Schwab MoneyWise ®
Schwab MoneyWise®

Smart Spending

Building awareness

Kids need to experience having and controlling money of their own before they can really learn to value it. Giving them an allowance is a good first step. As kids get older, they'll have other ways to earn money, such as a part-time job.

Whatever the source, the important thing is to let kids make their own spending decisions—and their own mistakes—while the stakes are low.

Creating good spending habits

Discuss spending habits and decisions with your kids. Help them see what they're spending their money on: fast food? video games? music downloads? school supplies? Here are some questions to ask:

  • Is their spending on track with their budget projections?
  • Do they need to change their daily spending habits?
  • Do they need to start writing down their purchases?
  • Should they review and possibly change their goals?

Our Two Cents
If your kids are having trouble tracking their money, encourage them to use our  to record spending on a daily basis.

Want more ideas? Here are hands-on activities for every age.


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