Talking with Young Kids about Money

August 11, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

The main section headings are listed below. The total number of participants was 43.




















Michael: Welcome to our Chat on Talking with Kids about Money. Hi! I’m Michael Gutter (University of Florida) your moderator for today’s chat along with our technician, Dustin Hyatt (Connect System). Today’s chat, that will last about one hour to 90 minutes, is sponsored and supported by members of the Financial Security for All Community of Practice. Out team of experts listed on your screen will be responding to your questions. As many of you know, kids learn about money management from both formal education and social learning. We want to think about the youth development issues, strategies, successes, resources and expectations about impact during this chat. Our panelists include Kimberly Nute-Jones, University of Illinois Extension; Megan O'Neil-Haight, University of Maryland, and Erica Tobe, Michigan State University Extension. Your moderator will be Michael Gutter, University of Florida. You can view their bios at As many of you know, I have two children, Ethan just turned 6 and the issue of money has come up more and more. We are pleased his school teaches some things about money and we are starting to use KidsWealth at home. But as the evidence is continuing to show, financial behaviors are influenced by formal education and social learning. Thus we need to leverage social learning as part of our efforts. How do we help families? Our panelists had some initial thought to share. Megan?

Megan O'Neil-Haight: An ABC News poll of 500 teenagers in conducted by phone in November, 2009, showed 62 percent of them saying their families had cut back on spending. 67 percent said their parents seemed worried about the economy. And among teens who said their parents worried, 75 percent said they did too. (Margin of error of 4.5 percent)

Kimberly Nute-Jones: One of the best ways parents can teach their children about money is to use money in lieu of credit/debit cards. Kids think that that the credit / debit cards have endless amounts of money. When children are given money to spend, they are taught limits. I notice with my own children, they don’t spend as much when it’s their own money. They have a sense of finality and decide to be more conscious of their spending because they know once it’s gone, it’s gone.

 Megan O'Neil-Haight: But does talking about money with kids add to or reduce family stress???
 Megan O'Neil-Haight:I found a recent Marist Poll (April 2009) that says nearly six in ten Americans assert that talking to kids about money increases family anxiety while 28% say it alleviates it. See
 Megan O'Neil-Haight: Another very interesting Marist Poll finding was a gender difference between Women and Men regarding a good age to start talking with children about money. Women to the tune of a ten percentage point spread compared to men tend to favor age five and under as a good age to start while men, by a ten percentage point spread, indicate that they favor age ten to twelve as a good time to start talking to children about money. See Good Age to Talk About Money table at
 Megan O'Neil-Haight: We are battling a whole new set of circumstances than our parents did with us, and this is bigger than simple cases of the “I wants.” Advertisers play a substantial role in the lives of children. A recent study by Robert Seith and Larry Eldridge, Jr. called “The Impact of Marketing Messages” shows that: 

1. Children begin forming mental images or corporate logos by the age of six months. 2. "Brand loyalty" may begin as early as age two. 3. One in five children is making specific brand-name requests by the time they are age five. Erica Tobe: There are two great resources also to share. The first, Teaching Children Money Habits for Life from the University of Minnesota and Dr. Sharon Danes highlights great age appropriate tips; what different teaching concepts focus on; and aides for learning when working with young children. The link can be found at: Erica Tobe: Dr. Danes also has a resource on Allowances and Alternatives - which can be found at: Erica Tobe: Both are not free, but available for a limited cost .


Pat Swanson: The communication with children needs to be appropriate for their age and developmental level. Megan O'Neil-Haight: Yes indeed Pat

Erica Tobe: The article from Dr. Sharon Danes does a great job with that Pat

Erica Tobe: As well as using a consistent approach

Michael: Pat - that is a really good point and more research and program development need to happen to help parents know what messages to say and when

Kimberly Nute-Jones: Pat, The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has a great curriculum on kids and money. It divides the information by age. Here’s the link:

Michael: Pat - when to have them responsible for what things...

Megan O'Neil-Haight: Some will say that WHEN to talk about money with kids is as soon as they are able to tell that they prefer a dollar to a quarter when offered both! To the question when, the precise answer is really up to cultural, familial, and child developmental mediators, but conventional wisdom says that earlier is better so that kids can internalize money smart messages and practice money smart behaviors early and often… making them a HABIT; like price shopping, planning one’s spending, and saving.

