Teaching Kids about Money (The Comprehensive Guide)

Teaching kids about money – what are the best strategies? I give an age-by-age guide, the most important money lessons to focus on, and show you why you (yes, YOU) are qualified to do this.

mother and daughter on laptop, text overlay "ultimate guide to teaching kids about money"Teaching kids about money…it’s one of the most important things you can do as a parent, and yet it’s one of the most intimidating.

What if you’re not exactly confident about your own money skills? Where are you supposed to start – with saving money, spending money, earning it, etc.?

Before we get into the very specifics of teaching kids about money (which we will), I want to touch on a really important thing you’ve got to do first:  get clear on WHAT you want your child and your students to learn about money.

How to Teach Money – Step One

Figuring out how to teach kids about money is only half the equation. You need to get clear on what you want to teach your child(ren) about money.

And I know that's why you're here — you're hoping for a list of what lessons to teach your child, and when to teach them (stick around — we'll get to that).

But first? You need to get clear on what YOU want to pass onto your child. Because at the end of the day — when your child has graduated and moved off — the buck stops with you. And you want to feel GOOD about what you taught your child, right?

Money Mission Statement Exercise

I want you to think back. Waaaayyyy back, to before you carried your money hang-ups around with you.

When money didn't feel like a limiting factor. Wasn't a limited resource. Wasn't a stress.

When money was shiny, and new, and something you were highly fascinated with.

What did you want for yourself in terms of money at this point in your life?

That's how deep I want you to dig to create a money mission statement for your own child.

What do you want them to know about money? How do you want them to feel about money? What do you want them to be able to do with money?

If you've read my About Page, then you know that Money Prodigy is not only a passion of mine, but a very personal topic for me. I have a child as well, and even though he's barely 3.5 years old, I've got desires for him when it comes to his future money management.

Even though he cannot yet read, and can barely feed himself (successfully), his future life sometimes plays in my mind. I'd like to think I'm going to have a big part in touching that future by the things I'm teaching him now + in the years to come.

So, I'm building Money Prodigy with both your child and my child in mind.

And before I considered how to teach kids about money, I deeply considered WHAT the heck I wanted to teach them in the first place.

With that being said, here's my money mission statement to Conner that outlines what I want him to be, do, and have when it comes to money:

Dear Conner,

First of all, your father and I are just so proud of you. You've been a blessing in our lives, a gift we prayed for, and then waited for (10 months) and then really waited for (40 weeks and 4 days, to be exact).

Money is nothing to you at the moment, and is specifically much less important than, say, your rubber snake you love to carry around, or the cat toy we can't seem to part from your little, chubby hands.

But money is going to play a major role in your life, both when we are there to help you with it, and when we can no longer be there for you.

Since your mother is a bit of a money-geek, I thought I'd write down what I want for you.

  • To know that, yes, you must work hard in life to get money…but you can also watch your money grow with some awesome management.
  • To make it through life's many seasons with money not being the driving factor behind each of your decisions and choices.
  • To be able to help others from a strong money situation yourself.
  • To learn some solid money foundations you can fall back on for when the sh*t hits the fan.
  • To be able to handle the money your father and I leave you.
  • To feel ease around money, never afraid, and never intimidated. After all, it's just another tool.
  • To stay out of the debt cycle, or at least to not enter into it blindly.
  • To be independent from your father and I after finishing college (we love you, Son, but it is in your best interest to spread your wings).
  • To have a great handle on your money and be able to extract as much life enjoyment as possible no matter what your paycheck is.
  • To save for your future, and to know the value of doing so.
  • To be an independent thinker with some entrepreneurial spirit in you.

It's a tall order, especially since you're still in cloth diapers. But we've got years to work on this together. So, don't fret.

Just know that we love you, no matter the size of your bank account, no matter the mistakes you are going to make, and no matter, really, anything. And always remember this: Net Worth does not equal Self Worth. Ever.

