Developing Children’s Financial Habits and Behaviors

While educators and parents recognize that financial education can and should begin at an early age, it is often difficult to know how to approach the topic.  Here are a few suggestions for approaching financial education with young children.

  • Numbers and number concepts offer opportunities to talk about “more” versus “less.”
  • Time and the concepts of past, present, and future offer opportunities to talk about deferring/delaying spending (and saving!).
  • Social values and the concept of financial relationships within a society provide opportunities to talk about gifts, generosity, and public goods such as libraries, parks, and play grounds.

Parents and youth caregivers have a unique opportunity to help children build good financial habits and behaviors.  They are the primary influence on the child’s future financial well-being because they have many occasions to communicate information, set powerful examples, and involve them in hands-on activities.

For an in-depth discussion of developing children’s financial habits and behaviors, join us for a webinar on August 13, 2014 at 2:00 pm EDT. 

Access the webinar at

During the webinar, you’ll learn about recent  scholarship from Cooperative Extension professionals related to this topic, as well as hear about a FDIC-CFPB partnership aimed at raising awareness among parents about the important role they play in developing children’s financial habits and behaviors.  The webinar is hosted by the Financial Security for All Community of Practice, a member of the Child and Family Learning Network.


Collins, J. M. (2013). Issue Brief: New Strategies for Financial Education for Preschool Aged Children and Families. Retrieved from

Written by: Elizabeth Kiss, Ph.D.