Kids & Money


I’m reading a great book right now titled, “Smart Money, Smart Kids,” by Dave Ramsey, and his daughter, Rachel Cruze. It focuses on helping parents to teach their kids about money, work, saving, spending and giving.

I like to think that I am a good parent, and I manage my own money just fine, thank you very much, but reading this book has opened my eyes to the reality that I am neither great at my own money management, nor at teaching the principles to my daughter.

Three things that I have learned so far are: start young, be the role-model, and stand firm. Come to think of it, these are 3 good rules for parenting in general, so, of course they also apply to teaching kids about money.

Start young. As soon as a child can play with coins, without putting them in his mouth, he can learn about money. Starting around age 4, kids can learn how to earn a shiny dime for picking up the toys with mommy or daddy. Having a jar system (3 clear jars, labeled give, save, and spend) helps a child to see his money accumulate. The excitement a child gets for saving up for a toy or game is worth all the struggle or hassle that may have occurred while helping the child to earn that money.

Be the Role-Model. If your finances aren’t in order, how do you expect your children to learn about good money management? Children learn by observation, and I believe the adage that “More is caught than taught.” In the book, Ramsey explains that he asked his 10 year old to help him write out checks for utility bills. He said that he thinks the people working at the utility companies probably chuckled to see the handwriting of a 3rd grader on the checks, but he didn’t care. Today, his kids are well-educated, and successful in their money habits, now that they are all young adults. Taking the Financial Peace University class has truly helped our family understand the importance of eliminating debt, planning for the future, and building wealth.

Stand Firm. When a child, preteen or teenager gauks or rolls her eyes about giving, saving or spending, don’t cave in. Cruze tells a story about a time when she was 14, she literally put together a power point presentation to her parents explaining all the reasons why it was so unfair that she had to save up half the money for her own vehicle that she wanted at age 16. She pulled out all the stops, fully expecting her parents to cry, or at the very least, cave in. They didn’t. They chuckled and said something like, “We believe in you,” and then she took them seriously. By the time she was 16, she was able to save up $8,000 from commissions, babysitting money, birthday money and Christmas money to go towards her first car.

It’s not always easy to handle our own money, let alone teach our kids how to handle their money. But this book certainly helps. If you’d like more information, please visit the link below.*

If you’d like personal help with your parenting, please give me a call. I’ll be happy to serve you and your family in any way that I can.


J. Faith Gallup, LCSW




parenting resources

helpful websites

  • Love and Logic
    Bestselling author Jim Fay, founder of the "Love and Logic" process.
  • Focus on The Family
    Provides parenting advice and other family issues from a Christian perspective. Founded by Dr. James Dobson.
  • TroubledWith: Parenting Children
    Resources dealing with various common childhood issues and what a parent can do.