Love,

Mama Bear + Papa Bear

Writing Down the Life Lessons about Money to Pass on (Money Mission Statement)

Were there things in my letter to my child that really resonated with you? Go ahead and use 'em.

In fact, I welcome you to write out your own Money Mission Statement for your kid(dos).

Brainstorm with the help of these questions:

  1. How do I want my child to feel about money?
  2. What are the ways in which I want my child to be able to use money?
  3. What money values do I want to pass onto my child, and which ones do I hope don't get passed on?
  4. Where do I want them to financially be at different stages of their lives (teenager, high school graduate, college graduate, first job, etc.)?
  5. How dependent or not dependent do I want them to be on me financially and otherwise? How can I ensure I do my best to facilitate that level of independence that's right for our family?

Now take 20 or so minutes one day this week − a lunch hour, perhaps − to sit down and write your child a letter like the one I did above.

Talk to them from the heart, and be specific about what you want to pass onto them.

Don't worry, you can choose to save this letter in the pile of sentimental goodies you'll give to them when they're an adult, or you can just keep it for yourself and periodically look back at it to determine if your money education is on track or not. It's completely up to you.

Just know that I'd love to be along for the journey by offering guidance, activities, and tools to reach your goals, once you know precisely what they are (please share in the comments below!).

Next up, let’s outline the money-teaching-process with an age-by-age guide for what to teach kids about money.

Teaching Kids About Money – An Age-by-Age Guide

One of the most common questions I get about teaching kids about money is what lessons should be taught, by age.

I mean, an age-by-age guide would be nice, right?

Well, one actually exists.

Pssst: please read the end of this section as well, because you need to know a few things before merrily checking off these money lessons.

Before I give it to you, I want to share with you my take on how kids develop money skills and how they interact with money.

I'll be the first to say: kids are SO different.

However, the *rough* money development path they follow typically looks like this:

#1: Become Fascinated with the Power of Money

Your kid thinks money grows on trees – it’s limitless. Kids make some decisions about how they spend any money they can get, and they want to make ALL the decisions about it.

#2: Start Building Delayed Gratification

Your child begins to understand that if they don't spend all their money each allowance, then it starts to grow to an amount that's bigger than one allowance cycle.

#3: Express their Own Priorities Using Money

Kids/teens see money (specifically, spending) as a tool to help them express themselves.

#4: Question Money Boundaries

As with all boundaries, kids/teens question money boundaries as well. What money is theirs? How much of their parent's money do they have access to? What decisions do they get to make? What are they responsible to pay for now that they're a bit older?

#5: Desire Financial Independence

Kids/teens want to, and need to, earn their own money, make decisions about their money, and manage their financial lives.

Now that we have those money development stages out of the way, I next want to share with you the age-by-age guide to teaching kids about money that was created by the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capabilities.

Psst: you might be surprised with starting at the age of 3-5, but it turns out that a money education is supposed to start a lot earlier than you might think, backed up by studies that show kids are set in their money habits as early as 7!).

Money Skills for Ages 3-5

It's highly likely your Pre-K kiddo has started asking questions about money (and if they haven't, then they're holding them in…then again, when have you known ANY Pre-K kid to hold ANYTHING in?).

Maybe they don't know exactly how to describe it, but they've figured out a thing or two.

Like when Mommy and Daddy go to the store, they hand over something green or plastic to the cashier before taking items home.

Or sometimes they don't get to have the things that they want in a store, even though they appear to be there for the taking.

Or that Mommy and/or Daddy leaves most days to go to a job to make money.

According to the President's Advisory Council, by the age of 5, your child needs to know the following four things to be on track to living a “financially smart” life:

  1. You need money to buy things.
  2. You earn money by working.
  3. You may have to wait before you can buy something you want.
  4. There's a difference between things you want and things you need.

Money Management Activities for Kids (Plus kid money printables) to help with these lessons:

Bonus: you'll want to check out my article on teaching preschoolers about money.

