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You’ve probably watched your parents manage their money as they take care of your family.
Adults have to work to earn money. They then use this money to buy the things that your family needs and wants. The things your family needs include food, shelter, clothing and medicine. The things people might want include toys, movies, and other things that make life nicer but aren’t absolutely necessary.
As you get older, you’ll have opportunities to make and manage money, too. It’s important to learn about money and economics so you’ll be ready to handle your money responsibly when the time comes. Many people make budgets to ensure they’ll have enough money to pay for things they need and things they want. A budget can also help you save money, which is important for your future. You can learn all about money and finance by playing games, watching videos and doing fun activities. We’ve compiled some of our favorites below.
- Personal finance basics
- Counting money and currency
- More money math
- Economics basics
- Additional resources
Personal finance basics
Managing your money responsibly is very important if you want it to last. You might have a great job and earn a lot of money, but if you don’t know how to manage your money you might spend too much and have nothing left to save. Setting a budget for yourself and following it will help you spend wisely and save money, too. Here are some resources to help get you started.
- Cash Puzzler game: A money memory puzzle for ages 3 to 6
- World of Cents game: A coin-matching game for ages 5 and up
- Financial literacy bingo cards: Interactive financial literacy activities for students K–12
- “Giving Vicki Credit”: An educational story about borrowing and credit for young children
- Budgeting and financial responsibility worksheet: A personal budget-builder for middle schoolers
Counting money and currency
Money has been used to help people trade goods for thousands of years. Different countries have their own currencies that people use to buy and sell items. Currency includes coins and bills, and it also includes money spent with credit cards and even electronic bits that you have to transfer with a computer. Knowing about all of the different kinds of money and its history will help you understand it better so that you can manage it more effectively.
- Family grocery-list activity: A budgeting activity for kids to do while shopping for groceries with their parents
- Coin rubbing and matching activity: An artistic coin-matching activity for young kids
- The Money Can activity: A fun family activity for kids who are new to learning about coins
- Counting Coins money-matching game: A printable money-memory game for young kids
- Count Money game: An online money-counting game with different levels of difficulty
More money math
An important part of being able to manage your money is understanding how to add and subtract it. This involves knowing the values of coins and bills, how to add them up and how to use money to buy things. In time, you might also need to understand more difficult types of money math, such as calculating the interest charged on a loan.
- Making Change activity: Activity that teaches young kids how to calculate the change from a $1 bill
- U.S. coin-counting worksheet generator: Money worksheet for kids in kindergarten through second grade
- Money-counting worksheet: Worksheet challenging kids to add up bills and coins
- Converting Bills and Coins into Values worksheet: Worksheet challenging kids to rewrite certain money amounts in decimal form
- Money in Words worksheet: Worksheet challenging kids to rewrite certain money amounts in words
- Counting by Quarters support sheet: Money-counting reference sheet focused on quarters
- Comparing Money in Your Pocket step-by-step lesson: Coin-comparison lesson for younger kids
“Economics” might sound like a big word, but it’s really just the study of how a society uses its wealth and resources. Economics affects how a country or society functions in the world. As a field of study, it seeks to understand how goods are bought and sold, and what rules are (or should be) in place to protect shoppers and businesses.
Here are some educational resources to help you better understand economics and related concepts like credit and investing.
- Introduction to Treasury Securities online resource: Helpful explanations of treasury securities such as treasury bills, notes and bonds
- The Doubling Penny Exercise: An activity that teaches kids the concept of compound interest
- “Flea the Frog” savings and credit cards video: A video that teaches kids the basics of savings and credit cards
- Economy Facts for Kids: An online encyclopedia of important economics terms for kids
- Three Money Envelopes budgeting system: Another fun way to help kids track their spending by category
- “Dollars and Sense” Schoolhouse Rock music video: An animated music video that teaches the basics of saving, banking and borrowing
- Five crafty activities to teach kids about money: Craft ideas in this article include setting up a lemonade stand and creating your own “Needs and Wants” list