Remember that kids learn from watching parents — be aware of the messages you send and the examples you set. You should have a family budget, and include your teens in regular money meetings. Your meetings should be practical and informative. Be transparent.

  • Teach your children how to use a checkbook: writing checks and keeping accurate records. Show them how online banking works, but don’t share your password!
  • Taxes are a part of life. They’re not fun, but they’re here to stay. Explain that at their core, the idea of taxes is a great one. Introduce your kids to the concept of taxes.
  • Continue to teach the difference between need and want. It seems that our kids learn to say “I need it” before they learn their own name. A Need: Something without which your daily living would be impossible, or very, very difficult. A Want: Something that if you had, you’d be happier momentarily, but if you didn’t, you could live without.
  • Talk to your older kids about investing and the stock market. It is part of the big picture of money as a life skill — and it’s an empowering skill — a real adult activity that teenagers can take an interest in.
  • Teaching the time value of money is a must — explaining the real cost of purchases.

Kids & Money