Money Skills for Ages 6-10

According to the President (or at least his advisory council), from the age of 6 to 10 years, your child needs to know the following four things to live a “financially smart” life:

  1. You need to make choices about how to spend your money.
  2. It's good to shop around and compare prices before you buy.
  3. It can be costly and dangerous to share information online.
  4. Putting your money in a savings account will protect it and pay you interest.

Money Management Activities for Kids (Plus kid money printables) to help with these lessons:

Psst: you'll also want to check out this article about finding the teachable money moments in your life, with examples from real parents. 

Money Skills for Ages 11-13

We're moving onto the Tween age group (11ish – 13ish).

According to the President's Advisory Council, by the age of 13, your child needs to know the following four things to live a “financially smart” life:

  1. You should save at least a dime for every dollar you receive.
  2. Entering personal information, like a bank or credit card number, online is risky because someone could steal it.
  3. The sooner you save, the faster your money can grow from compound interest.
  4. Using a credit card is like taking out a loan; if you don't pay your bill in full every month, you'll be charged interest and owe more than you originally spent.

Money Management Activities for Kids (Plus kid money printables) to help with these lessons:

Money Skills for Ages 13-16

According to the President, by the age of 16, your child needs to know the following:

  1. You need to compare costs when searching for colleges.
  2. If you can’t afford something with cash, then don’t buy with them with a credit card.
  3. Money is taken out of a paycheck to pay taxes.
  4. Roth IRAs are a great place to save and invest your money.

Money Management Activities for Kids (Plus kid money printables) to help with these lessons:

Note on Why You Need to take an Age-by-Age Guide with a Grain of Salt

I wanted to share with you an age-by-age teaching money guide…but you need to know that it's just that — a guide. Not written in stone.

I say this because:

  1. That list above is not, by any means, going to give your child a complete money education.
  2. A money education is not cut-and-dry. Children develop the “Building Blocks” of financial capability at different stages, and money lessons kind of all overlap one another throughout childhood. So your child may be “ahead” or “behind” the age ranges above…and that's totally fine.

Let's tackle that first point: The thing is…while I wanted to start you off with what the “experts” say you should be teaching your kids and when – and having a specific list with target money lessons, by age, is very helpful – I can say that that list does NOT cover it all.

I mean, think about the common money situations we all come across in our day-to-day lives, and ask yourself, would learning the above points get your kids through them?

Things like:

  • How to weigh the costs of moving for a better job position (taking into consideration things like quality of living in the new place, career track, and cost of the move).
  • How to audit your monthly spending and make non-painful cuts.
  • How to figure out whether you should keep renting or buy a home.

The answer is, no. It's “no” because there simply isn't a checklist for the kind of day-to-day money situations people face. BUT, there are money “building blocks” that we can teach our kids, so that when they find themselves in the above situations (plus the thousands of others they'll encounter over the years), then they'll be able to work through it.

That leads into my second point. You and I both know that kids develop at differing speeds. And not only at different speeds, but at varying speeds depending on the subject. And money lessons? Well, they kind of all run into one another.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the three Building Blocks that kids need to get in childhood in order to turn into financially capable adults are:

  1. Executive function
  2. Financial habits and norms
  3. Financial knowledge and decision-making skills
chart from consumer financial protection bureau detailing three building blocks for financial capabilities

From Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's September 2016 report, Building Blocks to Help Youth Achieve Financial Capability

Yet they acknowledge that (bold is mine),

“Children begin acquiring these building blocks of financial capability as early as preschool and continue to develop them as teens and young adults. Children and youth do not acquire the building blocks separately or in isolation. Instead, children, teens, and young adults accumulate them in an overlapping fashion during early childhood, middle childhood, and as teens and young adults…The ages linked to the developmental stages are only broad estimates because individuals vary in their maturity level at each age, and many of the attributes and abilities span multiple periods. None of the buildings blocks of financial capability completely emerges during a single broad developmental age. Instead, children, teens, and young adults accumulate them in an overlapping fashion.”

