Chapter 2: Financial literacy tips for kids and tweens

Welcome back to the next chapter of our financial literacy series! We took some time off to go on a beach vacation, and since returning, have found it hella hard to get back to regular life. Sorry for our delay!

This post focuses on teaching financial literacy for kids to tweens (ages 5 to 12). They are too young to have a job outside the home but old enough to learn the value of money. Kids know money is important and that it’s tied to power, access, opportunity and status. We have sheltered our kids from the harsh realities of money. However, as we grow our financial literacy, we need to trust that our kids are capable of being financially literate,  no matter what age they are. This begins with being comfortable with money. They need to learn how to use it wisely and not abuse its power.

Parents and influencers (aunts/uncles/friends/etc) must take financial literacy seriously when it comes to their kids. As we know, the debt levels in Canada are at an all-time high. Do we really want our kids to learn from this example? Don’t we want better for them? Since Emily isn’t in this age group yet, I don’t have any personal ‘tips and tricks’ on how to do this. I do, however, have some helpful websites for you to look through, to help you out. Financial literacy may look different to everyone. Is it better to teach kids how to save or budget? Should they know how much a mortgage/rent is? Do they need to know how much money you make? I can’t answer these questions for you. Perhaps you could look at your history with money and see how your kids can learn from your mistakes. If you throw a shit-load of information at anyone, you’re going to lose them. Like everything else, it simply comes down to setting expectations and open and honest communication. Maybe to start, have your top-three money learnings you’d like to teach your kids and/or tweens.

Below, is a recap of some helpful articles and resources I found about teaching financial literacy to kids and tweens. Also, Pinterest has a bunch of helpful resources as well.

Firstly, an academic source, from Pepperdine University in the US. This website is great as it defines common financial terms and words, plus practical money skills we can teach our kids. They also provide age appropriate links for more resources.  The resources are for US students, however, most of it can be relevant for a Canadian audience. Read more about it here

Now, a source from the Canadian government. Financial literacy has been important for this current government and they have a database for where parents and kids can find useful resources. Some are free, while others have a small cost and caters to both French and English speaking households. Read more here

Next, there is a site run by Visa that has some games which can help teach kids about money. Seems a little ironic that a credit card is teaching kids about financial literacy, but Peter Pig’s Money Counter looks like it may be fun for kids (aged 5-8). Read more here

Last, CPA (Chartered Professional Accountants) has a website to help teach kids about financial literacy . They have quick tips and tricks to help get your kids interested in finances. They also hawk their financial management program for parents, which may be helpful if you need additional advice. Read more about it here

Obviously, there is a lot of information online about kids/tweens and money. This was just a quick snapshot of what’s available (and looked legit). Remember, it does start with you. Right now, your kids and tweens look at the example you set. Not like you needed any more pressure! If they see you disrespect money, they will probably do the same. However, if you have open and honest conversations and set expectations with kids, they will be financially literate before you know it.

Next week, we will focus on teenagers. The time in your life where you’re working, but probably fortunate enough to spend 90% on crap you’ll never use again. Join us!

Photo credit: by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

3 thoughts on “Chapter 2: Financial literacy tips for kids and tweens

  1. Very good topic! My goal is to bring up my children to be self-sufficient and not depend on their parents (us) when times are tight. I have been implementing the method/book by America’s Cheapest Family. Even my 3 year old can set the table and do things to earn a little money. My biggest challenge is my step-daughter who basically wants for nothing and was given an NEW iPhone 6 for Christmas with all the trimmings of a case, charger, etc… We (he father and I) are not thrilled – how to help instill money lessons in this case? Any ideas, I would love to know.

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    1. Hi mrsmotherdirt! Thanks for the really great comment and question. It’s especially delicate when it comes to step kids. Is she expected to pay the phone bill? If so, this would be a great chance to show her the responsibility of owning a smartphone. It’s hard because this phone was given as a gift and the damage has already been done. What I would perhaps do is have a conversation with her and set expectations. While she may get these lavish gifts from one parent/home, you would rather spend this money on experiences with her, like a excursion or a movie day (use an example that’s relevant) and explain why you would rather spend money in a different way. Maybe have your husband talk to his ex to find a common ground in budget for gifts. It’s a tough situation, but usually honesty and transparency are always the way to go. I hope this can help

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      1. Yes, it is delicate and we have limited the use of the phone at our house. I think being open about it is a positive thing. She knows that we value time together over ‘things’. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question.

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