Starting the Conversation About Money

We recommend starting the conversation about money when children are as young as 5 years old. This ensures that they will grow up to understand where money comes from, how bills are paid and other skills that will set them up for financial success. Here are some suggestions for parents to start the discussion:

  1. Do You Know What Your Parents Do To Make Money?

    Explain what it is you do every day that makes money and pays the bills. Encourage them to think of their own ways to make money while you are at it.
  2. What’s The Difference Between A “Want” And A “Need”?

    To your children anything they want enough instantly becomes a need. Ask them if they really need those new shoes, or do they just want them? It will be a great start to begin distinctions that might help them save money in the future and a great refresher for you too!
  3. How Can You Celebrate Without Money?

    Listen to your kid’s ideas and try to put it into practice it in the near future. Don’t just consider their ideas, actually do them. They might suggest fun and free activities all by themselves in the future.
  4. What Are Some of the Things You Could Do to Help Reduce the Monthly Bills at Your House?

    The important thing is to listen to what they might do and suggest some ideas of your own, explain that everything has a cost. Cutting down on the water bill by taking quicker showers or cutting back costs on gas for the car by consolidating trips, are great examples.
  5. What Could You Do To Help Someone Else Besides Give Them Money?

    Charity is the foundation of teaching kids about money and shows them that even their time has a value equivalent to money. See what ideas they have and get an idea of their interests and start encouraging them give back.

*Article written by Sharon Lechter, author, educator, and international speakers. Ms. Lechter also serves on the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy.