Ideas to Help Teach Your Kids About Money

By: Mitchell & Nemitz, PA

It's never too early to start teaching your kids about money. By proactively explaining how money and banking work in the real world, you can help them begin their adult lives on solid financial footing. Here are some ideas.

  • Help kids to start earning money. Letting kids earn money is a good first step to learning positive financial habits. Teenagers can get a traditional job or line up babysitting work to earn some cash, whereas younger children can mow lawns, pick weeds, or do other age-appropriate household chores.

  • Open a bank account. Kids need a place to store any money they earn, as well as cash they receive for birthdays and holidays. Plenty of banks offer checking and savings accounts for children and teens, provided parents or a guardian are also on the account. This is also a great opportunity to teach how to balance a bank account every month.

  • Get a debit card for older kids. There are many teen checking and debit card options available today, including some free options. For example, Capital One offers a teen checking account option with no fees, no account minimums, and a debit card for kids.

  • Help teenagers build credit for the future. You can add teenagers to credit card accounts as an authorized user to help them build credit history over time. Just remember that the impact on a teen's credit will only be positive if you pay bills on time and keep debt levels within a reasonable range.

  • Teach about investing. Kids with earned income can contribute money to their own IRA. There are also online apps for teenagers that can help them monitor their investments, such as the Greenlight app, which lets families manage money and research stocks and ETFs.

Teaching kids about money can give them a head start with being financially savvy. The lessons they learn can help them minimize debt, save more money, and potentially have enough money when they retire.