See what I mean, now? An age-by-age guide is awesome, but use it as a GUIDE.

I'm not trying to put my own expertise above, well, the experts. BUT, I am telling you that my own child will be learning wayyyyyy more money skills than is included in the age-by-age guide above.

Because of this, I’m offering up my own list of important money lessons that you do NOT want to skip when teaching your kids about money (many of which aren't included in the list above, but that I would consider necessities).

Pssst: you’ll also want to grab your own copy of my Money Life Skills Checklist, for an overly-detailed list of all the money life skills you want your child to have before they leave home. Or at least, what you should be aiming for (because no one’s perfect, right?).

Teaching Kids about Money in School…What's the Deal?

You might be thinking all of this is great, but aren't the schools going to teach your child most of these?

Sit down, Mama Bear.

Because I have some not-so-cool news to share with you.

Do you know the stats of financial education in our country?

While I geek out about this kind of stuff, I realize not everyone does. I’ll keep it brief.

Seventeen of the 50 US states have financial education requirements built into their curriculum.

So, not a great start.

And even worse? Over 60% of teachers and prospective teachers say that they do not feel qualified to teach their state’s financial education requirements (per the National Endowment for Financial Education’s study, Teachers’ Background & Capacity to Teach Personal Finance).

WOW. Does that give you an indication of how little money education is actually happening in school?

Money teaching for youth is important, so let's not leave them in the dark.

Let's talk about money management skills you need to concentrate on (and that mostly aren't being taught in school).

Money Management for Kids – Skills they Need to Know

Do you remember fortune tellers (or Cootie Catchers)? As a kid, we used to use these to predict who our future husband would be, or how many kids we would have. It was a fun, silly game.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could use one of these to predict what your child’s money future looks like?

I'm going to share with you 3 key questions that, if answered honestly, can give you a semi-accurate prediction of not what your child’s future looks like, but what it COULD look like.

How do I know? Because each of these things we’re going to discuss below you and I as adults need to do weekly, monthly, and sometimes, even daily. In fact, our OWN bank accounts are a reflection of our abilities to do them.

Then after that? I'll share with you the important skills you need to focus on teaching your kid so that they can manage their money.

Fortune-Teller Question #1: Can Your Kiddo Delay Gratification?

As adults, we have to delay gratification all. the. time.

For days. For weeks. For months. For even years.

Your child is likely not on the “years” end – heck, they’ve only been AROUND for a few of them. But they should be working on waiting to give into all their impulses for a day or a week.

It’s a good start to solid kids and money management skills!

Fortune-Teller Question #2: Can Your Child See Something Through?

I call myself a serial completer because I have this innate desire to complete anything I start (which, btw, is both good AND bad). But did I start out that way? No.

It starts out with goal experimentation. Get your kiddo interested or at least curious in the process, let them start a small goal (you can get your 1-page goal-setting exercise sheet here), and then allow them to go through the trial-error-recovery cycle.

They’ll tweak and adjust as they go, and their goals will expand over time.

Fortune Teller Question #3: Can They Creatively Solve a Problem?

Unless you’re one of the 1%-ers who has enough money to pay their way out of any and all situations…you have to come up with creative money solutions all the time. I know I do!

Can your child creatively solve a problem – meaning can they look at a few different angles, and come up with more than one way to solve it (that doesn’t include not doing it at all)?

Don’t use these questions to beat yourself up about what your kid has or has not been exposed to. Use them to re-direct your efforts to teaching your kid the money management skills that are going to MATTER to them in their adult lives.

Like the following ones.

Cliff Notes: Important Money Lessons You Can't Skimp on

Did I lose you in the thicket of all of those specific money lessons on the money life skills checklist above that you need to teach your child? It’s mind-boggling, to be honest.

I mean, granted, you’ve got 18 years to get there. But still – it’s too much.

