The Joseph Group

Financial Literacy for Kids

May 24, 2024

To Inform: 

One of the privileges we have as financial advisors is the opportunity to learn about and meet with our clients’ children. Often, the children we meet are recent college graduates who have landed their first “real” job and are overwhelmed by the financial decisions they need to make. Do I save to a 401(k) or a Roth IRA? Do I pay down my student loans or save for a house? Do I really pay that much in taxes!?

For the newly minted professionals, these are relevant and timely questions. But what about the younger generation? Many of our clients have children or grandchildren that are many years from their first job but could still benefit from learning some basic financial skills. When searching for a way to teach my own elementary school children, I came across a book titled “The Four Money Bears” written by Mac Gardner.

The book looks and reads much like many other children’s books, but effectively teaches kids four basic functions of money. The four basic functions of money are represented by a family of bears, Spender Bear, Saver Bear, Investor Bear, and Giver Bear. Each bear excels in their respective function but lacks other skills. When the bears all work together, they learn how to better manage their money. Ultimately the goal is to expose young children to healthy financial habits so they can develop financial literacy and skills as they grow! Parents can also help kids create their own budget for every month of the year at the end of the story.

I’ve seen the change in my own children. Now when my children receive money from family and friends, we discuss how much they can spend, how much they will save, how much they will invest, and how much they will give away. And the best part, it is fun for them! Now they set their own goals and have a better understanding of how money works to help accomplish those goals.

If you are looking for a means to teach your children or grandchildren about money, I recommend finding a fun book that teaches financial skills without them realizing it.

Pro tip, slipping a $10 or $20 bill inside the cover helps reduce the disappointment when they open a book as a present!

Is it time to review your financial plan and confirm you are effectively spending, saving, investing, and giving? Please reach out to your Joseph Group advisor, we are here to help.





Written by Matt Zimmermann, CFP, Client Advisor