At what age do you think financial literacy should be taught?

I have asked this question on my personal Facebook page and through the Answers application on LinkedIn

Check out what some people had to say and let me know what you think…

From Facebook:

::: Between 13 and 16, or whenever they start earning a paycheck from a part-time job.

::: Whenever they are in a position where they have to manage money…from chores around the house, jobs in the neighborhood, whatever. Never too young for a kid to be responsible

::: I think college is too late because at that age you want your child to be responsible enough with money to not squander it on frivolous things

::: Start early and build each year!

::: It’s so important to start them off as children so that they don’t become financially illiterate grown men and women. I hate seeing grown men and women living from paycheck to paycheck or being evicted every three months because they havent learned the lessons of budgeting and not living outside of their means

::: My niece will be 5 next month and we’re definitely working on it! She has to learn the value of the dollar early!!! She has a bank she is not allowed to touch unless she’s depositing money into it and a little purse with money she can spend. She’s very careful about not running out and negotiating how much she pays for things.

From LinkedIn Answers:

::: I gave my son a 1 oz silver coin and we watch commodity market charts and videos of trading pits. He’s 9 and he perfectly understands pricing, supply, demand, competition, surplus, etc… I’ve found that he picked up microeconomics incredibly quickly. We’re beginning to discuss revenue and expenses. I’m thinking about giving him a weekly candy budget as a starting point. He’ll be able to save it, trade it, or consume it. I’m still toying with how I’ll do it. But, to your question, start early, start with the ideas and theory, and link the ideas to his everyday encounters.

::: I started when my three were in elementary school. No, we didn’t discuss economics but did start with them learning that every thing has value and if they want something, they have to earn and save for it. Simple stuff using pennies and nickels (OK, today that is probably dimes and quarters).

::: My parents/teachers started about the same time we learned to tell time (first grade). My mom was a teacher and she had flash cards (yes, the paper kind!) that helped teach us about money and the cost of buying things. The cards showed objects (toys, candy, etc.) with a price tag and we had to match up the coins it took to buy each item. Now of course, there’s all kinds of software available.


::: Once you give an allowance and/or your child starts making money. 

::: Kindergarten 
By the time a kid graduates from high school, s/he should be able to budget, save for a specific goal in the future, know what checking, savings, and credit accounts are, how to write a check and balance a checkbook, complete a W4, read and understand a pay stub and a W2, and complete and file their own income tax returns. 

Yes, really. 

I spent 8 years as an IRS-trained income tax preparer. 
You wouldn’t BELIEVE how illiterate people are.


::: Learning about finances really begins as soon as they can understand “bartering.” In other words, when kids understand that a trade has to be made to keep things equal; they are old enough to understand finances. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they will understand how to budget, save and all that. However, they will learn that things have a cost. 

Are you still with me? Now when I take my toddlers even thought they don’t have a concept of money I still give them the money, when we are at the register, to put on the counter in exchange for what we are getting then they see Daddy get some money back. 

Now there are decent books out there that can help with these, but honestly you are the best resource. It is your money management skills that will make the biggest impression on your children. 

They need to see you saving, and not just to spend it on something, but as my mom use to say – for a rainy day. By that I mean: a new roof, getting the car fixed retirement etc. 

The bottom line on books to purchase or courses is one’s that will help you learn the skills to be a good money manager. Then you will be the model for your children. 

In fact, you can have them sit next to you and help with the math when they are old enough so they get the idea of paying bills. They will see how the money flows in and out of the house. 

Here’s something you don’t want to miss. Teach them to invest. Money when invested works and never needs sleep, a day off, it, to call in sick etc. Investing money is one of the best ways to earn money – and it is one of the purposes of saving. 

What are my qualifications to give this advice? Well I’m no financial advisor; however I’m an educator (K-12), and I’m a person who lived debt free as my parents did and with excellent credit. Who did I learn this from my parents and neither of them was a financial guru either; neither had a college education, both grew up on farms, but they knew the value of a dollar. 

How did they fair? Well dad never holding more than a blue-collar job, and mom being a house wife they were able to buy anything with cash – even a 90K motor home (that’s right they cut a check for 90,000) without having to tighten their belts. In fact, they traveled about 9 months out of the year and lived well doing it. All this on no inheritance, but only on what they saved.


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