Is there a right age or time to discuss money with your kids or grandkids?

I am thinking if they are old enough to ask for toys or games, then they are old enough to start the lifetime and lifelong learning of finance. Our best financial lessons are part of our everyday activities. Look for opportunities to talk about money, read books aloud and play games that center around spending money wisely. Be open and honest when you discuss your financial experiences—good or bad.

Here are eight (8) examples of teachable moments to help you get started:

  1. At the bank When you go to the bank, bring your children with you and show them how transactions work. Get the manager to explain how the bank operates, how money generates interest and how an ATM works. Ask the manager for a tour—be sure to ask to see the vault.
  2. On payday Discuss how your pay is budgeted to pay for housing, food and clothing, and how a portion is saved for future expenses such as college tuition and retirement.
  3. At the grocery store It’s easy to give clear examples of “needs” and “wants” using different kinds of foods at a grocery store. Milk (for strong bones) is a need; soft drinks are a want. Explain the benefits of comparison shopping, coupons and store brands.
  4. Chores and allowances Assign chores and give them a monetary value. Discuss ways to budget and divide allowances. Encourage children to set a financial goal, such as saving for a toy, and figure out how to achieve it.
  5. Paying bills Explain the many ways that bills can be paid: over the phone, paper or by check, electronic check or online check draft. Discuss how each method of bill pay takes money out of your account. Be sure to cover late penalties, emphasizing the importance of paying bills on time.
  6. Using credit cards Explain that credit cards are a loan and need to be repaid. Share how each month a credit card statement comes in the mail with a bill. Go over the features of different types of cards, such as ATM, debit and credit cards.
  7. Browsing the Internet While online, explain to your children how valuable their personal information and privacy is to you, to them and to online predators. Discuss the risks and benefits of sharing certain information. Then, as a family, make a list of rules for keeping personal information safe online.
  8. Planning a vacation Whether you are planning an outing to a local amusement park or a once-in-a-lifetime trip, emphasize the value of saving as a family. Set a family savings goal that involves your children. Figure out the cost and discuss ways everyone can help to reach the goal.

Lindell G. Douglas, CFP® is a Financial Advisor and Managing Partner with LDA Wealth Management, Inc., 1776 N Pine Island Rd, Suite 310, Plantation, FL 33322. He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and host a weekly show of the similar name on To contact him call 954-306-8668 or visit, email [email protected]. Securities offered through J.W. Cole Financial, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. Advisory services offered through J.W. Cole Advisors, Inc. LDA Wealth Management, Inc., J.W. Cole Financial, Inc. and J.W.Cole Advisors, Inc. are unaffiliated entities.