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

Age-based Tips for Parents to Teach Kids on Money

A kid will learn how money works and how to best use it in stages, depending on his or her age and experience. Kids are unique individuals who develop at their own pace. However, in general, as they grow older they should be able to handle money better. Here we outline, by stage of development, kids’ understanding and use of money as well as conflicts about money. We also give some suggestions on activities and concepts to parents for teaching kids about money.