Statistics show that teaching children and young adults about managing their money from an early age leads to better lifelong outcomes, including less credit card debt and a greater likelihood to apply for and grants and financial aid for education.

A 2019 study said 75% of kids said they wished their parents taught them more about money.

But as a parent or mentor – where do you start? Many adults may never have received financial education themselves, and we’re all still learning along the way.

No matter where you are in your financial journey, Orion is here for you. Here are five simple ways to get your kids thinking about financial management, from preschool to high school.

1. Buy a Piggy Bank

This is a great way to teach kids as young as 3 the importance of saving and keeping money safe and secure! Start your child off with loose change, and encourage them to save any money they might get from the tooth fairy or a birthday.

Add creativity with a plain piggy bank they can decorate themselves, or go high-tech with a bank that can count deposits for your child to see their savings add up.

You can also teach the difference between saving, spending, and sharing with the Moonjar Moneybox or the MoneySavvy Pig, which include compartments that demonstrate different ways we can use our money as a tool.

When your child has saved enough for something they’ve been dreaming of, help them celebrate! They will love the satisfaction and pride they feel from meeting a goal.

2. Read Books About Money

Visit your local library or bookstore to find great books about money for all ages. The titles below are a great place to start for a variety of ages.

  • (K-2) It’s a Habit, Sammy Rabbit! – Sam Renick
  • (K-2) If You Made A Million – David Schwartz
  • (K-2) Alexander, Who Used To Be Rich Last Sunday – Judith Viorst
  • (K-5) A Dollar for Penny – Julie Glass
  • (K-5) A Kids Book About Money – Adam Stramwasser
  • (6-12) I Want More Pizza – Steve Burkholder
  • (9-12) Clever Girl Finance – Bela Sokunbi

3. Host Family Game Night with Monopoly

There are many real-world lessons to take away from this classic game, one of the biggest being the value of home ownership. It’s impossible to win Monopoly by renting – the richest player wins the game by owning property and collecting rent. Check out Monopoly Junior for younger kids or find a themed version for your favorite sport, movie, or hobby.

If game night gets you thinking about buying a home or property, connect with an Orion team member to learn more about your options! Home ownership is a huge step toward financial independence, and we’re here to help you get there.

4. Help Kids Get Organized

The best financial plan in the world won’t work if you don’t keep it organized – something many adults likely know to be true as well. This is a difficult habit to build and maintain, but starting young can instill this value early and encourage teens to stick with it as their finances get more complicated.

For younger kids, you might start with a simple financial ledger designed to teach them to track their saving and spending. Teenagers may be able to utilize an app to track spending and budgeting, like Goodbudget or EveryDollar. If you prefer to sit down at the computer, use an Excel template to save yourself from building each row and column, or search free financial printables online to print pre-made worksheets that will keep you on track with pen and paper.

5. Open Their First Account

Point your kids in the right direction by helping them open their first checking or savings account with Orion! Orion members can use the free Orion FCU app and online banking to track spending and check account balances anytime, anywhere.

Orion membership is open to ages 15 and up with a parent or guardian’s permission. Orion has been proudly serving our community with a safe and secure place to keep your hard-earned dollars since 1957. Visit one of our locations in Memphis or Little Rock or open an account online today.