Home > Kids > Values and Responsibilities > Money and Kids > Money Concepts to Convey to Your Child

Money Concepts to Convey to Your Child

The topic of money is a big one. Where do you start? How do you go about teaching it?

For the most part, all money education is focused on certain general topics:

  • Earning money. This means putting in personal time and effort to receive payment.
  • Saving money. This means setting aside money today so that it will be there in the future.
  • Spending money. This means using money that's been earned or saved to pay for things.
  • Borrowing money. This means using money that will have to be repaid in the future at more than what was originally received.

According to some child experts, a parent can start explaining about earning money, saving money, and spending money as soon as children can speak. Kids probably can't understand what borrowing is about until they're in elementary school and can appreciate what interest on borrowing really means.

Financial Building Blocks

According to a nationwide survey of high school students sponsored by Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, almost 60 percent of the kids surveyed said that they learned about managing their money “at home from my family.” This compares with only 11 percent who said that they learned about money management at school.

Monkey Sees and Hears—and Monkey Does

By now, it's not news to you that your child picks up on just about everything you do and say. You're the main example of how to act. Whether consciously or unconsciously, your child will mimic your behavior.

When it comes to learning about money, how you act with it and what you say about it is perhaps the most influential thing you can do to instruct your child. This means that you should be sensitive to what you say and do about money matters; you're in a unique position to have a positive (or negative) influence on your child's ability to handle money.

Your actions and words about money should be consistent. If you say one thing but do another, your child will see through this hypocrisy very quickly. On the other hand, consistency will reinforce all your efforts; what you say will support what you do, and vice versa.

More on: Money and Kids


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Money-Smart Kids © 1999 by Barbara Weltman. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


Zika Virus Q&A: 4 Facts for Pregnant Women & Families
Zika virus is pretty scary. Pregnant or not, learn what steps to take to protect your family from Zika, including travel restrictions and mosquito bite prevention.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme!

Ommm! 5 Meditation & Mindfulness Activities for Families
Family meditation and mindfulness can help reduce anxiety and promote health and happiness. Learn some fun and easy mindfulness activities for kids, and set them on the path to inner peace!

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks