Tips for Teaching Preschoolers

Developmental Characteristics

  • Understand the idea of saving when they can count
  • Think money as a way to get things they want
  • Understand the concept of borrowing and returning
  • Understand what is theirs and what belongs to others
  • Choose to buy between two or three items
  • Imitate parents’ spending habits
  • Do not understand different money value
  • May not understand that they have to pay for things that they take off the shelf at the store

Suggested Teaching Activities

  • Take kids shopping whenever it is possible
  • Use play money to play grocery store
  • Borrow or rent something they need to return
  • Teach them identify the names of the coins
  • Let kids pay for one item when shopping
  • Teach kids that parents work for paying food and clothes
  • Have kids do routine chores without pay, let them learn to be responsible
  • Put savings in a jar, build a good saving habit
  • Read stories about money and responsibility
  • Provide two or three alternatives and let them make a choice
  • Discuss products advertised in commercials

Tips for Teaching High School and College Students

Developmental Characteristics

  • Continue to need help on distinguishing wants and needs
  • Want to be more independent financially, while is somewhat dependent
  • Their school and social life cost more
  • Peers often have more influence than parents
  • Want to have money to manage
  • May want to use credits
  • Experience the good and bad consequences of spending
  • Some children take student loan for their colleges
  • Understand differences between gross and net income
  • Have some concepts on employment benefits
  • Understand they can exchange time and energy for money
  • May do some part-time jobs

Suggested Teaching Activities

  • Encourage children to apply scholarships
  • Continue to teach children to manage money wisely
  • Let children do some family grocery shopping to gain more experience
  • Help children on their saving and spending planning
  • Encourage children to involve in family finance planning
  • Involve children in planning for a long-term financing arrangement
  • Before children apply for jobs, discuss work hours considering study time and household responsibilities
  • Encourage children to attend internships
  • Help children complete income tax forms if they have part-time jobs
  • Compute miles per gallon on a family car to encourage saving
  • Explain auto insurance to children
  • Discuss ways to deal with risk of potential financial loss
  • Teach children about investing while explain risk of market

Teach kids Good Money Habits

Guide kids to be both financially and socially responsible person by teaching them how to earn money, save money, and spend money. And also help them develop other skills such as setting priorities, making choices, and interacting with others. Parents should promote kids good lifelong money habits by modeling and sharing how we manage money.

Use Money to Teach Math Skills
Money is a very good tool to teach kids math such as adding, subtracting, and sorting.

Use Money to Encourage Earning
Allow kids to earn money for chores or other activities. Let them understand that in order to receive payment, they need to put in personal time and effort.

Use Money to Encourage Saving
Saving is an important part of learning how to manage money. Teach kids that setting aside money today so that it will be there in the future, especially for rainy days is very important.

  • Help little kids to learn about saving by having “piggy” coin banks.
  • Help them set a goal of saving, for example, every toy or other item they ask parents to buy can become the object of a goal.
  • For teenagers, consider opening a savings account for them and working with them to make deposits and keep track of savings as they grow.
  • Explain the concept of earning interest on savings and ask them help calculate the interest and see how money accumulates through the power of compound interest.
  • Help kids learn how to plan and develop patience.
  • Tell teenagers how to build a good credit. The quickest way to a good credit rating is a history of regular, successful savings.

Use Money to Teach Spending Wisely
Tell kids that once they have the savings on target, some portion is available to spend. Money itself should not be a goal. Money is only valuable in terms of what it is used for.

  • Money is love
    Use money to buy a little gift to express love for family and friends. Even the gift does not cost much; it weighs ton by bringing family and friends’ pleasure and happy memories. Tell kids that as a member of a community, and as a citizen in the global society, they have a responsibility to other people. Teaching kids a sense of social ethics includes a sense of sharing and giving.
  • Shop smartly
    For example, teach kids how to spend smarter at the grocery store. Using coupons, shopping sales, comparing unit prices can save money. Spending money can be fun and very productive when spending is well-planned.
  • Avoid waste
    For example, encourage kids to use those papers, which only one side was used, to take a note.
  • Allow kids to make spending decisions
    Kids will learn from their spending decisions whether good or poor. Parents can guide kids by opening discussion on spending pros and cons before more spending takes place.
  • Teach kids about commercial ads
    Teach kids how to evaluate TV, radio, and print commercial ads for products. Sometime, ads exaggerate the products’ advantages and hiding disadvantages. Encourage kids to do their research. Remind them that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Alert teenagers about the danger of borrowing and paying interest
    Use mortgage as an example to illustrate how expensive the loan costs.
  • Teach teenagers how credit cards work
    For example, when using a credit card at a restaurant, explain to kids how to verify the charges and how to calculate the tip. Remind kids need be very carefully to guard against credit card fraud when shop online. Stress that using credit cards for cash advances only for emergencies.

Using Money to Teach Management
Keeping good records of money saved and spent is another important skill kids need to learn.

Use Money to Build Social Skills
Using money involves many social skills by interacting with others. Tell kids that when speaking with salespeople need to follow social rules that go along with making a purchase. Building social skills is a big part of using money in everyday life.

To learn more parenting skills, please refer to Happy Child Guide, My Out-of-control Teen and great parenting books.