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How to Teach Your Kids the Value of Money

Updated on September 3, 2012

When You Have Money Issues - Think of the Kids

Money struggles and the stress that it evokes often overflows, an innocently can involve your kids of all ages. As parents, we want to provide for our children. Giving them security, paying for their college, and being able to give them an economic advantage as they start their lives is something most of us desire for our children.  For practical purposes, we need to save money all along the way, in every way we can. But in today’s economy, it is sometimes the opposite. We have fears about making ends meet. The ability to provide for our own retirement, and paying for college tuition seem like insurmountable battles we may not be able to win.   

Sometimes when kids sense the distress their parents are feeling, the kids also show signs of stress. Children are adept at picking up tension in the home. Financial stress can cause marital problems and other issues within the family.  Trying to save money can become an arduous task when making ends meet is tight. It is important to address these issues head on with your children.  Be honest with them, while only sharing only what they can handle.  You want to be careful not to overburden them, or tell them more than they need to know.

Save Money and Create a Good Atmosphere for Your Kids

Teach Your Children Values

Kids have a resiliency factor that is better than adults have.

  • ask them what they know and what they think they understand
  • address the issues honestly, and age appropriately.
  • discuss what they might understand about the economy keeping in mind teenagers watch and read the news, younger children have a different understanding
  • listen to their concerns and try not to influence their interpretation through your own anxiety
  • ask your children their thoughts and straighten out their own misunderstandings
  • pay attention to changes in eating and sleeping and socializing habits
  • comfort them and ease their fears
  • make time to have fun with them so you reduce stress for them and you
  • spend time to reinforce family values
  • use these lessons to teach them to save money for their own future needs

Sometimes the economic conditions are a good way to help your children keep a perspective on the materialistic things they want. It is always a good time to teach kids about budgets, how to save money, and to curb expenses. Remind kids to turn off lights, not waste water, food, and to realize the value of a dollar.

Teach Your Kids to Save Money

Teach your kids to save money in a piggy bank and a savings account. Showing kids how to save is one third of the value. It is also important teach kids to be charitable, to give money to others who may need more than they have. And it is important to let kids spend a portion of their own money on things they desire. In spending, they can learn to save, and learn to think about the value of what they are buying. Is that video game really worth the money? Prioritizing spending is an important life lesson.

We would like to think that childhood is a time of carefree days and shelter from the hardships that life sometimes imposes on us. We don’t want our kids to grow up too fast, but sometimes things happen that we can’t protect them from the harsh realities. Kids have an amazing bounce back ability. They are able to adapt well to situations and show a resiliency to stressful experiences. This resiliency will help them adjust, but their feelings and difficulties, sensitivities, and fears need to be acknowledged.

Look for the Fun in Saving

There are pleasurable ways for families to save money and stick to a budget.
  • Get a DVD from the library for free (provided you return it on time) instead of taking everyone out to the movies
  • spend the day at a local park and if the weather is good, bring along a picnic lunch
  • make up your own local tour ~ sometimes neighborhood businesses will give a tour of their factory or store.  Go to to see who gives behind the scene peeks of their businesses
  • if you need a dinner out, try ordering an assortment of appetizers for the table. You may save some money and enjoy the different selections of food, and your bill will be lower
  • take a vacation with another family you know and rent a condo instead of a hotel room. Splitting the cost, plus it comes with a kitchen can make family vacations cost considerably less
  • try to arrange a group of family and friend to go to a museum or a zoo and get a group rate
  • bring your own drinks and lunches when you go on outings
  • remember your memberships like AAA, Costco, BJs, and if you belong to a union can get you discounts for some of the things you might want to do as a family

Use Coupons Where You Can

Another way to save money is to use coupons. Here are some websites that have coupons you can print out:

Create a Psychologically Healthy Environment for Your Family

Create a healthy environment for your children to deal with the unpleasantries and difficulties of life so they will be able to deal with other stresses effectively as they get older. Spend valuable time with them by taking walks, playing games, doing a craft, washing the car, or cooking, or even fixing something together.  Do things that have meaning and create a bonding experience,. one that will overshadow the economy and acutally create positive memories. Long after the monetary woes disappear, your family can come through this stronger, better, and  with the feeling that together you and will get through anything.  Have the strength, the belief and the positive attitude that good things are on the horizon. As the parent, be a good leader, be proactive, and use your abilities to get through tough times. Use these times to teach them the importance of trying to save money when you can. Create a psychologically healthy environment for your family and your rewards will be great.


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    • TINA V profile image

      TINA V 

      7 years ago

      This is an informative hub. It is really important for parents to let their kids understand their family situation; however, they must discuss it appropriately based on the age of their children. The way they explain things to their 4 year old child must be different compared to the manner they talk it out with their 14 year old teenager. Eventually, they will realize that children nowadays can be a very big help to their family.

    • Winsome profile image


      7 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Thank you for writing this so well. It was a pleasure to read and I enjoyed the suggestions. "listen to their concerns and try not to influence their interpretation through your own anxiety" is a difficult one but I agree it is the best way. I wish I had learned it sooner. =:)

    • cardelean profile image


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Great hub filled with great tips. We have done many of the things you suggested, like vacationing with others and using coupons. My children are very young but they always ask for things when we go into the store. I tell them that we are choosing to spend our money on other things rather than tell them that we can't afford it. That way they are not feeling any financial pressure that I may be feeling and they are not learning to view money negtively.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Kids need all the tips they can get these days, thanks for helping to encourage more responsibility for kids in this area. Congratulations for the win on this hub in the finance contest!

    • Johnny Parker profile image

      Johnny Parker 

      7 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

      When I was hard up I tried to sell my kids... joking ;-)

      My kids benefitted a lot from getting a small job when they were old enough. Apart from them becoming self sufficient it teaches them more non financial stuff than they could ever learn from their parents.

      Good hub, congrats on the win.

    • Loren's Gem profile image

      Loren's Gem 

      7 years ago from Istanbul, Turkey

      Great share! Very useful budgeting and money saving tips not just for kids but for the whole family. :-)

    • Mary Merriment profile image

      Mary Merriment 

      7 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

      Great tips for teaching kids about budget and for saving money!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Great work - I think that teaching your kids about money and economics is so important. Lead by example, I always say....

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 

      7 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Congrats! Thanks for the tips!

    • onceuponatime66 profile image

      Jackie Paulson 

      7 years ago from USA IL

      Ya know five years ago even ten, I never used coupons, now in 2011 I have a "coupon file." It is amazing how much we save. Teaching our children about money is key. I also have a jar for "donating" and it helps because at the end of the month it goes to our local "animal shelter."

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      7 years ago from Washington

      Congrats on the win~! Great info.

    • PaperNotes profile image


      7 years ago

      At an early age, I have already explained to my daughter about the status of our life. She understands that not all of the things that she wants could be bought, it depends whether our budget would suffice or not. I am so glad that she understands the value of money.

    • joinphp profile image


      7 years ago from Tunisia

      In our homes we use to buy ceramic puggy bank and offer them to children for money saving.

      it's a traditional king of toys that we give to children for two purposes (and more):

      - to use as a toy

      - to teach them saving money from their early age.

      Thank for that great hub.


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