10 Things Every Kid Should Know About Money by Age 18

Families still seem to be struggling with how to help their children learn to manage money.

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Families still seem to be struggling with how to help their children learn to manage money. One indication is that parents can't keep from indulging their kids. In the 2016 Parents, Kids & Money survey (opens in new tab) from T. Rowe Price, 46% of parents said they have gone into debt to pay for something their kids wanted. Birthdays come with big price tags: 41% of parents spent $200 or more on a child’s birthday presents in the preceding 12 months, and the same percentage spent $200 or more on the child's birthday party. Among kids, 57% agree with the statement, "I expect my parents to buy me what I want." And not surprisingly, 58% of parents agree with the statement, "I worry that I spoil my kids."

Furthermore, 71% of parents are reluctant to talk with kids about money. When asked how often they take advantage of opportunities that occur throughout the day to talk to their kids about financial topics, less than half said they do so most of the time.

To jump-start the conversation during Financial Literacy Month (opens in new tab), here's my list of 10 things every kid should know about money by age 18, with painless ways to get the job done.

Janet Bodnar
Editor-at-Large, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Janet Bodnar is editor-at-large of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, a position she assumed after retiring as editor of the magazine after eight years at the helm. While editor, Bodnar was honored by Folio as one of its Top Women in Media. She is a nationally recognized expert on the subjects of women and money, children's and family finances, and financial literacy. She is the author of two books, Money Smart Women and Raising Money Smart Kids. As editor-at-large, she writes two popular columns for Kiplinger, "Money Smart Women" and "Living in Retirement." Bodnar is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and is a member of its Board of Trustees. She received her master's degree from Columbia University, where she was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism.