You are never too young to learn about the importance of money and savings. Read this page for information and tips for earning and saving money as a kid!
What is money?
Individuals receive money in exchange for their work. Sometimes people receive money as gifts, but usually they have to earn it by working for it.
You can use money to buy goods (like toys or food) or to buy services (like piano lessons or haircuts).
Money is constantly moving between people, businesses, and banks.
What is a check?
Anyone who has a checking account at their bank can also use checks to pay for things. Checks are legal documents that work like cash by giving the bank permission to take money from your account to pay someone else. If you receive a check for work that you’ve done or as a gift, you’ll want to know how to read it.
A. The name and address of the person using the check to pay for something
B. The check number which helps you and your bank keep track of checks you’ve written
C. The date that the check was written
D. The person or company who is being paid
E. The amount of the payment in numbers
F. The amount of the payment in words with a fraction representing the amount of cents
G. A note to clarify what the payment is for. This is optional.
H. The signature of the person writing the check
I. The routing number which identifies the bank where the account is located
J. The bank account number of the person writing the check
The money that workers make is called income or earnings.
Some kids earn an allowance from their parents for doing chores around the house. Kids can also earn an income by walking dogs, washing cars, or babysitting.
You can make more income by working more hours or by learning skills that help you do higher quality work that achieves more results.
Adults with skills such as knowing how to use a computer, being good math, writing well, and speaking a foreign language can get jobs with higher earnings.
Spending and Budgeting
Your Weekly Budget
$ Available Money
People have to make choices about how to spend the money they earn. They have to decide whether they need something, or just want it.
A need is something you can’t live without, like food and shelter.
A want is something you’d like to have but could live without, like video games and jewelry.
A budget is a plan for how you will spend your money based on your income and expenses. It is important to keep track of your budget so that after you buy the things you need, you can see how much money you have left to spend on things you want. Here is an example of a weekly budget to the left.
In order to have enough money for your wants and needs, it is important to get in the habit of saving. As you get older, you may have a goal to buy a car, go to college, or buy a house. These things cost a lot of money and will require you to save for a long time. Having a budget can also help you see how much of your income you need to save in order to reach your goals.
Tips for saving money
Don’t spend too much money on things that you want, but don’t need.
When making a purchase, ask yourself: Is it cheaper at another store? Is there something similar that’s cheaper that I can buy instead?
Open a savings account at the bank. Here, your money will earn interest over time, meaning that you will make money from the bank just by keeping your money in the account and not spending it.
Pay yourself first. When you receive money, put some of it away in a savings account or another safe place to make sure it’s not spent.
Source: Hands On Banking, Teacher’s Guide, Wells Fargo Bank, 2003, 2012
How to protect yourself and your savings
Crimes such as identity theft and fraud happen when one person steals another person’s personal information to use for their own financial gain. So, it’s important to know how to protect yourself and your savings. Here are some things to remember:
Do not give any personal information to anyone you don’t know. This includes your full name, address, and phone number, social security number, or bank account numbers. Do not share this information on social media.
Keep your social security number and bank account information private, even from people you know. Keep any documents that contain these numbers in a private and secure place.
Do not respond to any phone calls, letters, or emails that seem strange or suspicious.