Tips & resources for teaching money skills

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Functional Money Skills

Remember when we were little, và we thought nickels were worth more than dimes, just because they were bigger? Ah, those were the days. As part of adulting, we need to lớn teach our kids practical money skills.

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Money as a topic usually falls under functional math. However, for kids with IEPs, it is also an independent living skill. Or a set of skills.


Functional Money SkillsFoundation Money Skills for KidsModern Money IEP GoalsIEP Goals for Functional Money Skills
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Debt is a huge problem.

I feel obligated lớn at least mention some debt statistics. Because I truly believe that Generation X, in which I grew up, were not taught adequate money skills as youth. Then, our coming of age was in the era of pretty much unlimited access to credit cards. Is it any wonder we have the debt problems we do?

The typical American household now carries an average debt of $137,063. The median debt was only $50,971 in 2000.

Teaching Money khổng lồ Kids

I don’t know about you, but every time I have to bởi vì a cash transaction, I have khổng lồ stop & get cash. So seldom do I have it in my purse. I mean, unless you’re in a profession that regularly accepts cash as payment, who has it handy?

No one. We all use Paypal and Venmo và CashApp và debit cards và now….crypto! We all still need money skills, but how we teach them & what money skills our kids need to lớn live in today’s society have changed dramatically.

I’m not suggesting that we stop teaching kids about coins and dollars và making change. Sure, that’s a useful skill. But too often, that is the beginning & the kết thúc when it comes to lớn money skills for kids.

When I was in junior high school (leaning on my cane), we were issued mock checkbooks & ledgers và we had to bởi the whole checkbook thing for over a semester.

Now, who balances a checkbook? I don’t think I’ve done that in over trăng tròn years.

Foundation Money Skills for Kids

Before moving on to lớn these more modern money skills, you want to make sure that your child has the foundational skills khổng lồ successfully manage money. Our kids may be impulsive or lack executive functioning proficiency. These are just two examples of things that may put them at risk for poor money management.

Visualize value; for example have a ballpark idea of what is more–$5 or $500 or $50,000 & what you might possibly be able lớn buy with each amount.Understand the concept of money và what it means in society; how we get it & how we spend it. Why vì chưng we have or need money?If a child lacks impulse control, put stop gap measures on things lượt thích big expenditures.Make sure your child can monitor and maintain personal possessions like a wallet, atm thẻ or actual money. If your child loses their belongings frequently, don’t be surprised when they thua kém a wallet, & then punish them for lacking a skill set.

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Teaching Money Skills

My parents were horrible at teaching money skills. They randomly yelled out abstract concepts at me, like “Save your money!” và “Money doesn’t grow on trees!” But, they never taught me any specifics.


I also grew up in a household where money was an “adult topic” and I was never included in conversations. Then all of a sudden, I suppose, we’re just supposed khổng lồ wake up one day và know what to do.

I’m working very hard lớn change the conversation & climate in my household & we include the boys in conversations. At holidays, when they receive gift cards, it’s a great opportunity lớn practice money skills and transactions. Brian also has an allowance to lớn manage.

Now that he’s 10, we’re adding some specifics to lớn his allowance và moving khổng lồ an envelope system. I also opened up a ngân hàng account for him so that he could practice ‘going to lớn the bank’ but I’m starting to lớn wonder if that’s outdated.

His generation won’t go to the bank.

Modern Money IEP Goals

These are some skills that a student would benefit from knowing how to do, in today’s society. As always, put the skill in the IEP Goal Formula to make it measurable.

Own, maintain & use an ATM card. Subsets of this skill would be to lớn identify what one is và what it does, and work up from there.Identify, talk about, describe, exhibit money security and safety skills; for example keeping a password safe, log in information safe & so on; keeping an atm card safe, keeping their phone safe và password protected.Be able to lớn use a ngân hàng website for personal banking. Subsets would be an phầm mềm for personal banking, & the various components of the ứng dụng or website, log in, knowing the features, what they do, how khổng lồ work them, etc.Understand, explain and monitor direct deposit of money or paycheck.Understand, explain, exhibit skills in knowing how much money you have in your account & how to NOT overdraw it. This doesn’t necessarily mean the archaic way of balancing a checkbook, but something should be in place.Understand, explain, exhibit how money goes into and out of their account, and prioritizing expenditures.Cash apps such as Venmo & CashApp–if necessary, explain, use, keep safe.Know difference between credit & debit cards, know what interest is & how/why they pay it.Keeping credit/debit thẻ information saved online, either on websites or apps; know what this is, what they are at risk for if compromised, safe activity. Know what an ATM is, how it works, how lớn safely use one.Understand what gift cards or gift certificates are, how they are similar lớn credit/debit cards, và how the money is gone if you đại bại them; how lớn use them safely & securely.Crypto or Bitcoin–hey, if you want to lớn go there….go there! (and no, I have no idea where you would find someone khổng lồ teach this khổng lồ your child)Understand what a digital vs paper receipt is; what receipts are, why you might need khổng lồ save one & how long.How lớn pay bills online, safely & securelyIdentify and explain what to vị if they think any of their financial information has been compromised

