PNW Parents, Here’s Exactly How to Teach Your Kids About Money (Ages 1-18 and Beyond)


How young is too young to start teaching financial literacy? 

Trick question—it’s never too early (or too late) to get started. As soon as your 1-year-old starts recognizing the world around them, you can help them understand the best ways to use their resources and build security for their future. Here’s our tips for how to teach kids about money.


Specific Tips for Teaching Your Toddlers (Ages 1-3)

The littlest learners can start understanding the concept of money and, through play, learn about basic transactions. 

Ideas for Activities with (or to Tackle for!) Your Child: 

  • Practice buying and selling fun objects in a pretend store. 
  • Count nickels, dimes, and dollar bills to introduce your little one to the sensory aspect of money. 
  • Think about starting a youth savings account for your child—yes, even this early! Even though you’ll be the one depositing money into it for now, you’ll be setting the stage for your child to understand the importance of saving as they grow. 
  • If you’re able to start setting aside money for your child’s education, now’s a good time to do that. Remember, every little bit adds up! 

Looking for more tips to teach your toddlers about money? Click here.


Practical Ways for Helping Preschoolers & Kindergarteners Understand Money (Ages 4-6)

Once you’ve established some basics with your child, you can start planting the seeds of smart financial habits. 

Ideas for Activities with Your Child: 

  • Teach your child to identify the various coins and bills and their values. 
  • Set up a piggy bank or jar to help your child save up for something they want to buy. 
  • Whenever you deposit money into your child’s youth savings account, walk them through it and help them see their balance going up over time. 

Seeking more helpful hints for helping young children learn financial literacy? Click here

Teach your kids financial literacy. Download How to Teach Kids About Money: An  Age-by-Age Guide. >>


Money Management for Kids in Elementary School (Ages 7-10)

As your child becomes more interested and immersed in the world around them, you can help them understand the role money plays in their lives. 

Ideas for Activities with Your Child: 

  • If you give your child an allowance, help them understand how to use their resources well. Simply talking through what they plan to do with that money and helping them realize that they need to be intentional about those plans can be helpful. 
  • Tell your child about the four pillars of money management: Earn, save, spend, and donate. As it’s appropriate, help your child earn money for small chores around the house, save their pennies, spend on worth-it treats, and donate.
  • When the time is right, introduce your child to their savings account. Help them understand that the money is for big, exciting, planned expenses—and work with them to set and meet attainable savings goals. 
Want more money management activities for kids? Click here.


Becoming More Financially Independent: Tips for High Schoolers (Ages 14-18)

It’s time to start seeing the financial literacy seeds you’ve planted bloom! Your child will still need your help navigating money matters, but they’ll show signs of being able to handle some aspects of their finances themselves. 

Ideas for Activities with Your Child: 

  • Introduce your child to more complex budgeting. This might include discussions about saving for college or other higher-investment future plans. 
  • Talk about credit cards, their pros and cons, and the importance of a good credit score. Even if you’re not interested in allowing your child access to a credit card now, it’s important for them to know these basics long before they start using credit themselves. 
  • Discuss basic investment concepts and the power of compound interest with your child. This may seem like a more advanced concept, but once your child enters the workforce, they’ll need to know how investing works to take advantage of the decades of account growth they have before them! 

Looking for more information about financial literacy for high schoolers? Click here.


Setting College Students and Young Adults Up for Success 

If you’ve been proactive about financial literacy with your child, they should have all the tools they need to navigate early adulthood. Now, you can function more as a guide, helping your child tackle tasks such as: 

  • Managing any existing student loans
  • Setting up a budget to cover their living expenses
  • Saving a little bit out of any paychecks they’re earning
  • Transitioning from youth checking and savings accounts to adult versions
  • Determining appropriate retirement, investment, and insurance strategies

Excited to find more ways to help your young adults cement good financial habits? Click here

These are exciting opportunities for your child to start talking about, and they’ll need your help to set them off on the right foot. 

Now you know how to teach your kids about money. But, if you or your child require any assistance as you move through the different stages of learning financial literacy, the team at iQ is here to help. Explore our resources library for more helpful guides, and contact us if you have any questions!

Youth Accounts: Age-by-Age Guide




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