Teaching Your Kids About Money

piggy bank

Summer of #unspoiling continues but I must admit I have become a slacker on some days about keeping up chores and consistency. I am finding myself longing for the organized days of September because keeping a routine and schedule in the summer is just plain hard.

Today we hopped back on the chore wagon by making my girls clean out desks and drawers, hunting for things off their school list. We found about half of each of their lists so that is a major win. And it also confirmed my suspicions that when I ask Lily to clean her room she really just shoves everything in her desk…..

One of the major things we are cracking down on as part of project #unspoiling is stopping the constant asking for things. To be taken places, to be bought stuff and to be given treats every time they take a breath. The problem is they are used to these things (well not “quite” those things) and going backwards is pretty hard. But we are committed.

As I have said before, one of the most eye opening things for me ever since I read the article that took me on my #unspoiling journey is how much “spoiledness” lives in my own heart. And one of the biggest ways I see this is how I struggle with needs vs. wants.

I need a pedicure, I need a new dress (with nowhere to wear it), I need new bedroom furniture. Truth is I need none of those. I want them though. And somewhere in me, I feel as though I deserve them. Deserve them just for living and breathing I guess. Because life is hard and I am living a good and kind life and DARN IT I deserve it!!

So should it shock me that my kids can’t tell the difference either? They need whatever toy they just saw a commercial for. They need dessert. They need to go to Chuck E. Cheese. “How come we have only been to Disney once?????” Oh the depravity.

I think part of the problem is parents who need to hold a tighter line (i.e.. me). But I think part of the problem is my kids don’t have a good grasp on money. We keep saying that our kids need an allowance and we very very inconsistently give them one, but we need to be more purposeful about it.

PNC Bank has developed an awesome learning tool to help teach your kids about money, earning, saving,  and spending. Best part is it does it at the level of a child’s understanding. Cute cartoons, easy to play games and best of all, watch videos from Sesame Street. You can even order a kit (in either English or Spanish) for some hands on learning. Concepts that are perfect for your preschooler.

It is all part of PNC’s “S is for Savings” account for kids. I will be telling you more about their actual account program in a later post but for now, check out their resources. I think it is going to be a good first step for us in teaching our kids about money.

How do you teach your kids about money?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by PNC Bank. As usual all opinions are mine.


  1. Jeannette says:

    My kids think money is always there- an unlimited resource. We have been trying to teach them (via words, chores, and having them pay for treats or wants themselves, etc) the concept of money as a limited resource. We have a long way to go.
    One of the things that drives me nuts is that my eldest always asks me to buy her something when we go to the store. I think there may be 2 reasons for this behavior (which I usually don’t give in to). 1) gifts is her love language 2) I generally do not go window shopping, so I usually do end up buying something, seemingly for me, and in her estimation it may or may not be a need, so why not something for her too?

  2. I think that your suggestion to handle this issue is very good. The tools depend on the age, though. The videos are great and other help described above lovely for preschool children, but for the older ones I can recommend for instance a desk game Cashflow that will teach them unconsciously the notion of investment, savings, interest etc. It’s not a boring lecture of personal finance but a fun way how to understand the logic of money and value of the world around us. And you have a good fun with you family, too.

  3. Phoebe says:

    *Dave Ramsey and Crown Financial have great resources for both adults and kids.
    *In our house, kids receive a consistant allowance that they divide up in 3 ways – 10% tithe (that they put in the collection plate on Sundays,) “saving for something special” and “long term saving.” On their birthdays we count their “long term savings” and Mom and Dad match that number. Then we take a family trip to the bank to deposit it into their account.
    *Our kids are involved in our budgeting and deciding what is important to spend money on, according to what the Bible says. For now, that means saying “no” to things like a fancy cell phone for me (DH gets his through work) not eating out a lot (because we talk about what we would spend against how many meals we could eat at home for the same price…), no haircuts every “x” weeks, etc. etc. Money is woven into many daily discussions. They know it’s imperative to live on less that you make, to not have debt, and give away much. We are very open about money with them. They ask and we tell and explain all in very much detail. :)
    *Kids follow their parents’ patterns. Our hearts follow where our money and time goes and kids see that. It would only make sense that if DH and I spend a lot of time seeking/talking about/bringing home the latest and greatest, our kids would too. We train them to be this way. SO, we live simply and try our best not to focus on the material things.

    I know. We’re weird, but we’re very okay with that! We feel called to be weird. ;)

    • One of the things I love that has “rubbed off” on our kids is generosity. They are always looking for ways to bless others. So I think you are right. They are watching.

  4. i agree…teaching kids about money is so much more essential now than ever before. thanks for the reminder that there are some great resources out there!

  5. Such a great idea – I need to start instituting a “chore schedule” at my house too. I know we spoil the kids, but I know that in the past year we haven’t been spoiling as much, namely because our family budget won’t allow it. That being said, I feel “guilty” (or something like that) when I can’t give them what they want. I think it’s a lesson we all need to learn.

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