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Millionaire Money Habits

February 5th, 2009 at 9:45 pm

How to Teach Kids About Money - A Few Simple Steps to Get Started

This guest post is by Sam X Renick, Author and Social Entrepreneur

Here are a few simple, yet practical steps to teach kids about money:

  1. Regardless of age - focus first on making saving a habit. Right off the bat this gives kids an additional option for their money besides spending. Secondly, saving has several benefits other than being a deterrent for poor spending. Here are a few: (a) it prepares us for emergencies and provides us more security; (b) it better positions us to make dreams come true; (c) it helps us to help ourselves and others; (d) it helps us get what we want and need when we want and need it; (e) it helps our money/savings to grow; (f) it gives us more choices, freedom and independence.
  2. Next help kids set goals and make plans for achieving those goals - including savings goals. Plans can be as simple as listing a few written steps for accomplishing the goal. Kids and adults with a purpose or an idea of where they are headed tend to do better and struggle a little less with spending choices.
  3. Now, concentrate on smart spending. As appropriate, include kids in shopping and spending activities like going to the grocery store and paying bills.
  4. Finally, emphasize interaction, involvement, and incentives. Look for creative ways to deliver repetition. Being a children’s author and songwriter, I always like incorporating reading and music into the above activities. Playing games like Monopoly, doing activity and coloring books, creating family and personal savings jars are a few more examples of how to vary activities for kids.

Two of my favorite books for adults on raising money smart kids are:

Raising Money Smart Kids by Janet Bodnar and Yes You Can! Raise Financially Aware Kids by Jack Jonathan. Two solid books on allowance are: Allowance Magic by David McCurrach and The Ultimate Allowance by Elisabeth Donati. And, check out the Jumpstart Coalition website: it is a great resource for financial education and advocacy.

About the Author:

Sam X Renick is founder of the It’s a Habit! Company and co-creator of children’s financial education and good habit character “Sammy Rabbit” as well as being an author and songwriter. Sam and Sammy have been hopping around the nation visiting schools, military bases, and other venues using their books, music, and live performances to share a secret with kids and families: Saving is a great habit! It makes you strong and secure and it helps you make dreams and goals come true. In 2007, It’s a Habit! received the California Jumpstart Coalition Leadership Award and in 2008 the company’s first book It’s a Habit, Sammy Rabbit! received the Institute for Financial Literacy’s children’s book of the year award. You can learn more about Sammy’s mission to change lives one dime and habit at a time, his books and music at or at

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  • Roman @
    12:59 am on February 6th, 2009 1

    Great advice! I would also recommend playing the Cashflow game by
    Robert Kiyosaki. It’s a bit expensive and it probably requires a
    certain age, but I am sure it can make wonders with the way your
    kids see the world.

  • Kathy
    11:02 am on February 6th, 2009 2

    I would suggest starting an investment account in the Monetta Young
    Investor Fund. An Account can be opened for $100 with a $25
    AIP…has a financial literacy component.

  • the weakonomist
    11:25 am on February 6th, 2009 3

    The trick is teaching kids the value of a dollar. They must do
    something to earn that dollar, so they understand what they lose by
    spending that dollar. When I have kids I plan to give them an
    allowance for doing chores, but it must either go towards a goal or
    be transferred to savings. I’ll also give them the option of
    borrowing money from me, but having to pay it back plus (a hefty)

  • Adam @ Checkbook Diaries
    9:36 am on February 18th, 2009 4

    Nice article. Child finance is of great interest to me and really
    what got me into more in depth personal finance analysis. Since we
    are expecting our first child, I have been putting together as much
    material as I can find to put together a program for teaching our
    children the value of money and how to be fiscally responsible. I
    think the MOST IMPORTANT step in teaching kids about money and
    fiscal responsibility is to teach by example. Live by the values
    that you are trying to instill in your children. Nice blog, keep up
    the good work.


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