The First Step to Teaching Kids about Money

Our kids have had a payday for a while now.

There are specific jobs around the house that they are paid for. Over the summer we had a great cleaning system. They helped me with cleaning a specific room each day and were paid a set amount for the week. They are also paid for cleaning their room once a week.

Today I’m working with T. Rowe Price to share two great ways to start teaching kids about money.

Setting up a system for the kids to earn money has been a fantastic way to start teaching them about money.

Another great teaching tool is the The Star Banks Adventure® game. It provides kids with an entertaining, engaging, and empowering learning experience that develops their knowledge of financial literacy concepts and skills.

Played together as a family, The Star Banks Adventure® game opens a lot of opportunities for conversation about money. You will also find a Money Confident Kids® Magazine, activities and tools for teaching your kids about money and helpful money-smart articles.


teaching kids about money

Some really wonderful things happened when the kids started earning their own money.

What Happens When You Teach Kids about Money

Math. Lots and lots of math happens when kids have their own money. They count it, they plan with it. They calculate what they’ll need and how much they’ll have left.

Money offers real life practice of this very important subject. They also get pretty good at calculating tax and shipping.

Decisions. There are a lot of decisions that come along with having money. How much work are you willing to do? Sometimes our kids decide that skipping the work is worth skipping a payday.

When we first decided that room cleaning would be a paid job my son had an objection. “It’s my room, why do you care if it’s clean?” The response was easy. “Good point, the room has to be picked up and vacuumed. But cleaning out under the bed (and other cluttered places) and dusting can be your choice. Of course you only get paid if the entire job is done.”

This ended up being a great way to make doing the work their choice. More often then not they do choose to work and even end up going above and beyond.

And more decisions. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched incredible decision-making skills unfold, special toy in one hand wallet in the other.

Save for the toy you really want? Or use the money you have right now on something you still want (just not quite as much).

The great thing about this is that most likely they will make different types of decisions over time. Sometimes they’ll save and sometimes they’ll spend.

These $5 decisions will give them real world experience and feelings about saving, spending, pride in their purchasing decisions and buyers remorse.

Which leads me to my next point…

More fun on the toy aisle! This is my very favorite one. Once the kids had their own money to spend I was no longer responsible for whether or not they brought a fantastic new toy home.

Now instead of being the one to say no… I get to be the cheerleader. I get to say things like. “That looks awesome! You’ve been wanting something like that for a while. How much is it? Do you have enough?” and “EEK! That’s such a hard decision. Both of those toys are so neat. I can’t wait to see which you choose.”

Remember the financial education game I mentioned earlier? The Star Banks Adventure® game is a great way to continue the conversations about their money choices and reinforce the concepts of setting a goal and saving and spending wisely.

Planning. Because the kids have a regular payday (we pay them every Saturday morning) they are able to plan ahead.

I’ve watched them calculate future earnings next to a calendar. Figuring how long it will take to buy the toy they want.

When we started talking about an upcoming vacation my son figured out how much he would need to save each month in order to have souvenir money.

How we decide between what is a paid chore and what is a family obligation. 

At our house we have both paid chores and family chores. Family chores are the way we contribute, they aren’t paid and can pop up anytime. Unloading the dishwasher, sorting laundry, picking up toys and clutter… those are all family obligations.

Paid chores are the things that make my life easier, but can go undone without much disruption. Dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the front door step and helping with the bathrooms are some examples of what we consider paid chores.

This system has really worked well for us. The paid chores give the kids the opportunity to learn about handling money and work ethic.


The Star Banks Adventure® game is a great tool for teaching kids about money. Download the app onto your phone or tablet. It’s the perfect way to pass time while waiting in line or in a waiting room.

Kids work to stop financial chaos by following Odal (their alien financial planner) through a series of challenges.

By solving puzzles, answering quiz questions, and using power-ups, your child is able to make upgrades to their flying motorcycle.

This is a great game to play together and kids will learn financial concepts along the way. While playing the game, use the comments Odal makes (like “start saving now” and “plan properly set goals”) to start conversations that relate to their own spending and saving. “Remember when saved to buy the skateboard you really wanted? It took a long time, but you kept at it. How does it feel now that you have it?”

Share the ways that you are teaching your kids about money in the comment section.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of T. Rowe Price. The opinions and text are all mine.

StarBanks Adventure® is a registered trademark of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.

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One Comment

  1. Wow, Jill! What a great system! All the parents I know have different ways of handling “allowance”. This paid chore system seems to really teach your kids valuable financial skills! I love the idea of being a “cheerleader” in the toy aisle. What a great way to change the conversation around spending money. Thanks for sharing!

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