Go to Top

When to Teach Kids About Money?

When they were born, a relative gave each of my twin sons a piggy bank.  We immediately set it aside, but as my kids have gotten older (they’re now three), they’re starting to learn what a piggy bank is.  Sort of.

Here’s a quick transcript of last night:

As spoken by my three year old son:  “Mommy, get me my piggy bank! And I need money!”

Heard five minutes later: “I don’t have enough money!”

For the moment, let’s leave the last part out, as he doesn’t even know what quarters, nickels, dimes , and pennies are, let alone what they are worth.  He just knows he wants his piggy bank as full as possible, just for the sake of having it full.  But it got me wondering: When is the right time to teach kids about money and how to handle it responsibly?

Tell us what you think.  Post your thoughts to our Facebook page, or leave a reply below.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit

About njacobs

Nick Jacobs is the Director of Communications for the NFCC (national Foundation for Credit Counseling).

One Response to "When to Teach Kids About Money?"

  • Nancy Phillips
    April 12, 2011 - 12:58 am

    I can totally relate to your question! With an eight year old and a five year old, it wasn’t long ago I was answering similar questions. For three and four year olds, it’s all about the volume and more is clearly better in their mind!! They would generally rather have five nickels than a quarter because it seems like more. At five and a half years old, my daughter insisted in carrying $69 in change in her backpack on the flight we took to my parents. She refused to exchange $60 for three twenty dollar bills, it simply wasn’t tangible enough.
    Usually when they reach five or six years old they will begin to understand how much coins and bills are worth and how to count money. I highly recommend using the “GISS” method of money management. “GISS” stands for give, invest, save and spend and the experience of dividng up their money weekly gives them the repetition they need to develop good, long-term habits and think about how to use their money. It also gives you wonderful teaching opportunities to discuss what they are saving for and why, who they would like to help and why and so on. Parents often discuss investing as simply “money that you will use when you are older,” until the child is at an age where they can understand more about it. Starting out with $1.00 is a great way to give them a basic understanding of how to divide up 100 cents. It really helps their numeracy skills and eventually how to understand percentages which is critical for calculating the effects of interest rates when they are older.
    Good luck and most of all, have fun!! The positive interaction is key!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree