Money can be a tricky topic and therefore, teaching the younger generation money management and personal finance skills is of utmost importance. Unfortunately, not many parents spend time teaching young kids and even, college-going children the importance of budgeting, investing, saving and smart spending. Financial experts recommend teaching kids, aged 5 onwards, about money and personal finance. According to the 2004 Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy Study, 58.3 percent of financial knowledge and skills are learned at home, nearly 78 percent of high school students have a savings and/or checking account and 22.1 percent of students without any bank account scored lower than those who have a savings and/or checking account. The results clearly showed that while children are actively dealing with money they don’t really have sound money management skills and know-how. In fact, a study by Ronald P. Volpe, Haiyang Chen and Joseph J. Pavlicko states, “A literature review has shown repeatedly that high school students have not received adequate financial knowledge and have poor knowledge of finance (Bakken, 1967;CFA/AMEX, 1991;HSR, 1993;Langrehr,1979; and NAEP, 1979)” The situation doesn’t seem to have changed. According to a more recent financial literacy study conducted by Jump$tart in 2008, high school seniors correctly answered just 48 percent of the 31 multiple choice questions.
Facts and figures such as these emphasize the need and importance of explaining financial concepts to children and helping them pick the right financial tools to lead an empowered life. and Children aged 5 onwards regularly get allowances and can easily learn the importance of saving and spending wisely. Younger kids can be taught how to count money and manage allowance while tweens and teens will benefit from learning how to manage debt and invest wisely. Educating children about personal finance will go a long way in reducing debts and foreclosures and improving the overall quality of life.
Parents and teachers can make money management, personal finance and investment an interesting part of a child’s life. Not only will kids be money-savvy, they will also be in a position to make better decisions and lead a more empowered life. Parents can lead the way by setting a good example, discussing money matters with kids using easy-to-understand terms and language and by teaching them to save and invest while spending wisely.
Use the resources below to teach kids, 5 years and up, everything related to money and personal finance. Right from how to start saving from one’s allowance to investing in stocks and bonds to college loans and credit cards to planning for retirement, parents and teachers can find all the information they need to educate children about personal finance.
Financial Lessons for Kids 5-12
- Teaching Kids About Handling Money: Simple tips and ideas on how to teach basic money management skills to children of different ages.
- Money and Kids: A comprehensive article with tips on teaching toddlers, preschoolers, tweens and teens about allowance management, saving, banking and credit cards.
- Allowance Basics: Here kids can understand the basics of earning an allowance.
- Teaching the Value of Money: An easy-to-understand article with 18 tips on teaching kids the value of money right from the start.
- All About Allowances and Managing Them: A comprehensive resource for parents on allowances for kids, how to fix them and how to encourage kids to save. Also includes a quiz for parents on financial skills and knowledge.
- Kids Bank: A fun an interactive site for kids to learn about banking and money.
- Explaining Social Security: Stories that illustrate the role Social Security plays in one’s life.
- How to Create a Budget: Simple tips and ideas that explain how to create a spending plan and stick to it.
Financial Lessons for Teens 13-18
- Introduction to Financial Concepts: A comprehensive article on saving, investing and banking. Includes easy-to-understand information on compound interest, investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds as well as the advantages and disadvantages of investing in each.
- Money Making Ideas for Kids: A list of jobs kids can do. Includes information on age requirements, earnings, tips on getting started and tips for success.
- Budgeting for Teens: A detailed article on how to get teens involved in the family budget as well as plan their own spending.
- Personal Finance for Teens: An interactive resource to help teens understand earning, budgeting, credit, savings, investing and risk management.
- Business for Teens: The complete small business resource for planning, establishing and succeeding in business as a teenager.
- How to Balance a Checkbook: A step-by-step guide to balancing checkbooks.
- Credit Cards and Teenagers: Tips on how to help a teen stay out of credit trouble and use a credit card wisely.
- Different Types of Financial Institutions: Information on the different types of bank and non-bank financial institutions.
- Tracking Your Checking Account: The mint offers a great page teaching teens to balance their checking account.
Financial Lessons for College Students
- Money Management Tips for College Students: A list of links on dog training for all ages and types. Including problem behaviors and some common issues/concerns.
- Federal Student Aid Programs: Description of the U.S. Department of Education student aid program with links to individual programs, tools to calculate eligibility, apply for student aid and other helpful resources.
- An Introduction to Credit Cards: A detailed article on credit cards, types of cards, how they work and how to best use them to establish good credit history.
- What is 401 (K): Brief overview of the 401(k) and how it works.
- Everything about the 401 (k): A comprehensive guide to the 401 (k) plans, types and requirements.
- Ways to Plan for Retirement: Offers ten ways to plan for retirement and includes easy-to-understand explanation of terms as well as helpful facts.
- Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds: An in-depth explanation of the different investment choices available and how to choose between them.
- Everything About Credit: A comprehensive article on understanding credit, the fine print on credit cards, keeping a clean credit record and protecting identity.
- Understanding Retirement Plans: Understanding the different types of retirement plans and how to choose the right one.
- Glossary of College and Financial Aid Terms: A complete glossary of important college and financial aid terminology and acronyms.
Financial Activities and Lesson Plans for Teachers
- Deposit Insurance and Change for a Dollar Lesson Plans: Lesson plans to help teachers teach concepts of deposit insurance and change for a dollar.
- All About Coins: A comprehensive resource with images of coins that lead to plans, activities and printables related to all the various coins, right from the penny to the Presidential Dollar.
- Federal Reserve Lesson Plans: Lesson plans for teachers to teach everything related to banking, history of money and economics.
- The Money Game: A fun card game to help children understand currency features in an interesting way.
- Lessons on Money and Personal Finance: A four-lesson curriculum with 86 pages filled with lesson plans and activity pages designed to teach middle school math classes using personal finance examples.
- Curriculum on Cards and Personal Finance: A complete unit with five lesson plans designed to teach children about three important areas of personal finance – credit cards, buying a car and debit cards.
- Fun Activities to Encourage Saving: Tips and ideas on how to encourage the habit of saving in young kids. Includes activities, such as making a Cash Kids bank.
- Lesson Plan to Teach Short-Term Savings: An activity-based lesson plan to teach kids in grades 3,4 and 5 about short-term savings goals
- Personal Finance Lesson Plans: A set of lesson plans for grades 1-5 to teach kids about personal finance in a fun and interesting way. Each grade level has 10 lesson plans covering a range of topics from bartering to shopping to starting a business.
- Money Management Projects: A set of five, long-term projects to teach kids in grades 4-6 about pricing, earnings, savings and develop mathematics and research skills as well.
- Banking for Kids: A fun and interactive website for parents and kids. Offers plenty of games and stories to learn about banking, interest rates, credit and savings.
- Building Wealth: Lesson plans on everything related to teaching personal finance to kids in high school. Includes topics such as interest, borrowing, lending, credit worthiness and entrepreneurship.