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Financial Literacy for Kids

How can you make a positive impact on your kids’ future financial decisions?

How to Teach Them to Save, Spend Wisely, and Give

If your child receives an allowance or has another source of income and isn’t sure what to do with the money, help your child balance their options: saving, spending, and giving to charity.


Putting away a certain amount of money each time your child has the means ensures that he or she can pay for something they really want. PenAir customer Raelyn, 6, says she’s saving for a trip to Disney World. “I can put [the money] in my hedgehog [bank] or I can deposit it in my account,” she says. If your child wants to save for something special, encourage him or her to put a portion of their weekly allowance, or any money received as gifts, into a jar or piggy bank, or open a savings account together at your credit union and deposit the money there. Make it a special occasion!

Our PenAir Level UP youth accounts are made just for kids to encourage saving with higher interest rates and educational resources.

The Right Account for a Smart Start

Our LevelUp Youth Account is designed to help young people build healthy banking habits at every age.

If your child decides to spend the money, let him or her decide what to spend it on — within limits, of course. Take your child to the store and look at the pros and cons of each option together. If your child wants to save for a special toy but is prone to impulse spending (who can resist the penny candy?), share your own saving techniques — such as putting a picture of the toy on the savings jar as a reminder not to spend it.

If your kids are getting older, you might be considering how to help them learn about the importance of wise spending and how debit cards are used. Level UP has a spending account, aimed at helping kids from 8 to 18 learn just these crucial lessons.
Encourage your child to give back to the community. Help your child to find a charity that supports a cause he or she is curious about (perhaps animal welfare or hungry children). Start by learning more about the charity together –check the organization’s website or attend a local event and allow your child to ask questions along the way. From there you’ll be able to help them identify ways to help, either by donating their time or setting aside money to give to the cause.

Finally, remember to set an example. If you have saved up for a special purchase, tell your child about it. If you give to a charity, explain why. By helping your child to understand the impact of your decisions, you model behaviors that will inspire them to make better decisions when managing their own finances. You are the best resource they have, so don’t hesitate to help them to Level UP with the resources your PenAir has created to make this big job more manageable.

Next Steps

PenAir has the accounts and resources to help you raise money smart kids. Check out these options to take their financial education to the next level:

Student Financial Fitness
Explore Our Resources for Students
Learn More and Apply
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