Tips for Teaching Kids About Money

We’re here to help your kids understand spending, saving, investing and more.

A parent teaches their child the basics of saving and money by filling a jar with saved bills and coins

It’s never too early to teach kids the basics about money.

Here are some steps you can take today to prepare the kids in your life for financial well-being as adults.


An understanding of spending might be the most essential money skill you can teach. Young kids can quickly grasp the concept of money as a limited resource. After all, even grown-ups can’t simply buy whatever they want!

Teaching kids about spending pairs well with lessons on budgeting. Help them understand that planning their spending enables them to buy what they need. This is a great time to use our budgeting tools.

One way to teach young kids about spending is to set up an in-home store. You can either give your child some money or have them use their own for special treats, small toys or “coupons” for experiences such as a movie night, a trip to the ice cream shop or 30 extra minutes of screen time – whatever is most motivating to your child. Start with $5 and offer items at different prices.

Your child will start to understand they can’t get everything they want, but if they spend carefully, they can make the most out of their money.


To unlock smart saving habits in kids, help them understand that saving can be rewarding. Does your child have their eye on the latest electronic device, new sneakers or tickets to a concert? Help them set – and stick to – savings goals so they can work toward purchasing that special thing.

Encourage good savings habits by helping kids track their progress in a highly visible way. Young kids might benefit from adding rings to a paper chain every time they save a dime, or from seeing a jar fill up over time. You could also incentivize saving by chipping in 50 cents for every dollar your child saves.


You can start educating kids about investing as early as elementary school. Boil down the complexities to a relatively simple rule: Buy when things are inexpensive and sell later when they’re worth more.

Introduce kids to the stock market by having them track a few companies in which they’re interested, like a gaming corporation, tech brand or sports equipment manufacturer. Together, you can monitor those companies’ stocks and ask your child to predict how current events might influence share prices.

Accounts for Kids

Kids Savings Accounts: One of the best bank accounts for kids (even babies!) is a savings account. Setting up a savings account is a great way to introduce your child to a financial institution. If you’re wondering how to open a savings account for your child, you can easily open an account online.

Share with them the benefits of having a savings account:

  • Their money is federally insured (i.e. protected) by the NCUA
  • Their money will earn interest
  • They can easily access that money when they’ve saved enough for that special something

Kids Checking Accounts: Older kids who are earning and/or spending money on their own might be ready to open their first checking account. There are numerous options to consider, each with varying degrees of parental oversight.

Children as young as 10 can share a joint checking account with a parent or guardian. UW Credit Union offers the Clear Account or Rewards Account – each with unique features.

Teens 14-17 who are ready for another degree of independence can open a fee-free* Launch Account, which offers overdraft protection so both kids and parents have peace of mind. Plus, once your kid becomes a member, they’ll have access to the same great perks and benefits every member at UW Credit Union enjoys.

Educating kids about money management is a great way to set them on the path toward financial and personal independence. If you have questions, get in touch. We’re here to help.

*No monthly fees for members under 18. If you choose to receive paper statements, a $2 fee applies on both Clear and Launch Accounts. Paperless statements are free.

Related Articles

A woman sits at a table using a phone, laptop, and notebook to plan her finances

6 Money Myths Busted

Filter truths from myths – your financial well-being will thank you. 

Read More
Woman a tablet to learn investment tips from UW Credit Union

Investing 101

4 tips to help you get started

Read More
Women uses interest to make money on her money | UW Credit Union

The Magic of Compound Interest

Making money on your money puts you on the path to financial well-being

Read More