How do you teach kids about money management? Our guide to money, from pre-school to high school, will ensure your kids are well-advised every step of their childhood. Understanding money, saving, and everything in between will hopefully ensure your kids will become well-adjusted adults who truly appreciate that to earn money you have to work hard for it. It’s fun, it’s educational, and kids can start as young as 3 years old…go for it.
Age 3 – Patience
Learning and appreciating patience at a young age is of paramount importance. Learning they can’t always get what they want and delayed gratification will have everyone happy in the long run.
Age 4 – Adding
By now your little one should be able to count a little. If they can add 1 plus 1 and get 2, they can add 1 dollar and 1 dollar to get 2 dollars. They will soon start to learn that money and counting are interlinked.
Age 5 – No
Learning to say no is an important lesson for all of us to learn. Kids need to realize they can’t have everything, especially when they get to school when peer pressure starts.
Age 6 – Allowance
Now is a good time to start giving your kids an allowance. They will start to learn that if they want something they will need to save for it.
Age 7 – Career
Kids will start to be asked what they want to be when they grow up. Now is a good time to start talking about careers, money, saving etc. Make this a positive experience and that going out to work every day is a good thing.
Age 8 – Bills
Kids need to know how much things cost at home. Running a house, paying the gas and electric, school fees, etc. Sit them down and go through the credit card bill so they can see how much things really cost.
Age 9 – Saving
Open a savings account, let your kids put their birthday and Christmas money in there. Take them into the bank to do this and make them feel part of the process. They will feel very grown-up!
Age 10 – Credit
Now is a good time to teach them about credit cards and money isn’t actually free, it’s on loan. Let them see the monthly bill, minimum payments, how much you have to pay if you don’t pay the full amount, and what happens if you don’t pay at all.
Age 11 – Advertising
Take the time to talk about advertising and sales. Kids need to learn all brands advertise and spend a lot of money doing so. Just because something looks nice in a glossy magazine doesn’t mean they have to have it.
Age 12 – Purchasing
A little independence with money is a good thing. Kids need to appreciate the difference between cheap purchases and quality items which cost a little more. They need to know when and how to do this.
Age 13 – Stocks
Kids will take an interest in the stock market and how it works. At the dinner table, talk about the jargon, acronyms and how it all works. Give them a really good understanding so they can start to ask intelligent questions.
Age 14 – Work
Time to get a job? Even if it’s being paid for additional chores, babysitting or selling seasonal crafts, kids really start to appreciate the value of money. As they get more independent and spend more time away from home they will want additional income.
Age 15 – Account
This is a good age to open a checking account. They can put savings and job money in there. Getting the monthly bank statement will help them see how much the account grows each month. This should be something that they take full responsibility for so don’t add any money into it.
Age 16 – Balance
As they start to get busier with school, after-school activities, jobs and everything else that consumes teenagers today, it’s likely they will get a little stressed. Make sure that managing their finances isn’t one of the things that slip.
Age 17 – Score
As they prepare for university, often abroad, they need to understand what a credit score is and how it affects their buying habits. Make sure you sit down with your kid and go through this, they need to understand how this will affect them in the long term.
Age 18 – Loans
Not everyone can rely on parents to fund them through university so they will need to take out a loan. Make sure they understand how a student loan works and how they have to repay it.