Erica Tobe: For four and five year olds specifically... here are some resources from CUNA. They include: Tips - Young Children Can Learn - Things Young Children Can Learn About Money -

Erica Tobe: It is important to note that the CUNA resources were a joint credit union and extension produced project and are free.

Pat Swanson: Erica thanks for adding the comment that the CUNA resources were joint effort with Extension.

Megan O'Neil-Haight: Erica - on preschoolers... Start talking with preschoolers about advertising and don’t stop until they are out of the house. Make them understand that just because something is on “sale” does not necessarily mean that it is the best quality or the very best price they can get.

Erica Tobe: Very true... This is a great age to get started :)

Megan O'Neil-Haight: Open money-centered conversations with your kids without putting them on the defensive. Your teachable moments should be as positive and interactive as possible so that your child can be truly interested in the process of making a smart buying decision.

Erica Tobe: My opinion is if we are trying to set the stage with kids... we want to start to build the concepts at a young age. Cash and coins are easier for them to understand.

Megan O'Neil-Haight: NEEDS and WANTS at the center of it all.

We should money with kids is as soon as they are able to tell that they prefer a dollar to a quarter when offered both! To the question when, the precise answer is really up to cultural, familial, and child developmental mediators, but conventional wisdom says that earlier is better so that kids can internalize money smart messages and practice money smart behaviors early and often… making them a HABIT; like price shopping, planning one’s spending, and saving. Things that can be done together with families and kids to teach lessons in concrete real-life settings… In the grocery store - look for sale items and stock up on in-season produce; save and donate a portion of their allowances to charity; avoid gift cards… more…


Megan O'Neil-Haight: NYU has a few nice resources that speak to the economic downturn and talking with children about job loss. The articles from NYU do a nice job of separating ages and stages of development and the appropriate level of discussion and concepts at each stage. This is important as we know that talking with “KIDS” about money would be as generic as “talking with PEOPLE”. One must know a little more about your audiences (adults and children) - their “language”, their perceptions, their stages in life - to be relevant with lessons. Talking with a 4 year old about money is very different than talking with a 7 year old and both are far different than talking with a tween or teen.

Megan O'Neil-Haight: Today our kids are comfortable plunking down the plastic bearing corporate logos of credit card companies when purchasing things they want - without having to consider the pesky details like interest rates, paying bills, and understanding numerous fees associated with “real” credit cards. Skip the credit card education… just give kids something that looks exactly like a credit card and have them practice using it! Brilliant future credit card holder training program - virtually ensures credit card company profit when these same kids later screw up by obtaining high interest cards, going over limits and not paying on time.

Barbara O'Neill: In what specific ways can parents use the current recession as a "teachable moment"?

Megan O'Neil-Haight: Barb - talking about job loss (in the family or in the neighborhood and among friends) is a an unfortunate opportunity we are presented with.

Michelle Tidemann: Regarding the recession, I have teenage boys and we are talking about the joblessness rates and looking at how the unemployment rates equate to numbers of people and then we talk about the number of folks who are living on our street and how many of them would fit into that quotient

Michael: Michelle, I imagine many families need to be having these conversations. It is so important that the kids are not left unaware. If a parent, friend, or relative has lost a job


Janet Bechman: It's important to remember that messages are being sent when children observe parents spending or saving or using credit cards or ATM machines...not all the communicating is verbal.

Megan O'Neil-Haight: You are so right Janet. What we do is most important. Kids don't always listen to everything we say but they DO watch everything we do

Megan O'Neil-Haight: early lessons also can flow like this... When your child tells you she wants something, respond with questions like, “Really, tell me about it? What does it do? How does it work? Do any of your friends have it? Do they like it? Do they use it? Do you know where to buy it? Who has the best price?” If she can answer all of the questions and still wants the item, then she has likely made a responsible, educated decision that this item is worth it. With a little preparation, parents may find themselves and their children actually enjoying some teachable moments about needs versus wants.

Pat Swanson: What are some other teachable moments?

Erica Tobe: I find that play allows an opportune time to talk with kids...

Megan O'Neil-Haight: Holiday times and back school shopping are great teachable moments as well as when gift money or allowances are conveyed

Michael: Pat, with my son, it has come up as he wants things. When we are in the store, when I let him watch TV...

Kimberly Nute-Jones: Barbara, teachable moments occur in the grocery store, watching television when commercials come have to learn the difference between needs and wants.

Megan O'Neil-Haight: My daughter has a friend who is staying at her grandparent’s house because the electricity was shut off at her own home... talk about a teachable moment!

