This article was first featured in our free weekly Raising Empowered Kids newsletter. Sign up here to receive exclusive first looks at our best strategies, guides, and inspiring stories.

Financial literacy is one of the most important topics a kid could learn. But it's not a subject often taught in school. It's no wonder why so many adults today lack key money management skills.

But money management isn't just something to learn at school. There are so many effective DIY methods you can use to teach financial literacy at home. In fact, it can even be a fun activity for the whole family! Today's guest writer is Adam Toren, serial entrepreneur (and founder of Raising Empowered Kids and Kidpreneurs), investor, and parent of 3 empowered kids.

He'll share his favorite strategies for raising money-conscious children. All tips that are interactive, easy to implement, and enjoyable for all!

- Sylvia

Getting Started

Adam (Left) and Matthew Toren (right)

Hey Readers! I'm Adam Toren, co-founder of Raising Empowered Kids and Kidpreneurs. Through both these projects, I've spoken with thousands of parents interested in raising entrepreneurial, creative, and resilient children. But the most commonly asked question; how can I teach my kids entrepreneurship at home?

I believe every child deserves to learn financial literacy at an early age. It's one of the best ways to set them up for future career success.

But kids aren't always the most receptive to learning budgeting, saving, and understanding 'wants' vs. 'needs.' That's why it's so important that we teach kids using fun, engaging, and interactive methods that are more like a game than a classroom lecture.

Let's dive right in.

Teach the Basics with Board Games

Most parents start financial literacy training by implementing chores or giving an allowance. But, neither is very effective when children don't have a full understanding of what money even is.

By failing to educate them on the basics, we unintentionally influence their future understanding of money - both in positive and negative ways.

Allowances and chores are a great way to teach - but only after your children learn the basics. But whether your kid is 5 or 15, it's not very engaging to sit them down in the living room and start giving a lecture on the importance of compound interest.

Instead, try playing a money-focused board game together. Games are fun, nonchalant avenues to introduce these key concepts. And if your child is competitive, they'll learn these skills very fast.

Some of our favorites for kids of all ages are the classics - Monopoly and Catan - as well as more modern iterations, like Cashflow for Kids and Acquire. Check out some of our favorites for each age group here.

Setup an Earnings Structure

Now that your child has a basic understanding of money - how it can be spent to buy cash-flowing real estate (Monopoly), used to acquire new cattle (Catan), or to fund a super-city (Acquire) - they're ready to move on to the real world.

Find a quiet afternoon where you have the whole family together and bring all your children to the table. Bring a few dollars of cash and set it on the table. Ask each child what they thought of game night, and what they learned. Then, tell them that they're ready to start earning real money. But, they'll need to work and learn hard to earn it.

If your kid can't get a job at a local store or start their own business, the fastest way to provide a fair, equitable, and consistent revenue stream is to implement a chore structure. Even if you pay them a few bucks a month, the satisfaction of earning real money will help them learn financial literacy much more effectively (more on that below).

Whether you pay them $ for chores, reading books, doing dishes, or homework is up to you. All that matters for this purpose is that they have a steady stream of revenue they work hard for - enough for them to make some critical budget decisions.

PRO TIP: Throughout all these activities, it's important to teach children how to respect money. This can start by reminding kids to handle their physical money with care. Instead of wadding up bills in a purse or pocket, show them how to organize them in a wallet. Have a dedicated place where they can store coins, such as a jar or piggy bank, instead of having change collect in random spots around the house (or in the couch cushions).

Teach Invest/Save/Spend/Give

Now that your child has a consistent revenue stream, they get to make weekly (or monthly) decisions on how to allocate their money. It's critical that you teach the 'Invest/Save/Spend/Give' concept right after introducing your unique earnings structure - if you don't give them any guidance on how they spend your money, they might spend it all on candy and toys.

Once they start spending all their weekly allowance, it'll be hard for them to break the habit. So right after introducing your earning system, teach them that it's important to allocate their allowance each week.

Teach them that there are four 'buckets' to distribute their weekly allowance into:


Monopoly is the perfect game to teach investing. Recall your board game night and how your child might have earned rent on their properties. Teach them that investing is a way to leverage their existing money to make more. Some examples include purchasing lemons to make a lemonade stand, buying a lawnmower to start a mowing business, or purchasing stocks.


This is another good example to bring up Monopoly. Recall a time when a player went bankrupt due to 'Going to jail' or drawing an unlucky 'Chance' card. Teach them that unexpected things happen all the time, and they never know when they'll need a financial cushion. They should always keep some money in a 'rainy day' fund that they can use only in emergency situations.


The most enjoyable part of making money is spending it, no doubt about that. But, teach your children there's a way to spend money responsibly. This means not buying something they'll never use, a new product they saw on TV, or spending too much.

PRO TIP: Part of responsible spending is identifying wants vs. needs. This small act of discernment helps both adults and children make better spending choices and understand that there is not an infinite supply of money to purchase everything. You can help children learn this lesson by reminding them that needs are something we need to survive or function. Wants are things we desire but can live without.

One way to explore this topic with kids is to browse magazines together and talk about whether the ideas or items pictured are needs or wants. Incorporating the language of budgeting and spending into your daily routine will also help your kids become more aware of their wants and needs.


This is an often overlooked part of the budgeting hierarchy, but teaching philanthropy early is an effective way to raise compassionate, down-to-earth, and generous children. Even if this is the smallest pot of the 4, teach them to give what they can to causes they believe in - like foster youth, forests, or endangered animals.

It's important to help your children design intelligent systems that encourage budget allocation. A kid-friendly way to teach these ideas is to make it visual by buying a piggy bank that has 4 separate sections, labeled: Invest, Spend, Save, Give. Children can practice adding money to each section and write down goals for how they want to put that money to good use. You can make a DIY version of this by using jars or envelopes labeled with each concept.

PRO TIP: It's important that their buckets aren't full for too long (excluding savings). If they see their 'Give' section overflowing, they'll start to question why they can't spend that too. Turn each bucket into a fun activity - like bringing your child to an aquarium to donate in person, or to the store to buy a lemonade stand. If you see their 'spend' bank overflowing too, you should be proud. But you can also let them know it's okay to spend as long as they're budgeting properly. They should never feel guilty about spending responsibly and in moderation.

Wrapping it up...

Remember that most people's perception of money is heavily influenced by their childhood. Because finances are such an important part of life, it's integral that we set them up on a path to success.

By educating them on the basics through engaging board games, setting up a chore structure, and teaching the invest/save/spend/give concept, we can re-frame their perspective and set them up for a future of success.

Have any questions about this week's newsletter? Have a strategy to add? Leave a comment down below!

- Adam