Kids & Money

A penny saved is a penny earned. But how many Lincolns will your kids need to eventually become financially independent? Certified financial planner and local mom Shannon Ryan offers five easy steps to raise money-smart children.

1) Set Family Save Goal

Select a family goal that the entire family will be excited to achieve, such as a family vacation. Talk about the goal frequently to keep your children engaged and ready to play a role in achieving the family save goal.  

2) Model Good Financial Behavior

Our children always observe us, and it’s critical we demonstrate money habits we want them to emulate. Be mindful of how you speak about money and demonstrate a grateful attitude for the things your money allows you to do and have.

3) Throw Away the Piggy Bank; Give Money a Purpose

Toss out the idea that money should be stored in a locked container and forgotten. Money needs to have a purpose. Every year we help our girls set goals to save, spend and share. Any money they earn or receive goes toward their goals.

4) Make Value-Based Decisions

When your children find something they want at the store, don’t automatically say “no.” Help them learn how to make value-based decisions by asking them to compare the new item with their save goal. They may lose interest in the new item when they realize it means delaying the purchase of something they truly desire.

5) Create a System to Earn Money

I am not a fan of traditional allowance. No one gives adults free money; you have to earn it. A weekly job chart will help. Your children can earn a little or a lot, depending on how many jobs they do and whether they do the job well.

Shannon’s book, The Heavy Purse, helps parents start money conversations with children through a fun, bedtime story and companion workbooks. Visit or call 424-212-4939 to reserve an autographed copy.

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