Parents Are Not ATMs: How to Teach Kids the Value of Money


Parents Are Not ATMs: How to Teach Kids the Value of Money

TD Ameritrade Offers Free Webinar from Jim Fay, Love and Logic co-founder and author of "Millionaire Babies or Bankrupt Brats?"

OMAHA, Neb.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- It's back-to-school season, and for kids that means new clothes, new school supplies and new schedules. For mom and dad, it means spending a lot of money. But as kids head back to school, there's one lesson that they may not be learning: the value of money.

According to a recent Gen Z and Money survey released by TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NYS: AMTD) , more than half of Gen Z surveyed say they follow a budget, with a quarter (27%) following one carefully and another 26 percent following one, but not very closely. Financial habits are developed early, so it is important to educate kids about money now to help them establish good spending and saving habits for the future.

TD Ameritrade, Inc. ("TD Ameritrade")* hosted a special webinar with Jim Fay, author of Love and Logic® books including "Millionaire Babies or Bankrupt Brats?" In it, Fay emphasized that it's important to set guidelines and start discussions about financial responsibility early on to help teach children how to make more responsible financial decisions later in life. An archived version of the webinar is being made available free to the public on TD Ameritrade's online education center.

"Parents might not feel like they're the best, most-knowledgeable source when it comes to teaching their kids about money," says Carrie Braxdale, managing director, investor services at TD Ameritrade. "However, parents are still by far the most important source of financial education for their children, and they can use this influence to teach their children basic financial lessons. This webinar is a great resource to help them kick-start the conversation."

5 tips for helping kids establish good money management skills and become money-savvy adults:

  1. Create an Open Dialogue. An open dialogue between parents and children can make a big difference in their perceptions and attitudes toward finances. Share with them financial mistakes you've made or lessons you've learned. Use those experiences as teaching opportunities and get them thinking about their own financial habits.

  2. Teach them How to Save. One of the best ways to teach a child to save and to show them how to be financially responsible is to give them an opportunity to do it themselves. Opening a savings and/or checking account can help prepare them for financial independence and teach them how to manage that responsibility.

  3. Start a Weekly Allowance. According to Fay, an allowance can be a great way for kids to practice their money skills. A weekly allowance helps instill a greater sense of responsibility and understanding about spending and saving as well as needs versus wants.

  4. Learn to Say No. As parents, we love nothing more than to see our kids happy; however it does children good to set boundaries and limits and, more importantly, to teach them the value of a dollar. For example, if your child wants a tablet, rather than saying yes, outline the cost, how much she has saved and how much she still needs. For example, if it costs $500 and your child only has $200 saved, she still needs to save $300 more to get it. What will she give up to earn the additional $300 to purchase the tablet? How will she come up with the money? Your child will value the item a lot more if she has to work for it.

  5. Invest in their future: Contribute to a 529 college savings plan or gift a Custodial IRA. One way to demonstrate the importance of saving is by doing. Don't underestimate the potential impact of helping a child plan for long-term savings goals such as college or even retirement.

Braxdale adds, "Even small changes, like helping establish a monthly budget or set a small savings goal can influence a child's attitude toward finances in the future."

Click here to access Jim Fay's webinar, presented by TD Ameritrade.

For more information on additional free education tools that TD Ameritrade offers, visit

You can also follow the Company on Twitter, @TDAmeritradePR.

*TD Ameritrade, Inc. is a broker-dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NYS: AMTD) .


About the Gen Z and Money Survey Methodology 2013

An online survey was conducted among N=1,000 Americans ages 14 to 23 from April 25 to May 6, 2013, by Head Research on behalf of TD Ameritrade, Inc. Sample was drawn from major regions in proportion to the U.S Census. The statistical margin of error for overall survey results in this study is +/- 3% (assumes panelists do not differ from non-panelists, and respondents do not differ from non-respondents). This means that, in 19 out of 20 cases, survey results for questions based on all survey respondents (N=1,000) will differ by no more than 3% in either direction from what would have been obtained by measuring the opinions of all Americans ages 14 to 23.

About TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation

Millions of investors and independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) have turned to TD Ameritrade's (NYS: AMTD) technology, people and education to help make investing and trading easier to understand and do. Online or over the phone. In a branch or with an independent RIA. First-timer or sophisticated trader. Our clients want to take control, and we help them decide how - bringing Wall Street to Main Street for more than 38 years. An official sponsor of the 2014 and 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, TD Ameritrade has time and again been recognized as a leader in investment services. Please visit TD Ameritrade's newsroom or for more information.

Brokerage services provided by TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA ( ( (

About Head Research

Head Research is a division of Head Solutions Group (U.S.) Inc., a leading market research partner for Financial Services companies in North America. With offices in New York, Toronto and Montreal, Head delivers the deep customer insights that increase institutional knowledge and propel business action. TD Ameritrade and Head Research are separate and unaffiliated firms, and are not responsible for each other's services or policies.

Head Research, Jim Fay, and Love and Logic® books are separate from and not affiliated with TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation, which is not responsible for their content, products and services.

TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
For Media:
Christina Goethe, 201-369-8541
Communications & Public Affairs
On Twitter@TDAmeritradePR
For Investors:
Jeff Goeser, 402-597-8464
Investor Relations & Finance

KEYWORDS: United States North America Nebraska


The article Parents Are Not ATMs: How to Teach Kids the Value of Money originally appeared on

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Originally published