Jan 31, 2020

Teach Good Financial Habits in an Age-Appropriate Way

It’s never too early to start talking to children about money and finances. Don’t wait until your child is old enough to spend money, you can start teaching money management early on. Don’t know where to start? Here are some age appropriate topics that will help your child understand their finances well into adulthood. 

Ages 2-5

At this age, children start to learn their letters, colors and numbers. They begin to identify names and understand patterns and quantities. You can start to teach basic principles about money by safely introducing coins and loose change as soon as they stop putting things into their mouths. This age is very literal and seeing and feeling is an important part of learning. Make learning fun by helping them practice counting money and naming coins. Together, you can enjoy the sounds that coins make as they drop into piggy banks. Ever wonder why most piggy banks are clear? Piggy banks designed for children are usually transparent. This helps children see how money can add up and similarly how it can run out when emptied. 

Ages 6-10

School-aged children begin to understand how adults earn and spend money. Most have begun to make purchases with the help of their parents or siblings, and some have even earned an allowance. This coupled with their newly acquired math skills learned at school is making them more confident in the world of finances. Fuel their curiosity by instilling healthy spending habits and encouraging them to save. Open a savings account for your child and help them deposit their allowance or birthday money. Just like with a piggy bank, savings accounts allow a child to safely store their money but with a more grown up feel.

Ages 11-17

Teenagers have expensive tastes and love the latest in entertainment, fashion and technology. This is the perfect time to work on financial responsibility with your teens. If your child earns money through allowances or babysitting, they can keep depositing their money into their checking or savings account. As a minor, their account is always visible to a parent for tracking and security. You can easily transfer money into your child’s account should they fall short or need to make a larger purchase. This is the age where credit should be heavily talked about. Parents should be openly talking about bills, credit scores, credit cards and debt to their children. Unfortunately, money management is not heavily emphasized in schools and a growing number of recent graduates wish that it had been taught in school. Only 16.4% of U.S. high school students have been required to take a personal finance course, according to Next Gen Personal Finance. Don’t rely on schools to dive deep into financial management topics, it’s up to parents to offer those critical life skills at home.

Although money and finances can be a stressful subject for many adults, keeping it from children will hinder their abilities to make smart financial choices in the future. Have complete financial transparency with your children and you will set them up for success. Although there are many things that money can buy, there is one thing that it can’t; parental love and involvement.

With the help of a parent, grandparent or legal guardian, a child can open a checking or savings account with Hughes! Each child will receive a gift at sign up and a yearly birthday gift. Their membership will include a free Arizona KidCats Club membership through the University of Arizona (up to grade 8) and high school seniors can apply for an annual Hughes Federal Credit Union scholarship. Find out more about our youth checking, savings and certificate accounts.