“When you’re done with my money, I need it back!”

This post on teaching kids about money was written by me in a partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network.

teaching kids about money

Every Tuesday night my husband takes the kids to his grandma’s house for dinner. One day she gave Ryan a little antique bank where you put coins in a dog’s mouth, push a lever, and the dog flies through a hoop held by a circus man and drops it in a barrel. He LOVES it and his great-grandma started giving him quarters on special occasions to use just for his new bank.

This started Ryan’s fascination with money and he was just 2 years old. Over the past year he has received more money–at his birthday, during Christmas, etc.–and we started a bank account for him. He didn’t really understand the purpose of the money at the time, it was like a toy.

As Ryan goes to the store with us and watches us pay for groceries and things, he now knows that money is used to “buy stuff.” Recently we’ve been working with him on simple math and teaching him about money.

A couple of months ago Steve brought Ryan to the grocery store and Ryan had his very own $10 bill (it was from his birthday, I think). My husband let him pick out anything he wanted as long as it was under $10 and Ryan chose a few bags of yogurt bites. When they went to checkout, Ryan handed over his $10 bill to the cashier and said, “When you’re done with that, I need it back.”

Ohhhh, wouldn’t that be nice, kid! If only. Looks like we have some work to do, but that was an excellent lesson for Ryan… to learn that his precious $10 bill wouldn’t be coming back, but in return he got some of his favorite food. Was the exchange worth it? After the initial shock that his money wasn’t coming back to him, I think he was okay with it…. but I’m really curious to see what he’ll pick out next time at the store (or if he’ll want to save it and not buy anything!).

teaching kids about money

I was reading this article about how women are gaining power and earning potential in the workforce, graduating with more college degrees than men, and we’re quickly climbing ranks…. BUT women still seem to slack on financial planning. Compared to men, women have yet to keep up with building savings, investing, creating a retirement plan, and having long-term security.

Yikes. I can relate… I certainly let all financial worry go to my husband. I’m very aware of our income and our expenses, where our money goes, and what we have in savings… but he pays all the bills, plays the stock market, and researches investment plans. I do not want my children to grow up without the knowledge to create their own plan and I don’t think it’s ever too early for teaching kids about money!

Ryan nailed it this Easter during the egg hunt at grandma and grandpa’s–he somehow found the majority of the “money eggs” and walked away with almost $19! I can’t wait to talk to him about it and see what he thinks we should do with it…

If you’re going to be teaching kids about money and how to budget, finance, and save, first YOU need to know what you’re doing and you need to set the right example for your children. There are great resources available from Genworth Financial on creating a budget, preparing for long-term care and retirement, being smart about mortgage insurance, finding a financial¬†advisor, and more.

I WISH I could tell everyone that I needed my money back after I paid for things–my 3-year-old has the right idea! Haha. How do you teach your kids about money?

Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network. All opinions are my own.

12 comments to “When you’re done with my money, I need it back!”

  • I wish the world worked like your son thought it did, lol! Love his “when you’re done with that, I need it back” line. I think it’s great that you started teaching him about money at such a young age!


  • Great post, I have been trying to teach money to my oldest – she still thinks it grows on trees! lol


  • I LOVE that! I want my money back too!! haha!! It’s fantastic that you’re taking the time to teach your child about money.


  • Leah Martinez

    A lost tooth and a visit from the Tooth Fairy is also a great way to teach children about saving money! He will be loosing a lot of teeth down the road.


  • I wish I learned more about money when I was younger. The older you are the more costly mistakes are!


  • Great post and I love the savings idea my oldest blows his money before he even gets it in his hands. I have tried to get him to learn savings but maybe we need a bank account or piggy bank for him.


  • We haven’t let Bryson take money to the store yet, but I think I will soon, because I’m curious how he will react/ what he he will do/ buy. We have a savings account set up for him, but he also has a piggy bank in his room.


  • Ha! So true! Kind of hard to teach them about money and saving if you can’t even do it right yourself.


  • Ryan and I have a lot in common, I want my money back too!

    I really need to get better about budgeting so I can teach the kids how to budget!


  • My kids are only 2 & 3, so they don’t really understand the concept of money, yet. But anytime they ask us for new toys, I try to explain to them that we don’t have the money to just buy whatever we want because their daddy is the only one that works and he has to pay for our house, food, etc.


  • Tammy S

    Great post! Our kids are older. So now they really understand how important it is to save for things you really want. We have taught them that if you don’t have the money for it you can’t get it. Credit cards are for emergencies and not to be used everyday. We also discuss big purchases in front of them so they understand why or why not we are buying an item.


  • Ari

    It’s true that women still don’t have that equal footing with men on financial matters. Perhaps it’s a gender pressure put upon men to learn the know how and women aren’t given that same motivation, or maybe it’s something entirely else, but I do agree that it would probably create massive change in society if women were given the tools and encouragement to learn from early on. As for children, it’s always better that good money management and knowing the value of money versus work is a concept that’s understood as early as possible! I think Ryan has the right idea with his comment, but he’s probably well on his way to becoming a savvy money manager.


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