Teaching kids about money can be a challenge. They may think you have an endless supply of cash and may not understand the value of money. Out of all 51 states, Nebraska actually ranks #1 in Wallet Literacy. Use this knowledge to your advantage, teaching financial literacy to kids not only helps your children have an appreciation for what you give them, but also provides them with a base for a successful financial future. Here are some simple money lessons for both children and teens from ACCESSbank to help your kids grow up into financially responsible adults.

Money Management for Kids

Is your child begging you for the latest video game console, a car, or the hottest new toy in Nebraska? Great! It’s important to use this as a way to teach valuable money lessons – including the importance of saving for what you want with this simple lesson plan.

  • The Value of a Dollar: Start your financial literacy lesson by choosing something that your child wants to buy and explain how much that item costs. For them to truly understand the value a dollar, it’s helpful to have them earn all or part of it to buy things they want. Depending on your child’s age, this could come in the form of chores or actual jobs like babysitting, pet sitting or dog walking. There are often local social media boards that list these kind of opportunities so be sure to help your child find something that may work for their schedule.
  • Teach Children About Saving Money: After they’ve earned their own money, get them to save it. Putting money away into something tangible like a savings account will help your child understand the concept of watching their money grow over time.
  • Spending Money: Once your child has saved up enough money in their savings account, it’s time for the fun part – buying what they’ve been saving up for. This rewarding experience should teach them a valuable lesson and will begin to establish lifelong, healthy money management skills.

Teenage Money Management

If you are the parent of a teenager, it’s important to regularly talk to your teenager about money management and teach them responsible habits when it comes to saving, spending and protecting their cash. Here are a few ways to help your teen understand how to manage money on their own, hopefully with limited eye-rolling on their part.

  • Open a Bank Account: Is your teen interested in buying a car or going off to college some day? Both of these are going to require a lot of money and serious money management skills. Opening a checking and savings account at ACCESSbank is a helpful way for teens to begin saving and managing money.
  • College Savings: According to a 2021College Report, the average cost of a private college is over $60K per year. This is a hefty expense for any family, so it’s important to have a conversation early on about how much college is expected to cost at a private, public or community college when they will be ready to go. To save money, consider looking into state colleges where you live. The same report mentions the average price for in-state Nebraska students is $8,000. If you’ve been able to create an education savings fund, tell them how much you expect to have saved up, so that they understand what else they’d need to contribute to attend the college of their choice. This is also a great time to teach your teens about how to find and apply for scholarships or grants, and how student loans work.
  • Protecting Cards & Identity: If you allow your teens to have cell phones, credit cards, and/or social media accounts, it is critical to also teach them how to protect themselves from identity theft. In 2020, Nebraska had over 2,000 reports of identity theft. Unfortunately, thieves know to target those who have not yet learned how to protect themselves. If your teen has a social media account, make sure they understand all of the privacy settings that should be carefully managed, and ensure they store their credit cards in a safe space. They also need to be vigilant about protecting debit card PIN numbers and their social security number. The more open you are about securing their identity, the more you will be able to protect them now and when they are on their own.

Teaching Money Management Skills to Kids & Teens

We all have short attention spans, especially when we’re younger. Money lessons can feel a bit like school, so to spice it up, consider adding some games or apps into the learning mix.

  • Money Management for Kids: When you were a kid, you always dreamed of becoming a millionaire, right? This “Save A Million” Calculator, allows your child to plug in different numbers of investment and saving options to visually watch their savings grow or shrink based on their decisions.
  • Money Management for Teens: Although most money management is digital now, it’s still important to learn how to write a check. Your teen can track future checks they write with this “Checkbook” Calculator.
  • Smarty Pig: A money management app that appeals to both children and teenagers, it allows them to set their own saving goals and even congratulates them as they are met.

Financial Literacy is a Life Lesson

Whether you are parenting children or teens, financial lessons are important to prepare them for the real-world. If you’d like to speak with one of our bankers, please contact us today. We're here to help make you feel confident in your financial decisions.