Your Baby's Crying - What To Do

Sometimes, for a new parent, it can be very difficult to work out exactly what your baby is crying about.

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Teaching Kids About Money

You want to raise children that are financially responsible. Here are some activities that you can do with your children to help promote healthy financial growth.


Children can learn about money at a very young age. You can work on coin identification with them. Often they learn the names of the coins (penny, nickel, dime, etc.) before they learn the values. Playing games like grocery store check-out will help your kids learn about money as well.

You can rent something such as a movie, or go to the library for a book or movie with your child. Allow your child to be responsible for returning it. Paying any late fees will help children learn the value of money.

You might give your children money. If they keep it in a certain jar, perhaps you can pay them interest. Allow them to hold the interest. You can also do this with penny candies that the children will value more than coins.

Let your children put money in parking meters and other small transactions so they understand the idea behind exchanging money.

Early Elementary

At this age you can open up a savings account with your child at your bank or credit union.

Your child will probably be curious about money. Take the time to explain things like receipts to your child. Allow your child to help you compare prices while you shop.

Help your child make a rudimentary budget. Discuss the differences between needs and wants. You can color-code your budget to make it easier.

Help your child learn about charity. You might offer to match any donation your child makes to charity. You might give your children money to donate to charity (for instance, money for the church collection plate, etc).

Savings into the Piggy Bank

Middle to Late Elementary

At this age it is appropriate to offer your children extra household tasks that they can perform for extra spending money. Make these separate from regular household tasks that they are expected to perform regularly. You might allow them to clean the cupboards, the baseboards, or the garage. You might pay them to help you garden.

You can play games with your children like Payday or Monopoly that center around money.

Children at this age can be encouraged to compare prices in catalogs or magazines.

Teach your children about borrowing money. Consider charging a minimal amount of interest on money they borrow.

Help your children learn about saving for an item. If they want to buy something that is more than they can afford, discuss savings plans. Perhaps you will offer to pay for part of the item. Perhaps they will save their money for three weeks to have enough for a purchase. If your child has set a realistic saving goal, allow him/her to reach it independently.

Early Teens

Allow your child to research the benefits of various different checking and savings accounts. Let your child decide what account is best. Help your children balance their checkbooks at the end of each month.

Help your children understand the ideas of cash and credit.

Help your children save money for their education. You could perhaps match any savings that they put away.

Middle to Late Teens

Teens at this age might have a job. Research long term financial situations, such as tuition or buying a car, so your teen can make informed saving and spending decisions. If your teen is employed, help him/her with taxes.

Let your teen do the grocery shopping, or run other errands. Make sure they bring a receipt and change for all of the money spent.

Consider giving your teen a pre-paid credit card so they can learn about how to handle money and they can personally experience credit.

Calculate gas mileage using the family car. Consider making your teens pay part or all of their car insurance.

Discuss gift-giving and appropriate amounts. Is it nicer to have a gift that costs more or that is a thoughtful investment of time?


You might feel pressured to offer your child an allowance because other children in his/her class are receiving one. You might choose to have your child be paid for performing certain tasks, rather than a weekly allowance for a continual chore. It is up to you to whether or not to give your child an allowance. Discuss the allowance with your children and help them understand what their responsibilities for spending are.

Remember to have some chores that your children perform because they are part of the family. Not everything is contingent upon money.

Things to Remember

It is important to remember that children will make mistakes with money. Allowing them to make mistakes is an important part of their development. This means that they will not make the same mistake when they are older and have more money.

Be sure that your house is a money-friendly house. Donít be afraid to talk with your children openly and honestly about money. You might not need to share the entire financial situation with your children, but answer their questions at a level appropriate for their age.

Most Importantly

Teaching your children money is about facilitating their growth into financially responsible adults. This means that a shift in power takes place. When they are babies, you are in charge of all of their finances. As they grow older, you gradually give them more and more financial power until they are self-sufficient adults. Although it might be hard to watch them make mistakes, the long-term benefits of watching them grow into mature spenders and savers will be worth the investment of time and money.

About the Author:

Morgan James is an editor of The Guide to Loans ( is an independent information site devoted to helping people and families understand how to effectively use their finances. From student loans to mortgages, this site will help you make informed decisions.