HomeHealth & BehaviorEmotional Well-Being

Raising a financially savvy child

Page 3 of 5

By GreatSchools Staff

No single method works for every child at every age

Meridith, a mother of two, writes: "Our son does chores because we're a family and he's part of that team (sort of like how I make my bed in the morning even though no one pays me to do so).

"We have a chart posted on the front door, with an extra set of chores and each one has a value assigned to it. He'll empty the little vanity trash cans in the bathrooms for a quarter, he'll dust for another quarter, cleaning out the car is 50 cents... etc. He does extra chores to earn money (like a teen who gets a job).

"He's 8. He does not have an allowance yet. We've tried, but he doesn't have any interest in it. But he DOES enjoy looking at the chart and figuring out how many paid chores he needs to do in order to have enough money for his next Plasma Dragon!

"We've found that he's learning more about money this way than when we were forcing him to sit down and divide his allowance up into the portions he gets to keep and spend, the portion he had to save, and the portion he had to give away. He was bored to tears doing that, and really had no interest in it at all."

Gift cards can teach money management

"For my daughter's birthday she (now 7) usually gets gift cards instead of presents," one mom writes. "It makes her really very happy - she can choose whatever she wants from those stores, but she has to calculate very carefully not to exceed the amount given." This mom also says her daughter helps pay for the family's purchases at the grocery store using the self check-out lane and saves extra change she finds for use at the Dollar Store.

Parents offer matching grants

A California mother of three writes: "The way we promote saving money to our children is by:

  • 1. Each of them has a saving account
  • 2. We match the amount they deposit. (If they deposit $20 - we match it so the total deposit is $40). BUT they must keep it in the bank.
  • 3. Every time their statement comes they are eager to see how much there is in their account, and this makes them want to save as much as they can.

Show how little things add up

"I used to get frustrated when our daughter would ask for a 'treat' like a Jamba Juice orange juice or a Starbucks hot chocolate and I would find the cup still 3/4 full left in my car," writes California mom Bonnie Montgomery. "My husband and I started a new deal - whenever she would ask for a treat we would say, 'OK, it costs x-amount. If you finish it, no problem; if you don't, that's how much you owe us from your piggy bank.' Now, she either (a) finishes the treat or (b) says, "No thanks, I'm really not thirsty after all' No more full cups in the car!"

Shop for bargains together

"I teach my 13-year-old daughter to shop for the lowest price for the same product by looking through the circulars in the Sunday paper," says Carol Taylor. "Also I help her to see how coupons can help her save money. Additionally, we shop together so that I can help her see that she can get the same fashionable 'brand name' look at a lower price."

Comments from readers

"Teaching money management is so important I learnt through this artical.thanks a lot . "
" My problem with my kids was there money management. Every time the date for allowance come, i have to get to the same conversation about money management. I did a research and i found great tool, prepaid Visa card by It gives me and kids what we all need. Teach your child how to pay with plastic,your teen learns how to track spending and budget funds available on the card. You can set alerts, every time your child spend money, you get text massage on your phone, so you know how much they spend, where they spend and when. In case of emergency you can fund the card right away by using your phone and you can turn card On or Of anytime. I think it's a great tool and i am happy to share this with other parents."
"It is a tragedy that our schools do not require a course in finance, yet it is the one topic that each and every human must deal with in life. How can any school claim to be concerned about developing well-rounded citizens and ignore this topic. Shame on each school, and worse yet, shame on our country."
"This is really key in the lives of young people now a days. We are talking about the same thing at my church. Thank you for this. "