That’s why I want to narrow down that entire phone book of money life skills, and just give you the MOST IMPORTANT money lessons you can impart to your child.

And we’re going to do it through what I like to call planting “money seeds”.

Do you ever notice how your child can get introduced to a new thought, and they suddenly become obsessed over it? You can almost see their minds working as they think, think, and think around it.

Well, the same thing happens when you teach children about money concepts!

I want to give you some money seeds to plant into your child’s brain so that they can start getting excited about these age-old money concepts that will help them over and over again throughout their life.

Money Management Skill #1: Money Confidence

You might think this one is a bit fluffy, but hear me out. How is your money confidence? How long did it take you to get to the level you’re at?

By nurturing the growth of money confidence in your kiddo, you’ll be setting them up for a successful money life which includes things like:

  • negotiating their salary pay
  • working through situations life throws all of us without heaping on loads of debt
  • saving for the goals they set for themselves
  • etc.

The reason why this one is not being taught in school is because building money confidence in your child is mainly done through exposing them to real-life experience. And kids generally can’t get real-life money experience from school.

The best ways to nurture this in your child is to a) figure out your kid money system that gets money into their hands consistently so that they can start making decisions and learning money management skills that way, b) modeling confident problem solving of money situations for your child, and c) helping your kiddo appraise their money efforts.

Money Lesson #2: How to Delay Instant Gratification

This is really a precursor for successful goal setting for kids, and once your child learns this skill, the sky’s the limit as far as what they can accomplish with their money and with their lives.

Kids are impulsive by nature, mainly because their brains haven’t developed the necessary wiring for long-term processing and emotional regulation. But don’t fret; even if your child is very unable to delay instant gratification with their money, it turns out that this is a muscle they can stretch and grow.

Money Lesson #3: How to Make Money Grow

Your child’s school education around money is likely to be basics like learning how to count it, make change, and making purchases at/running the school store.

These are all very necessary money basics for your child to learn, but they don’t necessarily lead to the money management skills that will get your child ahead. Like learning how to make money grow.

Your child has the ability to be a millionaire one day. Time is on their side. But if they don’t understand this concept early on, then it will literally cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I can say this from experience. When I was 16, I was super interested in learning more about the stock market. I knew that somehow it meant that my money could grow, but that there were seemingly huge risks involved as well, and I had no idea where to start. I wanted to talk to a financial advisor in the family, but the meeting was never set up. Eventually I started investing in the stock market through a retirement account I opened up at 23, which was great. But do you realize how much more money my retirement account would be worth NOW if I had started when I was 16 – a full 7 years earlier?

Don’t get freaked out about having to teach your child to invest; you can just start small with showing them how money grows when left in a savings account through interest and compound interest. Once they grasp this concept (and their eyes might pop out of their heads when they do), then you can worry about moving onto the bigger stuff.

Money Lesson #4: Do not spend more than you earn.

You could have a million-dollar-a-year salary, and if you spend $1,000,001, then you’re broke.

You don’t have to take my word for it; there are many high-profile people who haven’t caught onto this timeless lesson and have less money than you do (Nicholas Cage, MC Hammer, Mike Tyson…the list plays on like National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation in December).

There are inputs (income), and outputs (spending) in personal finance. If your inputs are smaller than your outputs, or your outputs are bigger than your inputs, then you’ve got a problem.

Outputs less than your inputs? You’re automatically accumulating money.

Money Lesson #5: Everything Else is Figure-outable.

You don’t need to know everything about money when you leave the house. No one ever does. People are still learning about money – like me – throughout their entire lives. You just need to be resourceful enough to figure out how to find the answers to the questions you have, and what’s a priority for you to learn.

See how clear the path can be when teaching kids about money? These are totally do-able money lessons you are very capable of passing onto your child. They’ve stood the test of time, and their truth rings true through everyone’s wallets and bank accounts.

How Do I Teach My Child Financial Responsibility?

