The Importance of Teaching Kids and Teens About Money

Was money something you learned about in school? Probably not. In fact, many of us really only started learning about money when we opened our first bank account.

Fortunately, times are changing, and personal finance education classes are rising across America. According to Next Gen Personal Finance, the percentage of high school students guaranteed to take a personal finance class before they graduate jumped from 16% in 2018 to 40% in 2023.

That’s excellent news for the education system, but what can and should parents and adults do to reinforce these lessons? What we teach our children about money will resonate with them, even from a young age, and stick with them into adulthood. Here are some tips to help our children learn about money management before leaving the nest.


If you’re not talking to your kids about money until they apply to college, chances are they aren’t going to fully understand the implications student loans may have on their futures. 

That’s why the earlier we start talking to kids about money, the better. A great place to start? Give them an allowance, teach them about saving, but allow them to make some purchase decisions. For example, give your kids a daily food allowance while on vacation. Whatever remains at the end of the trip can be used to buy fun souvenirs. It is up to them whether they want to splurge on some extra ice cream or save up for a new toy. 


Do your kids babysit, have a part-time job, or watch the neighbor’s dog when they are away? Have you ever noticed that kids are more interested in money management when they earn it themselves? First, it provides parents with the opportunity to have conversations about money. How much will they save? How much will they spend? Will they contribute to a favorite charity?

In addition to earning money, kids and teens also learn many life skills, including problem-solving and accountability, which they can carry throughout their lives.


If not used appropriately, it can be easy to acquire credit card debt. Therefore, young people need to understand how they work.

High school can be a great time to open a credit card account with your child so you can show them how it works. Under your supervision, review monthly credit card statements and go over the bill line for line. Talk to them about paying off the monthly amount to avoid interest rate charges. This will engrain in them a respect for credit and an appreciation for controlling debt.

Key point: You only need a little money to teach your kids about money. The important thing is to work with them on understanding the basics and having a good handle on the power of money and possible pitfalls.