5 Habits to Teach Your Kids About Money

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5 Habits to Teach Your Kids About Money

Every family has its unique relationship with money which is passed down from generation to generation. Just like with a garden, what you plant — grows. As a parent, you have a choice about which values you want to teach your children and watch grow around money. 

The goal is for your kids to grow up with a positive and respectful relationship with money, so they can become successful and financially responsible adults. 

Sounds nice, doesn’t it? But how do you *actually* do that? Simple! Teach these 5 money habits to your children: 


Talk to your kids about money. Money is what we use to pay for everything, so there are plenty of opportunities throughout your day. Speak from a place of honesty and learning, instead of fear or shame. Remember to include them in family money conversations, like when you meal plan for the week.  Your kids can help you stay within your grocery budget and learn real-life math along the way!


Your children learn from doing. The only way to learn about money is to have money. Rather than simply giving them money, help them learn to respect the value of money by earning their own. Yes, let them work for it! Find simple, consistent chores they can do around the house.  Pay them in cash, and count it out when you pay them.  It’s a win-win! They’ll be so proud of themselves!


When children see you pay for things with a credit or debit card, the concept of money is opaque and difficult for them to truly understand.

There’s a big difference between swiping a card for $17.56 and handing over a twenty-dollar bill and receiving change.  The experience of holding and touching money makes it real and gives it value.  

Your kids will be able to appreciate money the most (and the quickest) when all their transactions are in cash. 


By using the 3 Piggy Bank System, you are setting them up for success by teaching them to be responsible. They learn best by making their own money decisions about what to spend on, save for, and give to. 

Here’s how:  Help them set up and label three piggy banks. One piggy bank is for spending. They’ll learn it’s okay to spend on what is important to them.  They put 50% of their earnings into spending. The second piggy bank is for saving. They put 40% of their money here so they learn to think about and plan for the future. The third piggy bank is for giving. They put 10% of their money in this piggy bank so they learn to be generous with their money.   


We all make mistakes, and kids are no different! One of the greatest gifts you can give your kids is to remove the fear of making mistakes. Do this by letting them manage their own money using the 3 Piggy Bank System. Celebrate their positive outcomes and turn mistakes into opportunities to discuss and learn from. Keep it positive! 

Your children are learning about money and their relationship with money from you. Every day, you are planting the seeds they will carry with them into adulthood. Teaching these five habits will help guide your children to have a healthy and responsible relationship with money! And hey, you might learn a few good habits, too! 

About the Author

Suzanne Ryan is on a mission to empower families to achieve financial freedom. She has been guiding individuals and couples to organize their money, strengthen relationships, and build wealth since she founded T&H Financial Coaching in 2015.  Suzanne loves living in West Des Moines and enjoys spending time with family and friends.


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