To teach your child financial responsibility – something ALL parents want to do – you’ve got to do two things, AT THE SAME TIME:

  • Hand over money to your child.
  • Hand over money responsibilities to your child.

If you hand over money with no money responsibilities – things your child is required to pay for – then you’ve set the situation up to make it appear like money is just to pay for fun things.

When you cement the two together, then you start to build the seeds of financial responsibility in your child.

Sure, they’re going to overspend. And some may even hoard. But you’ve started the money-learning-cycle where they spend some money, make mistakes, learn from them, spend more money, make more mistakes, etc.

And you know what? The kinds of mistakes they’re going to make now, where the amount of money they get in allowance roughly equals their age, is WAY less than the kind of mistakes they can make when they have a real paycheck from a job-job (plus a mortgage).

Which leads me to my next big thing – in order to teach kids about money, you’ve GOT to *actually* get money into your child’s hands.

Get Money into Your Kid’s Hands

One of the reasons mothers are hesitant to hand over some money for kids to spend on their own is because they fear losing control over such a powerful resource.

I get it. I do!

But handing money over to your kiddo has got to happen in order for them to start the learning process of managing it – you know, the one you probably had to learn the tough way after you moved out of your own parents’ home?

I want to talk you through how to rethink the way you give money to your child so that you can feel more confident in doing so and less fearful of what the outcome is going to be when handing over money for kids. It's important to teach kids about money now so they don't make mistakes later.

Money Shift #1: Think of Money Handed Over as Play Money

I know, I know. It’s hard to think of ANY money as play money. I mean, you and I understand how valuable it is!

But if we can shift our thinking from, “my child is spending my hard-earned money on stupid stuff they won’t use past next week”, to “my child is using money play to start to understand the scary world of money management,” then it will make the process of getting money into your kids’ hands more meaningful and less stressful.

Remember, kids learn the most through play. And it’s not just younger kids. Studies show that middle school kids, high school teenagers, and even adults can gain some pretty amazing benefits from regular play in the form of creativity, better problem-solving skills, retaining information in new ways, growing in teamwork abilities, etc.

Suddenly, that $10/week seems like a steal now, right?

Money Shift #2: Tweak Your Kid Money System to Give YOU more Control

I created the Kid Money System Landscape as part of my 48-hour Kid Money System Makeover Challenge, by plotting each of the bazillion types of allowance systems out there by categories and by how much control the system gives to the kids versus the parents to make it easier to understand + choose what’s best for your family. It goes from kids having the least control (and parents having the most control) to parents having the least control and kids having the most control. This is for both spending the money, and getting the money.

A chart called the Kid Money System Landscape

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The end goal of parenting is to get your child to the point where they have all control over their earning and spending of money.

But you know what? You don’t have to be there yet. You can start off further left of the chart, where you’re retaining more control over the money supply and money spending, and gradually loosen the reins as you feel more and more confident in your kid’s abilities.

The point is, just start somewhere. And “somewhere” being, getting money into your kids’ hands on a consistent basis so that they can start learning how to manage it.

Money Shift #3: Institute an Impulse Spending Limit

If you’re truly worried about your kid blowing all their cash on something that you would never blow all YOUR cash on, then you can institute some spending boundaries and limits to make things a bit more palatable.

Some examples include:

  • Setting a Spending Threshold: So, your kid would need to ask you before spending their money above a certain amount, say $20, $50, or really whatever limit limits your heartburn.
  • Setting an Impulse Spending Rule: Tell your child that for any impulse spending wishes they have, say for a new Pokémon accessory at the store, they have to wait at least 24 hours, 2 days, one week, etc. to buy it to make sure they actually want it.
  • Take them through a Financial Trade-off Analysis: Each time they want to spend a bunch of their money, take them through a financial trade-off exercise where they’ll calculate what else they could spend that money on (the tradeoff), and how much work they had to put into that money which they’re now transferring to the new gadget they want (is that life-sized Elsa doll worth 10 hours of babysitting their little brother? Not sure. They might think so).

