Ask the Money Coach: Resources to Help Teach Your Kids About Financial Literacy

Learning the value of money and saving at an early age will help your child make smart money choices in the future

Teaching Kids About Choices With Money

There are a few other companies and initiatives that I consider enormously helpful for any parent, educator or adult who wants to teach kids about money – or even improve their own financial knowledge.

One of them is a fabulous web site, www.moneysavvygeneration.com, where you can get a special four-chambered piggy bank for kids. I consider this a 21st Century piggy bank, because instead of having just one slot, this Money Savvy Pig has four slots where youngsters can put coins or dollars.

Each slot is labeled “save,” “spend,” “donate,” and “invest,” in order to teach kids about the choices they have with money. I have these educational piggy banks for my kids and they love them. Susan Beacham is the co-founder of Money Savvy Generation. She and I have co-authored The Millionaire Kids Club, a series of four money-management books for children between the ages of five and 12.

Citigroup has one of the most comprehensive financial education programs I’ve encountered. For adults, there’s Citi Cards’ “Use Credit Wisely” program, as well as its “Hablando de Credito” or “Let’s Talk About Credit” education effort for Spanish-speaking consumers.

Both offer a wealth of personal finance tools, help and information. In 2004, Citigroup launched a 10-year, $200 million campaign to support financial literacy programs around the globe.

Additionally, its Smith Barney unit has a great Young Investors Network that’s good for middle school and high school students. The youngsters in the Network are taught fiscal responsibility, they learn how to calculate their college expenses, and they participate in a stock-portfolio contest, among other activities. To learn about the full range of personal finance initiatives sponsored or run by Citigroup, visit the company’s web site at www.citigroup.com. Then click on the “Financial Education” button found in the “Corporate Citizenship” section

Finally, “Hands on Banking” is a wonderful program by Wells Fargo that teaches money skills for four age groups, ranging from fourth graders to adults. The curriculum is fun to use, free of charge, and available in both English and Spanish. A bonus element of this curriculum is that anyone can use it, because it’s designed for self-paced, individual learning, as well as for classroom and community groups. Get more info at www.handsonbanking.com.

I could mention tons of other organizations and initiatives, such as the impressive YourMoneyCounts.com educational site funded by HSBC, and the terrific financial literacy work being done nationally by the JumpStart Coalition or the New York-based WorldofMoney.org, which is planning to take its mostly African-American students to China in 2013.

So this list of resources is not meant to be all-encompassing. The important thing to know is that there are reputable, quality sources of information and advice to put your children – or the youth in your sphere of influence – on the path to financial literacy.

“Ask The Money Coach” is a syndicated column written by personal finance expert Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, co-founder of the free financial advice blog, AskTheMoneyCoach.com. Follow Lynnette on Twitter at @themoneycoach.

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