How to Teach Elementary Kids About Money: A Parent’s Guide

By Yulissa Asprilla

As a parent, you want to set your child up for success in every aspect of their life. One crucial area to focus on is financial literacy. Teaching your child about money management from a young age can help them make informed decisions about spending and saving in the future. Here are some tips for teaching your elementary-age child about money:

Start Early: The earlier you start teaching your child about money, the better. Even young children can start to learn basic concepts like saving, spending, and earning money. When you go to the store with your child, explain to them that you need to pay for the items with money. Teach them the different denominations of coins and bills, and how they add up to make a certain amount of money. You can also start giving your child an allowance or rewards for small tasks, such as making their bed or helping with household chores. This will teach them the value of money and how to earn it. By starting early, your child will have a better understanding of money management as they grow older.

Set a Good Example: Children often learn by observing their parents’ behavior. If you want your child to develop good money habits, you should model those behaviors yourself. Avoid impulsive purchases, save money regularly, and involve your child in financial decisions when appropriate. For example, when planning a family vacation, discuss the costs and budget with your child. This will teach them how to make informed decisions about spending money.

Make it Fun: Learning about money doesn’t have to be boring. You can make it fun and engaging by using games and activities. For example, you can create a savings chart with your child, where they can color in a square every time they save money. You can also play a game of “store” where your child gets to practice counting money and making purchases. This will make learning about money management a more enjoyable experience for your child.

Teach the Value of Saving: Saving money is an essential skill that can benefit your child for a lifetime. Teach your child the value of saving by encouraging them to set aside a portion of their allowance or earnings each week. You can also create a savings goal together, such as saving for a new toy or a special outing. This will teach your child the discipline of saving and delayed gratification.

Discuss Needs vs. Wants: Understanding the difference between needs and wants is critical for responsible money management. Teach your child the difference between the two by discussing the items that your family needs to live, such as food and shelter, versus the items that are simply wants, such as toys and electronics. This will help your child make more informed decisions about spending their money.

Encourage Entrepreneurship: Encourage your child to develop an entrepreneurial spirit by starting a small business. This can be as simple as a lemonade stand or a dog-walking service. By running their own business, your child will learn valuable skills such as budgeting, marketing, and customer service.

About the Author

Yulissa Asprilla is an Outreach Specialist on, working with the community to promote education, develop initiatives, track progress, and make sure to provide accurate information on financial matters.