Teach Your Tween About Money
The tween years (10-13) is the most exciting time to teach a kid about money. It is perfect for four reasons:
- Tweens have enough math skills to handle some difficult concepts.
- Tweens are old enough to want more expensive things. This means they’ll need to save money.
- Tweens are old enough to make money on their own through side hustles.
- Tweens still look up to you and don’t have the freedom to ditch you for their friends just yet. In other words, you can still influence them.
Tween math and money skills
When I was a kid, the concept of compound interest got me hooked on personal finance. Back then banks were paying interest rates between 6-8%. The act of saving money was the same as investing it. Banks aren’t paying that kind of interest nowadays, but you can open up your own bank and subsidize those great interest rates.
When I introduced my 8-year-old to MoneyTime Kids it was a little cruel. It’s designed for tweens between the ages of 10-14. While he could understand many of the concepts the math was difficult and he wasn’t able to take full advantage of it. He’s nine and a half now and I think that 18 months has made a big difference. He went from only knowing half of his multiplication tables to multiplying 3 digit numbers and long division.
Tweens want more expensive things
There are still some times that my 8 and 9-year old boys are fine with a cheap knick-knack. However, more and more they are becoming more interested in expensive things. It started with the Switch and now it is games for the Switch. Fortunately, the Pokemon games they like tend to have a lot of replay value.
Soon my kids will be hanging out with friends more and spending money with them. I’m sure they’ll want to fit in with the latest shoes and clothes. While we’ll always get them certain shoes, if they want the best designer brands, they’ll have to cover some of the cost. That’s an opportunity for them to learn about saving and budgeting.
Tweens and side hustles
Tweens aren’t old enough to work “in the real world.” I had to wait until I was 16 before I could work at a fast-food restaurant. I saw that Mcdonald’s was advertising for kids age 14 to work there.
Fortunately, tweens can do some side hustles. Babysitting and mowing lawns is perfect for many 12 and 13-year-olds. This is a good way for them to earn significant money.
Tweens will still listen to parents – some times.
I know that when my kids are teens they’ll have better things to do than listen to me give them money lessons. They may not agree with me, but at least there’s a chance that they pay some attention.
Final thoughts about tweens and money
There are so many different directions you can go to teach your tween about money. Beyond what I already included in the article, this is a great age to give them insight into the family finances.
Brian MacFarland has reached more than 10 million people on his personal finance journey to financial independence. He’s been featured in the Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, and Lifehacker.
Read more on the About page.