Kid money rules

From "Can I Have Some Money?" by Candi Sparks Copyright 2005. Sparks Fly. All rights reserved.

From “Can I Have Some Money?” by Candi Sparks Copyright 2005. Sparks Fly. All rights reserved.

Kid money rules
Candi Sparks

Money is a family matter that doesn’t come with instructions. We have to figure it out for ourselves. Parents wants their kids to do better with money. But telling your kids what to doesn’t work. Kids don’t do what you say, they do what you do. If you bungle money, they are likely to follow in your footsteps. If you catch yourself breaking these kid money rules for raising a money smart kid, it’s time to clean up your act.

Everyone has heard the expression “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” that counts most. Or, “You get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.” These pointers are the number one kid money rule for raising a money smart kid. Sometimes you have to sweet talk the kids into learning good money management skills. It can help them out in the long run.

According to a UCLA study, the average child hears the word “No!” over 400 times a day.  Parents are hoping kids will learn what to do by constantly being told what not to do. This is confusing and counterproductive because the brain does not process negatives.

Follow these instructions – don’t think of an elephant, don’t think of an elephant, don’t think about the skin of an elephant, don’t think about elephant ears… Now that the suggestion has been made, its impossible not to think about an elephant!

Negative statements can turn into a bad financial legacy for your kids. If we want our kids to do better, we need to change our words. It’s more persuasive, influential and to say what you do want rather than what you don’t want. Rather than saying “No!” to a child when the budget is tight, make positive financial statements about how you can afford things, when you have it by budgeting, or how to get it free, share, etc. to have what you want. Positive talks with your kids about money, supported by your good financial habits are the way to go. Don’t just talk the talk, you also have to walk the walk.

Negative statement:

“There’s no way we’re ever going to have enough money for a ___________.”


A bad attitude toward budgeting, financial planning and making dreams come true. If its okay being broke, then good for you.  But giving your kids this message can be demoralizing.

Positive statement:

“For us to be able to have enough money for a _______________, all we have to do is _______________.”


The possibility of being able to have what you want by changing behavior and setting longer term goals and working together as a family to get it.

Retirement seems to be the last thing on people’s mind, until they start to ‘see the light at the end of the tunnel’ when they leave the workforce. These days, retirement can be forced on a person, or they are simply unemployable. But by being proactive from a young age, a sizeable nest egg can be ready and waiting – perhaps even lowering your kids’ retirement age. One day everyone will be too old to work a regular job and will have to live off of what they’ve saved.  Keep talking with your kids about what can be done to plan retirement from an early age and how to take care of yourself at the end of your working.

Negative statement:

“I’ll never retire.”


It is futile to even attempt to save money, much less enough to live off of your own resources someday. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand the importance of being prepared for retirement until they are faced with hard choices.

Positive statement:

“I put away a little for my retirement out of every paycheck so I can move to _________ when I’m done working.”


A healthy level of self-esteem taking care of ones self now and in the future. The importance of saving for long term goals in a methodical way and being proactive rather than reactive. This must be followed by putting money away. Help kids understand that having money for themselves in the long run is one of the biggest and best reasons to be financially responsible.

You can raise money smart kids – what’s more positive than that?

Please join my mailing list to get a free chapter of my upcoming kid money book about a kid entrepreneur. Lemonade Sold Out.


Candi Sparks is the author of children’s books about money “Can I Have Some Money?”. Educating Children About Money, Max Gets It!, Nacho Money and other titles. Her newest titles to be released this year. “Sold Out“ and “Smart & Pretty” focus on building community and entrepreneurship for young people. She is the Dean of Young and Rising Moguls at World of Money and a Brooklyn mother of two, on Facebook and Twitter (Candi Sparks, author).

About candi sparks

Candi Sparks is a fully licensed financial professional and a Brooklyn mother of two. She works with private clients, business owners, the NYC Department of Education, faith based, non profit and community organizations on financial education and implementing financial strategies for success. Events are fun, interactive and solid financial information. Sparks Fly, financial literacy for YOU(th) Learn more so you can live more! toll free: 866.556.2432
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