Ann Framion: Teachable moment: I had my daughter add up the cost of ingredients and supplies for bake sales as a grade school 4-Her. She replied that the value of volunteering was the real product.

Michael: Pat - when he gets a check for a gift. He doesn’t recognize it as money he asked does the bank turns it into money for him?

Kimberly Nute-Jones: Ann, that's a great example

Megan O'Neil-Haight: That's great Ann

Erica Tobe: Here are some I have found... 1) Talking to your child as you are going to the bank/credit union; 2) Having them watch you pay your bills; 3) If they are old enough - having them practice completing a check; 4) Having them keep a piggy bank and/or make a saving chart - and have them earn and save for something they want; 5) Play Store (and use a play cash register or even just give them a big calculator - depending on the age); 6) Giving your child a dollar and have them buy something and have to make a choice; 7) Teach philanthropy at a young age - donating either money they have earned (have a lemonade stand and the proceeds go to a local charity) OR donate time in your community; 8) Moon Jars - (if you don't have the funds- you can use old butter dishes to do the same thing.)

Philip Heckman: Moonjars are great, but making the equivalent out of margarine tubs for free is a great teaching moment. That’s one of the free activities Erica mentioned (

Erica Tobe: Yes, and it is usually items people already have in their home.

Megan O'Neil-Haight: There seems to me a teachable moment here also with all the "greening" of America. Talking about money and also eco-conscious investing


Michael: How do we engage parents so that we encourage these conversations at home?

Kimberly Nute-Jones: Parents must first be comfortable with their own history with money. If they are unable to talk about money, they will not be comfortable talking to kids about money. We have to do parent workshops first

Linda Bruce: Money on the Bookshelf (from Nevada I think) is a good resource for working with parents of young children to help teach them how to teach their children about money.

Michael: Linda thank you - I ask because we are pilot testing a program using the KidsWealth Program (donated). I wanted to know what free options might exist...

Megan O'Neil-Haight: Include a discussion that examines what your child really values. Help your child decide that they will spend their money only on the things they value most. Explain that many people get sidetracked and end up devoting time, money, and energy to impulses and neglecting other things that are really important. If your child is age seven or older, you can probably play the “I Won the Lottery” game to uncover what they really think about money as it relates to them.

Erica Tobe: Another good 4-H curriculum is Consumer Savvy for as young as 3rd graders... when talking about consumer issues... Consumer Savvy -

Kimberly Nute-Jones: Books are another great way to teach children about money. When my children were young, I read the Berenstin (Berenstain) Bears series to them. This series has a lot of life’s lessons on money, giving, waiting, etc. Some of the books in their series that can help teach kids about money are: Trouble with Money, Get the Gimmies, Trouble with Commercials, Think of Those in Need, Mama’s New Job, and Count Your Blessings

Erica Tobe: Another place to get free resources (coloring books, etc) is: They can also get you shredded money which elementary aged kids love (just don't have them try to put the money back together, it doesn't work and it’s messy) :)

Megan O'Neil-Haight: With the Lottery game ask: What would you do if you won the lottery? List the first three things you would spend your money on if you won the lottery. What does this say about what you value most?

Sandy Lackey: Here is a resource I use with teenagers to start a conversation about money

Elaine Courtney: For teens, the Money habitudes are a fun activity.  We also use the On My Own (TN) materials (similar to reality store, etc.)  Great activities to teach about money

Michael: What about family oriented? Kids sections, parents sections, and family sections?

Megan O'Neil-Haight: If you can gain access to kids in their settings (schools/camps/libraries/clubs) and then connect the dots with activities or handouts back to HOME... that is a way to cultivate whole family involvement

Megan O'Neil-Haight: One has to be aware of cultural nuances, however, when "connecting the dots back to home". Some cultures and ethnicities may actually be quite offended that someone outside the family has begun a dialogue around money with their children... do your homework and exercise caution

Philip Heckman: We need to do more to involve parents. Some research that CUNA has sponsored is looking at preschool financial literacy. The initial report emphasizes that the subject of money has many underlying concepts that are relevant to early childhood. Examples include ownership, exchange, and fairness. These suggest that teachable moments can arise even with very young children. Get the report at

Pat Swanson: Philip, thanks for pointing out research that has been done; more is needed on financial literacy of children (of all ages).

Ann Framion: Parents may come for a program to teach their children when in fact they are too embarrassed to come to an adult program.

