Get schooled: Financial literacy tools for kids
Empower the kids in your life to learn about money and financial management.
If you’re waiting for just the right moment to start a conversation about money and financial management with kids you know and love, now’s the time. According to Beth Kobliner, author of Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not), kids can grasp basic money concepts by age three, and by seven many of their financial habits are set.
Introducing concepts like wants and needs, saving, budgeting, and philanthropy to young kids — and continuing the conversation over time with tweens and teens to include more complex concepts — can affect their financial health well into adulthood. And, for kids who show an early interest in entrepreneurship, a better understanding of the financial concepts behind growing a business can be a launching pad for building and innovating.
Here are just a few of the many sources of info (and fun!) that can offer kids a head start on money matters:
1. Podcast: undefined
Produced by nonprofit news organization Marketplace, the Million Bazillion podcast answers all the questions kids may have about money — from “Why can girls’ things cost more than boys’ things?” to “Why is money green?” to “What is the stock market?” It also offers how-to topics like “Secrets to starting a business” and “Negotiation is a really important skill.” With just enough silliness and fun to meet kids where they are, the 20-minute episodes help demystify financial concepts and empower kids in an accessible, engaging style.
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The blog on bizkids.com is an ideal destination for budding entrepreneurs to tap into all sorts of topics related to business and financial literacy. But the blog is only one of the many rich resources on the site, which include games, multiple video series, young entrepreneur profiles, a financial literacy course, and a ton of other fun and educational offerings.
3. Book: undefined
Financial content site Investopedia recommends Heads Up Money, a reference book on finance and economics for kids from 5th through 12th grade, as its top book pick for young readers. From the big, philosophical questions (“Does being rich make you happy?”) to topics that range from the practical financial aspects of running a business to market trends to global trade, this foundational resource makes money make sense through easy-to-follow explanations and lots of graphics.
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A debit card and budgeting app for kids, Greenlight’s mission is to “shine a light on the world of money for families and empower parents to raise financially smart kids.” This mission is reflected in the wide range of financial literacy resources (from games to quizzes to videos) available to kids and parents who use the app. In the company’s #NowYouKnow YouTube series, money-savvy teens offer up quick insights to their peers to define financial concepts and encourage intentional money management.
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Given the early age at which kids can understand basic concepts around money, picture books and stories they can relate to their own lives are an easy entry point to key conversations and concepts. In Money Plan, author Monica Eaton invites young readers (the book is directed at kids ages 4-8) to follow along with Mia and her mom on a trip to the grocery store, a natural setting to explore lessons around budgeting, wants and needs, and values.