I’ve given you three different money shifts you can make to hopefully get you fearing the idea of handing money over to your child a bit less. Try one out and let me know how it goes!

If you absolutely do NOT want to get money into your child's hands…then I've got some Kids Money Printables for you so that you can at least get pretend money into their hands (again, I'm recommending the real stuff! But fake is better than nothing).

Kids Money Printables (Fake Money):

How to Teach Your Child the Value of Money

You and I know how to value money, because we know darn well what goes into that paycheck we bring home. And we’ve lived through periods where we didn’t have much of it.

But your child? Well, they haven’t really gone through the life experiences that make them value money.

And that’s okay.

Still, you want them to start the learning process of valuing money now, rather than when they’re adults.

Here’s what you need to do to teach your child the value of money:

  • Have them earn money.
  • Set up what I like to call Money Boundaries.

I’ve got an entire article where I talk about money boundaries and how they teach your kid how to be responsible with money – you’ll definitely want to check this out.

Mama Pep Talk – You are Qualified to Teach Your Child about Money

I’ve got one more REALLY important thing to get off my chest.

You are fully qualified to teach your child about money — I've waved my magic wand, and it is done.

Yes, I’m talking to YOU.

The one who thinks since they only JUST got their own money together enough to feel semi-responsible, that they can’t possibly be qualified to teach their own child.

I teach kids all about money, and I've got a certification…but today? I want to show you precisely why YOU are fully qualified (and capable) of teaching your child about money.

What qualifies you to teach your child about money through ways like teachable moments at home, you ask?

I’ll give you three money qualifications that you have.

Qualification #1: You’ve made a money mistake.

Money mistakes are material!

These are golden opportunities when teaching your child about money, not something to be ashamed by.

Take a few minutes to remember the mistake that you made, the details involved, and the lesson you learned from it.

When put in that same situation in the future, how did it go the second time-round?

Examples (nah…I didn’t make these at all…):

  • Opening up a new checking account and closing the other one, only to have several automatic bill-pays bounce.
  • Graduating college with a huge debt monkey on your back. (Sure, you knew you'd be in debt. But $36,000?!?)
  • Missing a mortgage payment.
  • Getting a letter from the IRS.

Use these nuggets and show your child that a) you’re human, and all humans make mistakes, and b) it’s okay when THEY make money mistakes, as there’s a way to work out of them.

Pssst: Want more on how really successful money people have made huge blunders – think bankruptcy, 401(k) cash outs, and $250,000+ in credit card debts? Then check out my post on how to turn your biggest money mistakes into assets here.

Qualification #2: You’ve been in the banking system for any number of years.

You know how to make a transaction (at least I would hope so, at this point), and you know the difference between a debit purchase, a credit purchase, and cash. You’ve got a checking account, you’ve got savings, and you know the difference between the two.

Got a retirement account set up at work? Bonus points.

Walk your child through each of these accounts, and each of these ways to pay for things and you’ll have given them more information than they’re likely to receive in personal finance education at school.

Qualification #3: You care.

Seriously. In a world where 69% of parents are reluctant to even talk about the subject of money with their kids, just showing up and opening up dialogue about the subject will put your child ahead of the pack.

You are reading this article, so you obviously want better for your child than you had (qualification #3 met!). You’re taking the right steps to get there, and by clicking through content here, you’ll find lots of resources to partner with you on your quest for your child’s bright money future.

You’ve GOT this!

Pssst: still feeling a little unqualified in the money realm? Here are 5 personal finance books that, once you read, are like getting your Money GED. Financial literacy for parents for the win!

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Amanda L. Grossman is a Certified Financial Education Instructor, a 2016 Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Money Prodigy. Amanda's kid money work has been featured on Experian, GoBankingRates, PT Money, CA.gov, Rockstar Finance, the Houston Chronicle, and Colonial Life. Read more here.
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