Financial Education for Kids 11-17 Years Old
Financial lessons for kids 11-13 years old
Kids at this age may be a bit too young for paid work outside the home, but they can still earn more money through compound interest. Start a bank account for kids with no fees; the best savings accounts for kids will even pay out $5 for every report card with an “A” while also earning compound interest! Help kids set savings goals to maximize returns, and review their growing account often to encourage them to stick with it.
At 11-13, kids are ready to set longer-term goals for big purchases. It’s a good time to introduce the concept of opportunity costs by explaining how giving up smaller purchases on a regular basis can help bring your child closer to his or her financial goal. You can also begin to demonstrate the uses for money that extend beyond in-store purchases. Let your child watch you pay utility or mortgage bills, and explain how you’re charged for different services. If you’d like, you can start including your kids in your family finance planning at this age.
Financial literacy for kids 14-17 years old
When your kids are in high school, it’s time to talk about college costs and the best way to save for college. (We’ll have an upcoming blog post all about ways to save for college; stay tuned!) Discuss the cost differences between public, private and community colleges or universities, along with the benefits and drawbacks of each type of education. Be honest about what your family can afford and the consequences of taking out financial loans. Explore grants and scholarships to help drive home the importance of getting good grades. (Don’t forget to cash in those great grades and get $5 for every report card with an “A” with the All-Stars Youth Savings Account!)
Kids at this age can start earning their own money through part-time work, which makes this is a good time to scale back on or eliminate allowance payouts. It’s also the right time to educate kids about abstract financial concepts, such as credit cards. Advise them that they should only be used if the balance can be paid off in full every month.