Kids Talk to Mom About Money First


When it comes to financial guidance, kids turn to Mom more often than Dad — 58% vs. 39%.* No matter which parent kids turn to, no one shapes their financial attitudes more than a parent. And they’re not just listening to what you say. Every time you spend money they are taking cues from your habits as well. Following are some guidelines for what your children should know about money by certain ages:

Kindergarten. She’s figured out how to convince you to buy things she wants. But what else should she know about money? By this age, your child should know: you need money to buy things; you earn money by working; you may have to wait before you can buy something you want; there’s a difference between things you want and things you need.

Sixth grade. Your sixth grader should be able to understand: the concept of saving, including compound interest; credit cards are not free money (they are loans) and can cost interest if you don’t pay them off quickly; and personal information like bank account or credit card details can be stolen and should be protected.

High school. Your teenager should know almost as much as you do about several financial concepts, including: the difference between a grant and a loan; how fees and interest rates add up; the dangers of certain financial services like check cashers and payday lenders; how to get and keep a job.

*Money, May 2015