Michael: I know that many local groups offer money oriented camps. I believe Richard Entennmann (Asset Builders for America) has been doing some of this in Wisconsin


Johanna Hahn: What are the pros and cons of giving children allowance? Does it teach responsibility or not? In workshops this question often provides for lively discussion.

Erica Tobe: Johanna - I would definitely look at this article... Allowances and Alternatives - Dr. Danes does a great job in talking about the pros and cons and helping a parent decide


Megan O'Neil-Haight: How does this group of attendees feel about gift cards for young people????????????

Yvonne: I prefer saving bonds over gift cards

Michelle tidemann: Children need to understand the "cost" for an item. How long do they have to work to afford the 20 dollar t-shirt they are thinking about buying? What is the true cost, how many lawns need to be mowed, babysitting hours? That also helps with reality of do they really Need or Want?

Ann Framion: Too many stories of blank cards. I would rather see cash.

Elaine Courtney: Has anyone used the junior achievement $ave materials

Michelle tidemann: Habitudes has a card set just for teens.

Elaine Courtney: here's the link

Michael: Ann, My son agrees cash is better

Megan O'Neil-Haight: Are gift cards to be completely avoided? I guess everyone has to decide for themselves. I believe a gift card sends the message that happiness is to be found in acquiring things that you want by handing over plastic. Not the message I want to send to my children or any other child who is important enough in my life that I would be giving him a present.


Ann Framion: For older youth with more cash I like to see CD rather than passbook savings. It takes them to another level. Most banks have some for as low as $250.

ERICA TOBE: With my daughter - she is four - we take her to the credit union with us - she hands the teller her money and gets a sticker (it's a positive experience). We play store. She tries to guess the coins and if she guesses them right - she gets to put them in her piggy bank.


Erica Tobe: Partner with your local libraries... A lot of times they can work with you to get information in their newsletters and the books ready for the parents to view for these discussions to take place.

Erica Tobe: PTA Organizations and schools can be a nice partner... Also, 4-H... Working with your local credit unions or other financial institutions. Often they have newsletters.

Michelle tidemann: For middle school Reality simulation, I have some parents on the planning committee as well as parents get a parent note on the concepts taught that day.

Erica Tobe: Many states have local Jump$tart coalitions as well that support state efforts, conduct training, etc

Amber Lounsbery: Jump$tart also has coalitions in just about every state, so check there first. I am the chair in South Dakota.


Barbara O'Neill: We've done piggy bank contests here in NJ as part of Money $mart Week. The kids come up with so many creative ideas, such as Albert Einswine, a nerdy looking pig with glasses. I can share our contest guidelines and registration form if anyone is interested. Megan O'Neil-Haight: LOL Albert Einswine

 Erica Tobe: I think Tennessee has done a similar one... and connected it with America Saves Week

Barbara O'Neill: Indeed. We borrowed their idea. June Puett would have their contest information.

Erica Tobe: I think from what I remember, they have the pigs on display at the state capital (the winning entries) - great PR

Elaine Courtney: Yes, we've done piggy bank pageant also (thanks to Barb for sharing) with great success.  We also do a "teaching children to save event as part of our Saves campaign.

Barbara O'Neill: And the media loves photogenic.


Michael: What are good resources to teach kids about saving and investing specifically?

Megan O'Neil-Haight: Within the IRA vehicle, minors are able to invest in mutual funds and purchase stocks and bonds. Research low-cost mutual funds. There are hundreds of choices and several mutual fund companies--earmark one or more of their funds especially for kids by spelling out investment philosophy, setting a low initial minimum, or providing educational materials for young shareholders. Examples of kid-oriented funds are: T. Rowe Price Total Equity Market Index (1-800-638-5660) will allow an investor to open a Roth IRA with no money, as long as she will commit to investing $50automatically each month. Vanguard’s Total Stock MarketIndex fund (1-800-997-2798) requires $1,000 to start. Columbia Young Investor (800-345-6611) requires $1,000minimum for a custodial account or no minimum with an automatic monthly investment plan of $50 and is committed to investing 65% of its portfolio in stocks that affect the lives of children and teenagers. USAA First Start Growth (800-235-8377) $3,000 or $20 a month and the fund’s prospectus requires

