” versus “chores”.
  • Use a Different Type of Kid Money System: I go through a free training called the Kid Money System Challenge. One of the takeaways from my research is that there are more systems for getting money into your child’s hands than paying through chores – so you can just choose a different system, and keep the chores as nonpayment.

In the end? It all comes down to what your gut is telling you. Remember, you can always try a system or an age appropriate chore for kids  out, give it a real whirl, and then ditch it or tweak a few parts to make it work for you and your family. Nothing is set in stone!

I can't figure out if kids should get paid to do chores or not. Luckily, I found this article that has a list of pros and cons to help me make the best choice for me and my kiddo. | chores for kids by age | age appropriate chores for kids | kids and money | chores systems for kids | money system for kids | chore charts | chores for teens | giving kids chores | kids chores | kids earn money | chore lists | #shouldkids getpaidtodochores #choresforkidsbyage #ageappropriatechoresforkids #kidsandmoney #choressystemsforkids #chores #moneysystemforkids #chorecharts #choresforkids #choresforteens #givingkidschores #kidschores #kidsearnmoney #chorelists | https://www.moneyprodigy.com/should-kids-get-paid-to-do-chores/