Tips and resources to educate kids and teens
There are the ABCs and 123s, but what about nickels, dimes, and dollars? The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and its partners have educational tips and resources available to get kids and teens engaged in financial education.
FIVE TIPS FOR KIDS’ FINANCIAL KNOWLEDGE
The FDIC outlines five ways parents and family members can get kids thinking about—and preparing for—their financial futures:
- Observing—One of the biggest ways children learn is by observing. Chances are, you go to work to provide for your family. Your child can see that a relationship exists between work and money. Have a conversation with your child about work and how your earnings influence your purchases, where you live, and how you get to work.
- Including—Another great way to teach your children about money is by including them when paying bills or discussing large purchases. Family financial meetings can be a way of teaching children about the financial choices you make and why you make them. Depending on the children’s ages, try to put choices in terms they understand. The main idea is to teach them the importance of budgets and making choices with your money.
- Doing—Kids learn by doing, and that includes learning about money. By having your child actively participate in a trip to the grocery store, they can see how budgeting relates to shopping. You might open a savings account online to provide an opportunity to teach about saving money, especially if they see you are saving as well. At an appropriate time, an outing to your local bank to show them where their account is located and what a bank does can also prompt conversations about money. If your child operates a lemonade stand, has a cookie sale, dog sits, or babysits, use these occasions to teach about earning, spending, saving, and donating.
- Reading—Several children’s books currently on the market teach all about earning, spending, saving, borrowing, and donating. These books provide an easy and spontaneous opportunity for questions and answers. Check your local library for suggestions; you may be able to check out books online with your library card. You may also be able to read books online through other free services.
- Playing—Board games with play money can be great teachers, and online games provide a fun way to teach about money and start smart money conversations.
FREE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
And to take these tips further, FDIC and related federal agencies have many free materials available to help all ages be money-wise:
- FDIC—The agency’s Money Smart curriculum offers modules written for specific age groups. While targeted toward teachers and schools, parents can use the Money Smart program at home, too. If you don’t know how to start the conversation with your children, check out the children’s books offered as references in many of the modules, which can be a good way to start a lesson and begin a smart money conversation.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—The bureau’s Money As You Grow program teaches children how to reach certain age-appropriate financial milestones, and also offers a list of children’s books that can help open conversations about money.
- National Credit Union Administration—If having a smart-money conversation while you play is more your style, you might visit NCUA Games, which includes World of Cents to teach your children about earning, saving, and spending through a match game with coins. Test Your Money Memory is a match game that pairs U.S. coins and currency with the appropriate president, and Hit the Road is a game about earning and spending using a trip across America.
- U.S. Mint—The mint also has free games and activities for children. From math games to coin scavenger hunts, you can find all sorts of smart-money conversation starters.
- Federal Trade Commission—The commission offers free games like The Mall, which teaches children about advertising, business competition, privacy, and scams.
If you need more financial-education insights, or even if you need assistance making sense of your own money, Department of Consumer Affairs’ California Board of Accountancy and Professional Fiduciaries Bureau licensees can help; check a professional’s license at https://search.dca.ca.gov.
Related Reading: Count on Certified Public Accountants; Need Some Help? Hire a Professional Fiduciary