Financial capability is defined as the capacity—based on knowledge, skills, and access—to manage financial resources effectively.

All parents, of course, hope their children will grow up to be financially responsible, savvy, and confident adults. However, because financial education has rarely been taught at home or in schools, most parents themselves feel ill-equipped to train and guide their children in matters of money.

To respond to this need, the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability (PACFC) recommended the development of a program and resources designed to support families and promote financial literacy among our youth.

The outcome of this initiative is the Money as You Grow website (, a valuable resource for parents that provides 20 essential, age-appropriate financial lessons kids need to learn as they grow and develop.

Each of the 20 Money as You Grow lessons are based on more than a year of research and drawn from dozens of standards, curricula, and academic studies. In addition, the lessons are designed to be visually appealing and written in an understandable, “down-to-earth” style.

All 20 lessons, called “Milestones,” are divided into five age-based categories:

  • 3 -5 years
  • 6 -10 years
  • 11 -13 years
  • 14 -18 years
  • 18 + years

Click on each category, and a list of four milestones appear that represent age appropriate skills and knowledge which will nurture a child’s financial capability. For example, the milestones listed for 3-5 year-olds include the following:

  • You need money to buy things.
  • You earn money by working.
  • You may have to wait before you can buy something you want.
  • There’s a difference between things you want and things you need.

Once a parent becomes familiar with the age-based milestones, the next step is to take action. For each milestone listed, a number of activities are recommended to help their children learn a particular financial lesson. Each activity is simple and can easily be integrated into a family’s everyday life. “Families can use Money as You Grow to start a dialogue about money and teach kids important lessons about saving, making choices, and avoiding debt.”

Also available on the Money as You Grow website are colorful posters that parents can download and print. The posters provide an overview of all financial milestones and activities, and serve as a great visual reminder of the “20 Things Kids Need to Know to Live Financially Smart Lives.”

Reprinted by permission of Money Quotient, NP

Image Copyright: weerapat / 123RF Stock Photo