A 2015 Standard & Poor survey found that only 57% of U.S. adults were financially literate and had a solid understanding of key concepts like inflation and interest.  That troubling statistic highlights the simple fact that it’s never too early to teach your children about money.  The sooner you teach the benefits of living within your means, paying yourself first, and saving 15% of what you earn – the more likely they will become lifelong habits.

In fact, a 2017 Parents, Kids, & Money Survey conducted by T. Rowe Price found that parents who discussed financial topics with their kids were more likely (61% vs 41%) to have kids who say they are smart about money.

The American Bankers Association has the following tips that can help parents teach children about money at home.

  • Talk openly about money with your kids. Communicate your values and experiences with money. Encourage them to ask you questions.
  • Explain the difference between needs and wants, the value in saving and budgeting and the consequences of not doing so.
  • Assign your children chores and pay them an allowance for completing their tasks. Require them to save at least a small portion each week. The three jars method, one for spending, one for saving and one for charitable contributions is a good way to impart a sense of responsibility.
  • Open a savings account at your local bank for your children and take them with you to make deposits, so they can participate in their money management.
  • Children tend to emulate their parents' personal finance habits so set an example by paying bills on time, being a conscious spender and an active saver.

The ABA Foundation also recommends the following book titles to inspire students of all ages to become educated money managers.

Lower Elementary: Pre K-2

  • Litter Critter: Just Saving My Money (My First I Can Read)
  • Follow the Money!
  • A Dollar for Penny (Step Into Reading, Level 2)
  • Bargain for Frances (I Can Read, Level 2)
  • The Berenstain Bears' Dollars and Sense
  • A Chair for My Mother
  • Beatrice's Goat
  • Money, Money, Honey Bunny! 
  • The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library: One Cent, Two Cents 
  • Do I Need It? Or Do I Want It? Making Budget Choices
  • Bunny Money 
Upper Elementary: Grades 3 - 5
  • Gabriel Gets a Great Deal 
  • How Much Is a Million? (20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Just Enough Carrots 
  • Tia Isa Wants a Car (Available in Spanish)
  • Willie Wins 
  • Yasmin's Hammer
  • Abuela's Weave 
  • Elevator Magic 
  • Rickshaw Girl 
  • Isabel's Car Wash 
  • Lemonade for Sale
  • Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock
  • The Story of Money 
Middle School: Grades 6-8 
  • Lawn Boy 
  • Eyewitness Books: Money 
  • The Mighty Miss Malone 
  • Flat Broke: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Greed 
  • Follow Your Money: Who Gets It, Who Spends It, Where Does It Go?
  • Go Figure! A Totally Cool Book About Numbers 
  • Jackson Jones and the Puddle of Thorns
  • Make Lemonade
  • Mr. Chickee's Funny Money 
  • One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference 
  • The Lemonade War Series #1: The Lemonade War (Available in Spanish)
High School: Grades 9-12
  • Not Your Parents' Money Book: Making, Saving, and Spending Your Own Money 
  • Paying for College Without Going Broke 
  • Start It Up: Complete Teen Business Guide to Turning Your Passions into Pay 
  • The Wealthy Barber, Updated 3rd Edition
  • Making Money Work: The Teen's Guide to Saving, Investing and Building Wealth 
  • All About the Green