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From Allowances to Investments: 9 Fun Ways Kids Can Master Personal Finance!

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

Hey there parents!

As someone deeply passionate about teaching personal finance, I've had the joy of witnessing how crucial it is to impart money smarts to our little ones. I don't have kids of my own, but my journey started when I noticed my friends' children struggling with understanding the value of money. Today, I'm here to share some creative and enjoyable ways to teach personal finance to kids, making sure they grasp the concept of money management from an early age.


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African American family

The Importance of Teaching Kids Finance

Before we get into the 9 fun ways to master personal finance, let’s take a quick look at the why. Teaching financial literacy isn't just about numbers and budgets. It's about empowering the next generation with the skills to make wise financial decisions, which will serve them well into adulthood. Learning personal finance enables us, and forces us, to look deep into the future and imagine a world where money isn’t a concern. It makes us think about the choices we make today which are either helping or hurting that dream.

girl thinking

Kids are smart enough to pick up on this, it’s often the parents who don’t want to talk about personal finance with their kids. By opening up and having these conversations with your children (or students) while they’re young, you’re helping them grow up thinking about the future and not just fixating on the present!

9 Fun Ways to Master Personal Finance

1. Interactive Story time Sessions: Where Money Meets Imagination

Here’s an important experience with my friend's children that I had that started me down the path of writing finance books for kids with Nick. Once, during their story time routine, we delved into a book about saving. The kids were captivated, and their questions poured in. Interactive story time sessions like these can introduce complex financial concepts in a relatable manner, capturing kids’ attention while teaching them about budgeting and saving.

This was before Nick and I wrote Money Magic, but it was one of the foundational experiences we had that finally made us commit to writing!

2. Board Games for Budgeting: Learning While Having Fun

family playing board games

I introduced my nieces and nephews to board games like “The Game of Life” and “Monopoly,” and their excitement was contagious! Board games not only teach kids about budgeting and investments but also help develop their strategic thinking skills. It was heartwarming to see them grasp financial concepts while having a blast with the family.

Another good one is the “Rich Dad Cashflow Board Game.” While a little less known, the games creator, Robert Kiyosaki, is famous for the Book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” The game itself is an amazing resource to teach everyone, not just kids, about personal finance.

3. DIY Piggy Banks and Savings Jars: Crafting Financial Responsibility

Nick and I created the My First Finance Book Series with the idea that we wanted to create physical books because we think that kids learn best through interaction. We wanted to create something that the kids would be able to work through with their parents or teachers, and not while just staring at a screen.

We’ve seen this concept in action a few times, and it’s not just with books. During a weekend with my niece, we spent an afternoon decorating her own piggy bank. Every time she dropped a coin inside, her eyes lit up with pride. Creating DIY piggy banks and savings jars is a hands-on way to instill the habit of saving. Plus, it’s a wonderful bonding activity that makes the concept of saving tangible and exciting for kids.

4. Grocery Store Math: Turning Shopping into a Learning Adventure

The other day I called an old friend of mine and happened to catch him while he was grocery shopping. Every once in a while I’d hear his wife in the background talking to the kids about the pricing of different items. I eventually asked him what she was teaching the kids.

girl buying fruit

He said they used the grocery store as the perfect time to teach the kids how to use the math they learn in school in the real-world! They compare the prices of two similar items, and see that the bigger number costs more (their youngest is only 4 so she’s still learning the basics!). For their oldest son, they keep a budget for grocery shopping and have him help keep track of the prices while they’re adding items to the cart. He makes sure to let them know when they’re going over!

I thought this was an amazing way to involve kids in the day-to-day application of finance tools!

5. Money-themed Chore Chart: Earning While Learning

A few months ago, I introduced a money-themed chore chart to my friend's children.

They had them read Money Magic, and then created the list.

They had specific tasks, and upon completion, they earned a designated amount. This not only taught them about earning money through hard work but also instilled a sense of responsibility. The joy on their faces when they saved enough to buy something they wanted was priceless!

6. Family Finance Discussions: Open Conversations, Wise Choices

Open conversations about family finances are essential. My wife and I were at our neighbors house for dinner not that long ago and the kids were talking about how it was budget night. Turns out, they sit down as a family on Sunday night and review everyone’s income, spending, investments, and charitable giving throughout the week. They show the kids how much Mommy and Daddy made from work, how much they spent, and how much was left over. They said they did this on good weeks and on bad weeks so the kids know that it’s ok to not be perfect all the time!

They then did the same thing with the kids' chores and expenses. They loved it and it brought the family together. The children don’t know it yet, but being open about their finances like that will pay dividends in the future; especially when it comes to their financial literacy!

7. Entrepreneurial Adventures: Little Business Ventures, Big Lessons

We have a kid in our neighborhood (roughly 12 years old) that’s pretty famous called the “Garbage Can Kid.” When my wife and I first moved into our neighborhood and joined the community Facebook page, we were actually pretty shocked. We kept seeing questions about the Garbage Kid, or Can Kid. We thought they were derogatory names!

red trash can

Turns out, he’s built up an impressive business empire in the neighborhood cleaning people's Garbage Cans! He had so many customers that his mom eventually had to create a subscription model for him to control his calendar, because he was working too many hours instead of doing his homework after school!

The “Garbage Can Kid” is an exceptional story of how kids can quickly create a business that turns a profit. He did a tiny bit of free marketing in the Facebook group, did quality work/cleanings, and then let word of mouth do the rest! The lessons he learned, and is learning, about business and entrepreneurship will stick with him forever!

8. Online Educational Platforms: Tech-savvy Financial Learning

With technology at our fingertips, there are fantastic online platforms designed to make financial education engaging. There’s a bunch of articles about which apps are the best or tools that are better than others. We haven’t had a chance to review most of them yet, but it’s on our action list and we’ll get to reviewing them in the future! But until then, a quick Google will give you plenty to research as well!

9. Real-Life Budgeting Challenges: Learning Through Experiences

Over the summer, I challenged my friend's children to plan a family picnic within a budget. From menu planning to purchasing supplies, they were in charge. This real-life budgeting challenge taught them practical money management skills. Hands-on experiences like these prepare kids for the future, helping them make informed financial decisions.

Teaching Finance to Kids isn't Scary

girl in haloween costume

Teaching personal finance to kids doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By incorporating these creative and interactive methods, we can transform financial education into an enjoyable journey for the little ones in our lives. From storytelling to real-life challenges, each experience plants a seed of financial wisdom that will grow into a money-smart future!

And if you want, check out our website for our list of services and finance books for kids designed to teach your children about personal finance!


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