Erica Tobe: Another thing we have done in Michigan is start 4-H Millionaire' Clubs... This is a fun way to talk about investing with kids... Megan O'Neil-Haight: sorry - more on investing... USAA First Start Growth (800-235-8377) $3,000 or $20 a month and the fund’s prospectus requires it to steer clear of alcohol, tobacco and gambling stocks. American Express IDS New Dimensions (800-437-4332) $2,000 or $50 a month, 5% load; not strictly a kid-focused fund, but New Dimensions already had a stable30-year track record when American Express chose it as the flagship of its Kids, Parents and Money program. Monetta (800-666-3882) offers seven mutual funds, each $250 initial with $25 monthly automatic deposit. Comparable to others in the kids’ niche, is Blue Chip Equity Participants youth investing program called Monetta Express. Kids receive Steady Eddy, a plush bean-filled engine (get it?), the first of eight train cars - the other seven representing each of the company’s funds.

Philip Heckman: Should teaching about mutual fund investing take precedence over individual stock picking? Kimberly Nute-Jones: I like both Philip.

Erica Tobe: When doing simulated experiences, the kids usually start to learn the difference and the risks... it’s all about teaching diversification.

Kimberly Nute-Jones: Kids learn the movement of stock prices more readily with stock, but mutual funds teaches them to spread the risk

Philip Heckman: Built-in diversification.

Michael: Phil - from a practical standpoint we want them to know about mutual funds. That is the vehicle they will most likely use in their lives. However stock based games are more developed right now and seem to have more momentum

Megan O'Neil-Haight: Phil - I think it just opens the door to talk about risk tolerance and managing risk and there is never ONE right answer... but education about exploring risk tolerance and balancing a portfolio is certainly on the mark.

Erica Tobe: I agree

Michael: Phil - I think we need a mutual fund version of the stock market game

Michael: structure it like a retirement account but make it more interesting

Kimberly Nute-Jones: Let's do it

Philip Heckman: We also need a way to avoid teaching day trading.

Kimberly Nute-Jones: exactly

Michelle tidemann: Nothing against investing, but most young children have families who are not savers to begin with, so should saving be encouraged before investing?

Erica Tobe: Michelle- I agree, starting with saving is key...

Michael: Shelley - I think of it as a progression so yes

Elaine Courtney: Savings...wise management of money...leading to investing

Megan O'Neil-Haight: since one has to have capital available TO INVEST, yes saving comes first. Emergency funds also need to be part of the money-saved discussion, too.

Liz Gorham - SDSU CES: Here in SD, I recommend an Investment simulation that favors Mutual Funds borrowed from an old publication by Colorado - Be Money Wise and have borrowed from Iowa State Univ for a quick bean game about lowering money spent when there is a job loss; it also, looks at the need to save (used during SD Saves Month.

Megan O'Neil-Haight: I like anything that connects job loss to decisions and money managing, Liz

Liz Gorham - SDSU CES: The ISU pub revised for


Kimberly Nute-Jones: I often wonder about the appropriate age to introduce credit cards. Some of my children's friends have had cards since age 12.

Philip Heckman: Credit unions' experiences with credit cards for teenagers show that with education, the risk is small.

Kimberly Nute-Jones: Thanks, Philip

Megan O'Neil-Haight: What is one trying to accomplish with providing a 12 year old a credit card may I ask?????????

Barbara O’Neill: Wow! 12? That won't be able to happen anymore with the new credit card law. I guess the current teens with credit cards can keep them, though. Is this correct?

Philip Heckman: I believe that financial institutions can still issue credit cards to minors. Better to have them using credit cards while still at home and (theoretically) under parental supervision.

Megan O'Neil-Haight: So Phil - do kids put their Real birth dates on the applications and they still get approved that way???????

Kimberly Nute-Jones: Philip, I'm currently testing the waters with my teens. I've given them debit cards

Barbara O’Neill: After the new law kicks in (Feb 2010), the young person has to have a parent co-sign or document that they have adequate income. That should reduce the number or 12 year olds with credit cards, I would think.

Kimberly Nute-Jones: I agree Barbara

Philip Heckman: All programs that I know of require education first. So the responsibilities are clear. Both credit unions and teenagers are fully informed.

Megan O'Neil-Haight: Unless that publicity of that change actually gives some who had not before thought of it the idea to get a credit card for their tween... Julie England: One of my favorite activities to do with youth is "My Pizza Cost What?" It goes through a number of scenarios from paying cash all the way through credit cards with late payments, default rate and paying the minimum balance. The pizza ends up costing close to $100.

