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How to Teach Kids About Money

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Teaching kids about money when they’re young lays the foundation for responsible money management later in life. Children whose parents emphasize the importance of financial literacy and encourage them to spend and save thoughtfully develop a healthy perspective on money.

It’s never too early to begin teaching your kids about money. But doing so is not as straightforward as you might assume. Some parents don’t feel confident enough in their own knowledge of financial matters to be comfortable teaching their kids about money. Others believe it’s inappropriate to burden young children with conversations about money or think, mistakenly, that children are too young to understand financial concepts.

In fact, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison studied the behaviors and attitudes of fourth and fifth graders who were exposed to financial education and concluded that “younger students can learn financial topics and that learning is associated with improved attitudes and behaviors which, if sustained, may result in increased financial capability later in life.”

Beth Koblinger, author of the New York Times bestseller “Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not),” wrote an article for NPR’s Making Sen$e, in which she described her encounters with parents of all economic backgrounds during a recent book tour. She realized that all parents, whether very wealthy or middle-income earners, had the same questions:

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