Adding Money Skills khổng lồ your IEP

Like anything else, IEP goals are based on needs. So, if you want a money skills IEP goal, make sure that the skill deficit is noted in IEP Present Levels. And, like everything else, you make chú ý of this in your Parent Concerns letter and push the issue if the team doesn’t địa chỉ it.

I realize that the IEP Money Goals listed below are not in a measurable format. To vì chưng that, just insert the skill into the IEP Goal Formula below.

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IEP Goals for Functional Money Skills

Honestly, regardless of whether or not your child has a 504 or IEP, I think that these are valuable life goals for any kid. I can only imagine how much further along I’d be if I’d had this!

Identify various currency and its value.Add & subtract currency when given some.Make change in various scenarios.Identify what is a financial necessity in life and what is not.Compile a budget at all levels, from a $25 gift card they have to lớn spend, lớn a monthly income allowance.Know và describe the difference between a credit card, debit card, check card, check and gift card.Be able to comparison shop for different product categories.How lớn pay a bill.How to write a kiểm tra and record it in the checkbook.online banking as appropriate.Explain the concept of interest–both earning & paying.Have/explain safe places khổng lồ keep money và why.Explain the relationship between cash, checks and ngân hàng accounts.Show restraint and be able khổng lồ successfully save money; achieve savings goal.Identify which support works best for student (calculator, phone, etc).Identify and name coins: penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and half-dollar.Identify the money symbols: cent sign, dollar sign, and decimal point.Convert one denomination of coins into another denomination (e.g., five pennies equal one nickel).When making purchases, determine that coins received as change are the correct amount.Identify and name 1, 5, và 10-dollar bills.Use currency when making purchases.Use a combination of coins & currency when making purchases & verify any change received.Given a variety of coins, STUDENT will identify và name the value of a penny, nickel, & dime with 100% accuracy 5/5 trials.Given a variety of coins và bills, STUDENT will identify the correct names and amounts with 100% accuracy 4/5 trials.When working with money, STUDENT will use the $, cent and decimal point appropriately with 80% accuracy 4/5 trials.Given a collection of coins, STUDENT will count money with 80% accuracy in 4/5 trials.Given a collection of dollar bills & coins, STUDENT will compare with 80% accuracy 4/5 trials.Given a variety of coins & bills, STUDENT will địa chỉ cửa hàng and subtract given amounts with 80% accuracy 4/5 trials.Given a collection of dollar bills and coins, STUDENT will multiply và divide the money with 80% accuracy 4/5 trials.When presented with coins, STUDENT will identify the penny, nickel & dime 4 out of 5 trials with 80% accuracy.When given a group of dollars & coins, STUDENT will sort according khổng lồ the value 4 out of 5 trials with 80% accuracy.When presented with a paycheck, STUDENT will sign in the correct area 5 out of 5 trials with 100% accuracy.When withdrawing và depositing money, STUDENT will use the correct operation in their checkbook registration 4 out of 5 trials with 80% accuracy.When given a variety of coins, STUDENT will count different values 4 out of 5 trials with 80% accuracy.When given a calculator, STUDENT will địa chỉ cửa hàng and subtract money amounts 4 out of 5 trials with 80% accuracy.When provided money, STUDENT will purchase items from a vending machine 5 out of 5 trials with 100% accuracy.When given a price, STUDENT will use the “dollar up” method khổng lồ determine the amount of money need lớn purchase the nhà cửa 4 out of 5 trials with 80% accuracy.

How to Teach Money Skills lớn Kids

Most kids will receive instruction at school, usually as a part of a math course. However, this is an area where the parent likely has more opportunities for practice & in different settings.

BooksPretend Play-store, restaurantSocial StoriesDirect InstructionBoard GamesLemonade stands or other fundraisersSome banks offer videos và programs for kids.Practice, Practice, Practice!