Kimberly Nute-Jones: Julie, where can that resource be found?

Barbara O’Neill: Pizza activity sounds cool...can you share it?

Kimberly Nute-Jones: Julie, please send it out. Sounds great

Elaine Courtney: has a video that does a good job explaining options when paying for credit card


Erica Tobe: One of the unique programs I have participated in, in MI is a Grandparents University where grandparents and their grandchildren attend a money management class. Both audiences love it!

Michael: Another one is enhancing your retirement from NEFE, a program designed to get older adults talking with kids about money

Pat Swanson: Erica - tell me more about Grandparents U

Erica Tobe: We have older youth training/working with younger youth audiences through 4-H using community service as well.

Megan O'Neil-Haight: I LOOOVE the intergenerational approach Erica. Also can help soften conflict within a family that "skips" a generation and may have vastly different ideas about earning/spending/ and saving and investing>

Erica Tobe: Grandparents U is a program through MSU, but the concept of intergenerational learning is the same... you could do a formal program like this, or a small one in a community...

Michelle tidemann: UW-Extension has a grandparent University each summer in Madison for three days. Contact UW-Extension Family Living Programs to get more information

Erica Tobe: I think several universities are starting them and are widely successful... we had close to 900 grandparents and young people this year... with a multitude of departments involved in the programming... it is run through the alumni offices in the colleges.


Kimberly Nute-Jones: One area of kids and money that I am not sure that we covered is the fact that kids earn money through chores, lemonade stands, baby sitting...

Philip Heckman: Elaine, here's an article we published from a teenager about running a business (Self Employment: Reap the Rewards--

Liz Gorham - SDSU CES: An old publication: Better than a Lemonade Stand written by 15-yr-old Daryl Bernstein is how to set up a baby-sitting operation, to provide computer/ TV programming services, etc. Great Read! It gives suggestions on what to charge and what is needed - a mini business plan!

Elaine Courtney: Is there a resource for helping kids determine what to charge?

Erica Tobe: There is a wealth of materials focusing on entrepreneurship that are available... 4-H has the Be the E materials; Nebraska has ESI

Erica Tobe: Be the E -; ESI -

Kimberly Nute-Jones: Elaine, my daughter went through training at the local park district and they provided guidance. Typically about $5 dollars per hour was the standard. I'll have to look into newer rates.


Michael: Elaine Courtney did some focus groups in Florida with Teens

Elaine Courtney: Also referring pre-teens and teens to online resources. Lots of games etc. We are doing a project where we are developing videos for teens and parents (based on those focus groups)

Michael: Liz that is a good idea - perhaps we could post a site in the Wiki on

Elaine Courtney: Here’s the link: please take a look and rate these. Also have a facebook page and they are on you tube


Liz Gorham - SDSU CES: Can we have a list of references and what they are designed to teach for those working in this area? Where would be a good place to locate it?

Kimberly Nute-Jones: The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has a great curriculum on kids and money. Here’s the link:

Megan O'Neil-Haight: I have several articles I have written that I am willing to share via email: Kids and Money; Birthdays Can Be About Sharing; Gift cards – The Perfect Gift… but for Kids? and Teaching Children the Value of Money. Anyone interested, please email me a request at and I will send the file(s). They will be imported to soon as well, but I will send PDF's to those who request right now.

Erica Tobe: Jumpstart is also a great resource and has an online clearinghouse of resources that you can use for kids of all ages...

Megan O'Neil-Haight: The Financial Security for All Community of Practice on has a section relating to Children and Money Research links at specific to children and money can be found at

Robert Thee, Penn State Univ: Family Economics and Financial Education has a lot of great resources for teachers.

Valeria Edwards: Penn State has a curriculum I purchased for $5; unfortunately I don't remember the name of it right now.

Robert Thee, Penn State Univ: Penn State has Right on the Money: Talking Dollars and Sense with Parents and Kids developed by PSU Extension and PA Office of Financial Education. Target is kids 5-7. Uses children's story books with money themes. It has family time where story books are read to all, then lessons for kids and other lessons for parents

Valeria Edwards: yes, Robert, that is the resource I have, and think it is a very good one because it uses wonderful children's books to teach money concepts.

Julie England: I like Barb O’Neil’s What every young adult needs to know about money publication -great overview of a lot of subjects Michelle tidemann: Dr. John E. Whitcomb from the Milwaukee area has written a great book called The Sink or Swim Money Program; it is about teaching youth financial responsibility. Wisconsin educators are familiar with Dr. Whitcomb. He is a medical doctor that has a deep interest in financial literacy.

