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No one else will teach your kids about money

Today’s Apex comes courtesy of Bill Dwight, founder and Chief Dad at If you want your kid to carry a debit card loaded with more than just money, check out FamZoo. They’re the folks with a funny name who invented the FinLit card for kids and teens.

First things first when it comes to kids and money: Why do parents need to teach kids about money anyway?

Can’t parents rely on schools?

Don’t parents need to be experts themselves to do a good job?

Can’t parents just wait until the kids figure it out on their own?




John Lanza lays out the case eloquently in his post:

Why Is Financial Literacy Important and What Every Parent Needs to Know About It | Hint — Starting Early Matters [The Money Mammals]

John systematically covers all my favorite bases on why parents must embrace the responsibility for building their children’s financial literacy and how to get started.

Oh, and don’t miss the key little bonus nugget buried in here: “Many parents have also found that during the process of teaching their own children, they learn a lot about themselves and make adjustments to how they manage their own money.”

That’s right – it’s a two-fer people!

Work on your kid’s habits, and you clean up your own. It’s certainly worked for me.


OK, so maybe your kids are only 5 and 7. Is that too early?

Patrick Coleman points out why it isn’t in this clever little piece that had me chuckling and nodding my head the whole way through:

I Teach My Kids the Value of Money Using the Family Bank Account. It Works. [Fatherly]

It’s a family tale filled with tears, fart-dollar conversion math 🤔, and ultimately, sweet success!

“They were operating under the impression that I could just punch the buttons and Paw Patrol would show up on the television free of charge. This was not the case and I was struggling to understand how to talk to them about the value proposition.”

Kids need to know that all those invisible family freebies aren’t really free. How can you impress upon your kids the value of a dollar without crushing their little souls? Patrick describes how to share some real numbers from your real bank account with your kiddos. It’s the financial equivalent of Scared Straight! for little munchkins, but without the scary convicts. (OK, that’s a Boomer reference – look it up! 😬)


“Sorry, too late!” you say. “I already have jaded teens.”

Excellent – read on. (No teens yet? Trust me, time flies, so pay attention anyway.)

I’m gonna close with my all time favorite parental money hack.

I learned it 10 years ago from finance author Dan Kadlek who dubbed it “The Family 401(k).”

Ann Carrns gives an updated rundown on the genius money maneuver in this New York Times article:

Retirement Planning in High School? It’s Never Too Early, Experts Say [The New York Times]

Wait! Don’t let the boring title scare you away.

This tip is pure gold.  I did it for all 5 of my kids when they were in high school. And, now that 4 of them are in their 20s and almost 30s (gasp – tempus fugit indeed!), they’re thanking me big time.

“Fidelity calculated that someone contributing the maximum amount annually at age 15 would have more than $2.4 million at age 65, assuming an annual return rate of 7 percent.”

Free matching from parents and relatives, annual dollar cost averaging, low cost index funds compounding over decades, tax free growth from the teen years forward – what’s not to like here? I smell a little F-I-R-E smoldering!

Jump on the Family 401(k) hack now, and someday you too can hear those magical words that every parent craves: “Gee, Mom/Dad, you’re not such a moron after all!”

Thanks Bill!