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Teaching Children Money Management

 Teach Children to Manage Money

            If you teach them, they will learn.  One of the most important things that parents can do to help their children develop positive money attitudes and behaviors is to get them involved with the real life, day-to-day financial workings of the family.  Additionally, children need opportunities to earn, spend, and save money. 
10 Ways to Practice Money Management Skills
            Hold regular family discussions about money with specific details about the family’s income and expenses.
            Keep a family income and spending log/diary for 30 days (individual family members can also do this for their personal income and spending).
            Solicit ideas (and commitments), especially from older children, on how to reduce spending - allow children to keep a % of the savings resulting from any of their cost-cutting efforts.
            Have older children participate in monthly bill paying and grocery shopping.  Teach them about sales and coupons.
            Have an older child teach a younger child an important money concept.
            Have family members get together and make short, medium and long term savings goals. Have each family member sign the agreement, and then post it in a prominent location of the home to remind everyone of the things they are working towards.
            Have children develop a specific family spending goal (vacation, big screen TV, etc.). Allow them to contribute some of their allowance or earnings toward the goal.
            Have each child set personal earning and spending goals.  Regularly discuss progress and setbacks.   Teach them to avoid compulsive buying.
            Given a certain amount of money, regularly have children plan a meal, purchase the ingredients, and prepare the meal.
            Regularly have a “no -frills” entertainment night (“old fashioned” board games, $1 video rental, talent shows, sandwiches in the park, storytelling, etc.).  Fun activities don’t have to be expensive.
Parent Resources
            Many resources for parents and youth are available online.  Capital One and Search Institute have a new financial literacy website with a resource called "Bank It," designed to help parents and teens talk about and manage money.   Go to
   includes the Check It Out game.  Participants are given one month's worth of income...and one month’s worth of bills. Goal: to meet your monthly financial obligations on time, without spending more than you have.
    has three sections. “Fun for kids” has tips and games on earning, saving, spending, and giving.  “Tips for Teens” includes those explored with kids, and adds owing, tracking, investing, and safeguarding.  Parenting guide and teaching tools are sections in “Pointers for Parents”.
            A site specifically for teens with topics such as banking questions, credit, employment and saving can be found at
Utah Saves is a statewide coalition that provides tips and tools to help adults as well as youth set goals, develop strategies to reach those goals and to start saving. America/Utah Saves believes that promoting savings is a year-long campaign.  Utah Saves provides a monthly electronic newsletter, an online tool for savers to monitor your progress, and saving strategies for different goals. The Utah Saves newsletter often has ideas and tools to ‘promote youth savings’.  We know that many successful savers start young and develop positive financial habits that last a lifetime. These resources are designed for parents and youth leaders. Visit or come to the Juab County Extension office, sign up to become a Utah Saver along with your children and start making your dreams a reality.  To date there are 854 Utah Savers in Juab County, people just like you who are paying off their debts and saving to reach their financial goals. So what are you waiting for? Sign up today.


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