Money Talks With Kids

Jenni Riley, MBA, FPQP™
Jenni Riley is the Director of Operations for Hazlett Wealth Management.


Kids make money decisions, spend their allowances, and ask you to spend without knowing why or how it affects household finances. They engage in activities that require them to spend money at younger and younger ages without understanding the source or limitations of funds.

Most of what a child learns about money will come from home. If you talk to them about spending wisely and earning their money, there is a higher likelihood that they will respect it. You can also do this with your grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Don’t leave them out of the conversation, even if you think they’re too young to understand.

Where to begin?

  • Savings At younger ages, it may be saving up their allowance to make a more significant purchase later instead of blowing through their money to buy small items that they don’t need. Encourage young adult children to start retirement accounts as soon they begin working. Saving and investing even small amounts over time benefit from the power of compounding.
  • Money vs. Credit Children need to understand that if you use a credit card, you still must have the money to pay for it and that interest will accrue on any balances. Credit can be a hard lesson at times for young adults.
  • Money Management Talk about budgets with them. Let them be part of small decisions like the amount budgeted for entertainment. They learn to prioritize by making their own decisions, for example, when weighing online gaming purchases versus buying tickets to the waterpark to spend time with their friends.
  • Demonstrate If you vocalize that you don’t have the money to be doing something frivolous but then put it on the credit card, you are not leading by example.

Please talk with your kids, not at them. Make money talk casual and open-ended. Once you make it a lecture, that two-way street becomes barricaded.

Jenni Riley, FPQP™, is a Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional™ and Director of Operations with HAZLETT WEALTH MANAGEMENT, LLC, independent of Raymond James and is not a registered broker/dealer. Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Securities through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. 675 Sun Valley Road, Suite J1 + J2 Ketchum, Idaho 83340 208.726.0605.

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