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Why financial literacy is important at a young age

The relationship you have with money at any stage of life should be based on an understanding of how it all works to help build lifelong financial skills. Financial literacy can put you in a position to provide for loved ones and community members who may be in need. Investopedia describes financial literacy as “the foundation of your relationship with money and a lifelong learning journey.”

For kids, talking about money, choices and impact can help set a foundation for their future. Helping kids make good choices, even simple ones, can help them learn to navigate financial situations at any stage of their lives.

Teaching financial literacy at home

Talking about how money works can help normalize a difficult topic. Having real, practical conversations about good, financial choices is best done by example.

Chores and allowances are a common method for teaching financial literacy at a young age.

For example, Matt Christensen, F&G Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, explains how he is teaching financial literacy to his children:

“We have a chores list, and some chores we have to do. There’s no allowance for those items, like feeding the pets. Other chores they earn an allowance for, like vacuuming. Once they earn their money, we teach them to save at least 25% and donate 10%. They each have a bank account and can see the money go up as they save. The other 65% is theirs to spend, save or give. Understanding the choices everyone has to make doesn’t have to wait until my kids are older.”

While there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, the effort that goes into the conversation can make a difference in the financial lives of children as they grow up.

Improving financial literacy in your community

Financial literacy is not only important at home, but it also impacts the communities where we live and work. Many communities have organizations dedicated to educating the public on financial topics. Getting involved is a good way to help improve financial literacy within your own community.

This is why we’re involved with our local Junior Achievement chapter, an organization that aims to inspire and prepare young people to succeed. We’re proud to sponsor the Financial Center in BizTown and the Learning Pod in Financial Park to help provide opportunities to teach financial literacy to the children in our community. Plus, our team members enjoy volunteering in the classrooms, mentoring students and serving on the Junior Achievement board.

The work Junior Achievement does is important because they help children learn valuable concepts (e.g., needs and wants, choices, working, giving and saving, etc.), and they wrap those concepts into activities, stories and games to help solidify the material in the children’s minds. These hands-on experiences show children the different careers they could have down the road and what it takes to get there.

“Financial literacy is a core skill that all youth should have the opportunity to learn and develop. I believe in Junior Achievement, as it focuses on financial literacy and works to ensure that youth understand why this is an important and necessary skill that helps set them up for success in everyday life.” — Brad Carlson, F&G VP and Deputy Chief Accounting Officer

Whether it’s your local chapter of Junior Achievement or another organization, getting involved can help improve financial literacy in your community.

The relationship you, your children or your community have with money can be based on a foundation of understanding. Building that understanding through financial literacy can help everyone learn to navigate financial situations throughout their life and be set up for success.


Want to get involved with Junior Achievement? Learn more about their important work.