Connect Motherhood

How, What, And When To Teach Your Kids About Money

Isabella Simonetti  |  May 18, 2021

Moms, you've got this. Here's a rundown on everything you need to know to teach your kids about money and turn them into grown-up savers and investors.

Money may seem like a challenging topic to discuss with your children (especially when they’re little) but it’s important to get the ball rolling as you can. Lately, we’ve been so happy to see more calls to increase personal finance education in the classroom at a young age in order to combat financial illiteracy, but more needs to be done… And there’s no better place to start than at home, with mom and dad leading the instructional charge. The best part is, when you first start teaching kids about money, it doesn’t have to feel like a lecture. It can be experiential, fun, and as engaging as you make it. It’s never too early to start teaching your kids about personal finance, and helping them develop the kind of healthy spending habits that will turn them into grown-up savers and investors you’ll be proud of. 

Let Toys Lead The Way 

Noah Damsky, Principal at Marina Wealth Advisors suggests using the idea of buying a toy to teach children about money. Damsky says that you should teach your children that they need to save in order to purchase a toy, that hard work is necessary in order to save for the toy, sacrificing other “wants” is sometimes necessary in order to make a purchase. You can tell your kids that it’s okay to wait to buy something they want, and illustrate how parents have to save to buy things they want, too. 

“I would teach these things in everyday life rather than in a formal setting,” Damsky says. “These values can be shared while shopping for groceries, or even when buying things online.” 

Jane Mepham,Founder and Principal Advisor at Elgon Financial Advisors, echoes this sentiment. “Children mature differently and you want to treat them in that way,”she says. “But the day you go to the store and the child starts whining for a toy or candy, that’s the day you start. It’s a great opportunity to connect money and stuff, and stuff not being free.”

Save & Budget

Similarly, Executive Producer at Biz Kid$ Jeannine Glista, stresses the importance of teaching kids about saving. She recommends having elementary school students open savings accounts and begin to learn about how much things cost. By middle school, Glista says, children should be able to set and achieve financial goals like saving for something specific. 

“Once kids see their accounts growing it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy — they feel confident about their ability to accumulate money so they become motivated to get more,” she says. “This translates to having more self-esteem in their own ability to grow their savings.

Model Behavior  

Glista believes that teaching children about the importance of saving at an early age allows them to develop good saving habits and grow into financially healthy adults.  “You want them to have a positive relationship with money, and a big part of that is how you explain to them — but also what they see you do with it,” says Mepham.

Mepham suggests that practicing good financial habits, having an open dialogue with your children about money, and identifying “teachable moments” are all keys to cultivating a strong financial education for your children. 

Why it’s worth it

Ultimately, teaching your kids about their money extends well beyond just turning them into grown-ups who know how to save and invest money. It can help build your child’s confidence in a major way, Glista says. 

“Saving money is crucial to a kid’s confidence because it’s a skill they can master at an early age,” she says. “They don’t have to fear it. And when they master it as a child, it’s ‘rinse and repeat’ as they grow older.”


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