Philip Heckman: CUNA has two “seminars in a box” for use with parent audiences--Value of a Dollar: Teaching Your Preschool Child and Value of a Dollar: Teaching Your K-8 Child member. Details at

Amber Lounsbery: As in FYI, SD Jump$tart along with Montana and New Mexico, partnered with Oweesta First Nations to conduct financial literacy research with Native American youth. We are in the second phase of our research but initial reports can be found on the Oweesta web site.

Megan O'Neil-Haight: this is a for-profit, but for referrals to folks who have a little grant money to spend, I recommend with Author Sam X. Renick and his signature character Sammy the Saver. It’s great for grades pre-K through 5 and has multi-modal pieces such as music, movement, workbooks, teacher lesson plans, coloring books, and live appearances.

Sukari S. Smith: Speaking of resources for our youth, the FDIC launched a CD for youth 12-21 y.o. It is free to all and can be downloaded at The name of the CD is 'Money Smart for Young Adults.' We have also recently launched an MP3 program that can be listen to on IPods or downloaded. It contains 4 general financial topics. Sukari S. Smith: Michelle it should be located at our referenced site as well. Call me if you can't locate 202/898-3942. Again, there is not a cost. We ask only that all requesters complete a form for tracking purposes. Your information will not be shared.

Kimberly Nute-Jones: For older children, NEFE High School Financial Planning and The University of Illinois Extension’s Welcome to the Real World are excellent resources as well.

Megan O'Neil-Haight: From the Children and Money page, you can link to: Money Talks (for teens) (English/Spanish)

Megan O'Neil-Haight: What’s Up in Finance (preteens and teens)

Pat Swanson: Thanks to all for sharing resources. There are many excellent resources that we all need to be aware of.

Michael: There are also many websites for young kids including Planet Orange

Barbara O'Neill: Small Steps to Health and Wealth has a good worksheet to calculate the time that it takes to earn money to buy something. Can be adapted for kids. Youth SSHW lessons will be out soon. Florida has some great SSHW lesson plans also.

Michael: Barbara that is very interesting - I look forward to seeing the kid’s version!

Megan O'Neil-Haight: Kids version of SSHW is a superb idea!!!!!!!!!!

Michelle tidemann: Barbara, will you be alerting us when it is ready?

Barbara O'Neill: One of our most creative urban 4-H agents in NJ is writing the SSHW youth lessons. Will keep everyone posted.

Erica Tobe: For 10-12 year olds, we have done a simulation in MI called the Money Game.

Megan O'Neil-Haight: From the Children and Money page, you will also soon be able to link to Adding It Up (an interactive finance education game for middle schoolers). We target going live with this in October.

Michelle tidemann: Wells Fargo has a nice cd that is user friendly for all ages of a family 3-4 year olds up to 104 year olds    

Erica Tobe: Reading Make Cents - here is the link

Megan O'Neil-Haight: Right on the Money is also VERY culturally diverse -- - impressive!

Michael: “The Great Piggy Bank Adventure℠ online is a virtual board game that educates kids and adults on the importance of wise financial planning. Kids will learn about important financial concepts and use these lessons to complete the game and achieve their dream goals. While The Great Piggy Bank Adventure is designed for kids from ages 8 to 14, fun-loving adults are encouraged to play with their kids and get involved in their financial education. “

Robert Thee, Penn State Univ: At Practical Money Skills for Life – VISA they have a great quiz game using NFL teams. Good vehicle for teaching or for introducing concepts.

Megan O’Neill: The Financial Security for All Community of Practice on has a section relating to Children and Money

From the Children and Money page, you can link to: Money Talks (for teens) (English/Spanish)

Thrive by Five (for preschoolers and their families) (English/Spanish)

What’s Up in Finance (preteens and teens)

Research links at specific to children and money can be found at

From the Children and Money page, you will also soon be able to link to Adding It Up (an interactive finance education game for middle schoolers). We target going live with this in October.’s could use more Children and Money section resources. Authors and editors of this type of resource, please contact Megan, Chair of Youth Financial Literacy Subgroup at

Kimberly Nute-Jones University of Illinois Extension offer the following publications for purchase at

Cool Cash Adventure With this interactive curriculum, you can guide young people through the consequences of different types of purchases, from borrowing money to pay for an item to using debit and gift cards. A "write your own adventure" student book involves the reader directly by basing the outcome of the adventure on the reader's specific purchasing choices. Teacher's packet included, making it suitable for any learning situation, from a traditional classroom to a home school setting.This basic set includes one student book and one teacher's packet.You can also select the Cool Cash Adventure Classroom Set, a more economical choice for larger groups.

