Building Blocks:
A Parent’s Guide
to Introducing Finances

Follow the guide below to learn how to introduce finances to your child as early as age 3!

Building Blocks: A Parent’s Guide to Introducing Finances

Follow the guide below to learn how to introduce finances to your child as early as age 3!

As a parent, you make choices every day to better the health and wellness of your children and prepare them for the future. We constantly hear experts stressing the importance of introducing a balanced diet, proper socialization and regular physical activity to children early and often. And while all of those things are vital to raising a healthy, well-adjusted child, you probably don’t hear enough about how important it is to introduce financial concepts early too.

Studies have shown that by age 9, most kids have already developed their daily routines and good and bad behaviors that will stick with them through adulthood. Knowing that, we’ve developed the following guide to financial wellness with easy-to-implement strategies to introduce the topics of currency, budgeting, saving and spending as early as age 3.

We want you to feel confident introducing these topics so that as they grow up, your children will understand good money habits and have a foundation to build on.

Preschool to Kindergarten

Kids ages 3 to 5 are incredibly observant and soak up everything their parents say or do. One of the easiest ways to start introducing money is by modeling good behaviors.  

1st – 2nd Grade

At this age, kids know what money is and have a basic knowledge of saving and spending.

3rd – 5th Grade

Now is a great time to start building on the foundation your children have developed through your encouragement and lessons along with what they’re learning in school. 

Preschool to Kindergarten

Whether it be helping with grocery shopping or visiting the bank with a parent, the most important thing is to keep it simple, fun and hands-on! And remember that you are your child’s biggest role model and they will pick up on your good financial habits to develop their own.

Use the simple steps below to start giving your child hands-on experience with money:

Keep the Change

These days most people are using cashless methods to make purchases and your child may not see actual currency being used all that often. However, the visual representation of money is still an important learning tool to help introduce finances.

Grocery Store Trips

We know that sometimes a trip to the grocery store without little ones feels like a vacation. But going to the store with your child is one of the best ways to teach wants vs. needs, sensible spending and decision-making.

1st – 2nd Grade

First and second graders understand that you go to work to make money and that you need money for all of the necessary essentials to thrive on a daily basis. From your grocery store trips, they know that part of budgeting is prioritizing what you need over what you want.

If your children love going to the store with you, keep that up while adding in different lessons when you’re shopping. If your children are more apt to learn through games or imaginative play, then lean into that and find ways to introduce new money topics at home.

We’ve provided some low-cost, high impact ways to keep the financial fun going at this age below:

Keep it Fun

Holiday and Birthday Gifts

When your children get gift cards for a holiday or birthday, set some guidelines for how they can use them to turn it into a learning experience.

3rd – 5th Grade

Your pre-teen is starting to experience a little more independence which comes with more choices and responsibilities.

Help foster their new independence by offering ways to earn and save more money. This is also a good time to establish a bank account so they can start to understand more about how banks work and the importance of finding a bank you can trust to take care of your money.

Use the steps below to help make the most of your child’s desire to earn more money and build up the hands-on knowledge of earning and saving money:

Show the Value of Hard Work

Up until now, chores and gifts are probably the only ways your child has earned money. Build on that work ethic by setting up more “job-like” opportunities for your kids.

Open a Bank Account

These newfound neighborhood jobs may provide some extra cash that you might not want to keep in a jar or piggy bank anymore. This is a perfect age to bring your child to the bank to open an account.

Building Financial Wellness