• Today’s financially troubled adults may be setting up future generations for failure, so it’s important parents instill money management skill and values in kids of all ages.
  • Kids who grow up with a good financial education are less likely get stuck in debt cycles, are better prepared for emergencies and have the surplus to give to charity and support their communities.
  • Here’s a look at suggested educational steps for kids in four age categories.

The Covid-19 pandemic really highlighted how financially troubled our society is. Debt levels are extremely high, bankruptcies are commonplace and many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Today’s adults are suffering and may be setting the next generation up for trouble, as well. Tackling the financial literacy crisis in America begins in the home, as financial education courses are still not being taught consistently in schools across the country.

Yet, according to a T. Rowe Price study, 36% of parents are “very” or “extremely” reluctant to discuss finances with their children, and another 26% say they are “somewhat” reluctant.  As a result, kids today have no concept of money or how it works.

Despite this reluctance, it’s important for parents to start the money conversation at home with their kids. With that said, here’s a basic guide of financial concepts that you can discuss with kids at various age ranges.

Ages 3-5

  • You need money to buy things. You can talk to them about the different forms of money we use — coins, dollar bills, and credit and debit cards. Have them consider all the things that cost money — toys, groceries, their backpack, etc. Also explain that a lot of things that have value are free. Spending time playing with a friend or cousin is really fun and doesn’t cost a dime.
  • Money is earned by working. Talk about your job or profession and why you chose it. Use examples of jobs they recognize like teachers, fire fighters and mail carriers. You can talk with them about ways they might think of to make money.
  • You might have to wait to buy something you want. Delayed gratification is a hard concept even for a lot of adults to understand. The sooner children accept this fact, the better. Have them identify an item they’d like to buy. Maybe it is a toy or piece of candy. Talk about how much it costs and help them count out the money required to purchase it.

Jamie Bosse is a lead financial planner with Aspyre Wealth Partners®. She is also the author of a series of children’s books on money concepts including “Milton the Money Savvy Pup Makes Saving a Habit.”

Jamie BosseYou can also schedule a free consultation with Jamie by clicking this calendar link:

Jamie A. Bosse  is a Certified Financial Planner® professional at Aspyre Wealth Partners® and a board member of the Financial Planning Association of Greater Kansas City. For help with your specific situation contact Jamie at

Aspyre Wealth Partners ®is a Fee Only financial services company located in Overland Park, Kansas. We are fiduciaries with a focus on: Financial PlanningInvestment ManagementCareer Coaching, and Life Transitions. We update our blog frequently – click here for additional insights. Find out how well your money is serving you by taking our complimentary, 3-minute Return on Life (ROL) Assessment.

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