kids counting money

Age-by-Age Guide: Talking to Kids About Money

Arizona Federal Staff

While every family situation is different and no two children are alike – when it comes to teaching kids about money, experts feel the earlier you start, the more likely your children will develop good money management skills and habits that will help them become financially savvy adults.

To help you get started, here’s a list of some age-specific topics.

Elementary school

  • Explain where money comes from (jobs, chores, etc.)
  • Show them things cost money (birthday presents, groceries, etc.)
  • Make them responsible for small purchases like a favorite snack
  • Set up an allowance
  • Help them set small savings goals (inexpensive toy or video game, etc.)
  • Open a kids savings account
  • Teach them different types of payment methods (cash, check, credit, debit)

Middle school (tweens)

  • Make them responsible for some daily expenses (snacks, birthday gifts for friends, movie tickets, video games, etc.)
  • Show them how to comparison shop (name brands vs. store brands, etc.)
  • Teach them about savings accounts and interest
  • Show them some bills (electric, cable, cell phone, etc.)
  • Introduce investment basics

High school (teens)

  • Make them responsible for most daily expenses and entertainment – hobbies, school clothes, partial cell phone bill, bus money, some car expenses (gas, car insurance, etc.)
  • Assist them in finding a part-time or summer job (job search, online applications, resumes)
  • Teach them about paychecks – gross and net pay, taxes and deductions, W-4 form
  • Open a teen checking account with a debit card
  • Teach them banking basics – balancing account, ATMs, deposits, withdrawals, online banking and apps
  • Introduce credit basics – credit cards, loans, mortgages, interest, credit reports, credit scores
  • Discuss college costs (community college vs. university, FAFSA, student loans, scholarships, etc.)

At Arizona Federal Credit Union, teens as young as 13 can open a checking account that comes with a debit card and no monthly fee. And for kids 12 years old and younger, we offer a youth savings account that makes saving fun!

For more information about our youth and teen accounts, visit one of our branch locations or call us at (602) 683-1000.