Ways to Teach Kids About Money
By: Jennifer Solomon
Right now, your child may be learning how money goes into their piggy bank and how rarely it comes back out. It’s important for kids to understand how spending, saving, and earning works. Instilling good money habits in your children is arguably one of life’s most important lessons since it will undoubtedly benefit them down the road.
Talking about money with kids is not exactly an enjoyable subject matter. What parent doesn’t need a little help with teaching their kids about money? Fortunately, with today’s books and technology, there are kid-friendly tools to make learning about money fun for kids of all ages.
Little Critter: Just Saving My Money
Ages: 3-6 years
Author: Mercer Mayer
(Paperback, 29 pages, $3.99)
Little Critter tries his very best to save money for a new skateboard, but soon finds that saving enough for what he wants isn’t so easy. Just Saving My Money is a simple story—perfect for emergent readers who are also learning about what it means to save money.
The Berenstain Bear’s Dollars & Sense
Ages: 4-7 years
Author: Stan Berenstain
(Hardcover, 32 pages, $4.99)
Mama Bear comes up with a terrific idea to help Brother and Sister Bear learn the value of money and how to save it — a checkbook! A series of tear-out checks is included in the book so that kids can use them at home just like the cubs do in Bear Country.
The Everything Kid’s Money Book
Ages: 9-12 years
Author: Brette McWhorter Sember
(Paperback, 160 pages, $8.99)
Kids will learn how coins and bills are made, what money can buy–from school supplies to fun and games, how credit cards work, and ways to watch money grow–from savings to stocks.
The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens
Ages: 12-17 years
Authors: David and Tom Gardner
(Paperback, 256 pages $11.51)
The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens helps teens stand out from the ho-hum mutual-fund crowd, build a portfolio of stocks they can actually care about, and take advantage of the investor’s best friend — time — to watch their profits multiply.
Save! The Game (Free)
Created by Mass Mutual, Save! The Game teaches kids about the real rewards that come from saving money. Kids learn how to earn and hold on to their fortune. Players must collect and deposit their coins in the bank before time runs out. But beware of the iWannas — the impulse items that take away your money.
Each level tackles different financial topics — setting goals, saving and spending wisely, inflation, asset allocation, and diversification — in a fun and easy-to-follow way. Available as a single- or multi-player game, it is a great way to play and learn with your child.
Savings Spree ($6)
Saving Spree teaches kids that everyday decisions have a huge effect on their bank account. Presented like a game show, the game throws monetary curveballs at kids to encourage them to save and spend wisely.
Kids Money (Free)
Kids can use this app to track their allowance, set goals for future spending, and decide what they can afford to buy within their budget.
A+ Allowance (Free)
Allowance made easy! Set your kids jobs for the week, decide how much they will earn and away they go!
Jennifer Solomon is a mom of two kids, ages 5 and 7, and manages her own public relations and marketing business Inspire PR & Marketing. She has more than 13 years experience in public relations and marketing and previously managed Freedom Way magazine, Anthem, Arizona’s community publication. Jennifer is also the owner and editorial director of North Phoenix Family magazine and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.