Welcome to the Real World As our world gets increasingly complex, young people face ever-greater challenges in preparing for adult life. In this CD-ROM simulation of the real world, participants assume they've completed the education for their chosen career and are single, 25 years old, and independent, with no financial support from family or friends. Junior and senior high-school students then manage the salary they'll earn by deducting taxes, determining a savings plan, and spending their earnings on necessities and luxuries that reflect the career and lifestyle they've chosen. The curriculum is also available in Spanish; see Bienvenido al Mundo

The University of Nevada Extension Offers age appropriate lessons free of charge that are downloadable in the form of PDFs. Here are the links below

Your Preschooler and Money"kids and money"

Money on the Bookshelf Parent Guide: The Purse"kids and money"

Money Sense for Your Children This series contains six age appropriate lessons on money management. Here’s the link:

Great Minds Think: A Kid's guide to Money... a colorful, fun, and activity book from the Cleveland Fed. This book is a great way to begin conversations about money. Book topics include money basics to help kids make thoughtful money choices. While learning and practicing skills related to each topic, kids are encouraged to “Ask an Adult” about the choices they’ve made. The activity book also includes a certificate so children can celebrate when they complete the activities. Information on ordering this free resource available at or by calling 216-579-3188.

POLLS 1. Have you increased your knowledge of the topic covered in this chat? None 0 Some 17 A lot 8 2. Has this chat provided you with new ideas for programming? None 1 Some 14 A lot 10 3. Do you plan to adopt or utilize the information from this chat in what you do in the future? Yes 24 No 0 Not Sure 1

BIOS Kimberly Nute-Jones brings a wealth of experience to Extension as a Consumer and Family Economics Extension Educator. She has more than 18 years of experience as a financial planner, investment advisor, and tax practitioner. Kimberly has worked with a variety of audiences providing seminars and workshops on topics that include money and debt management; savings and investment planning; retirement planning and employee benefits; insurance planning; tax planning; estate planning; and real estate investing. In her spare time, Kimberly has volunteered for Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO) with the Chicago Public Schools and the Flossmoor School District 161. She has also served as a science fair judge, a community grant-writing committee member, and as a committee member on a district-wide school discipline advisory board. Kimberly offers a variety of programming for individuals, families, and organizations, with a particular emphasis on at-risk communities.Kimberly is a member of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), the Illinois Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (IAFCS), the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP), the South Suburban Alliance for Family Education and Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society. She has served on the board of directors for the Ora Higgins Youth Foundation Scholarship, and is currently the vice president of the board of Madison Meadows Homeowners Association of Flossmoor.

Kimberly earned her bachelor's degree in Financial Counseling and Planning from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, and her master's degree in Secondary Education with distinction from Saint Xavier University in Chicago.

Megan O'Neil-Haight

Megan has been honored by the Maryland Association of Family and Consumer Sciences "Extension Educator of the Year" in 2007 and again in 2009. Ms. O'Neil-Haight serves three rural counties in Maryland as Family, Youth and Communities Finance Educator. Megan’s expertise and research interests are in personal finance education across the life span, early financial literacy education in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12, rural entrepreneurship, small business management, costs of social welfare programs, and marketing not-for-profits. She serves as Chair of the Public Policy Committee of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and Youth Financial Literacy subgroup leader of's Financial Security for All Community of Practice. Ms. O'Neil-Haight earned a Master’s Degree in Community Services Administration from Alfred University and a B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Oswego.

Erica Tobe is a Coordinator for the Family Economics and Consumerism Team with Michigan State University Extension. Her focus areas of programming consist of youth financial education and youth entrepreneurship. Erica has served as the national liaison to the credit union movement on behalf of Cooperative Extension for youth financial literacy; the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program National Revision Curriculum Team; and the Michigan State Representative for the NEFE HSFPP program. Erica has also served as past president and secretary of the Michigan Jumpstart Coalition; and currently has 4-H Youth Development responsibilities in her assignment. She has a Masters in Social Work and Bachelors in Science in Family and Consumer Resources, both from Michigan State University.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.