Six Money Skills Every Kid Should Know


There are six core money skills every kid, and adult, should know in order to thrive financially. 

Every loving parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, brother, sister should ensure every kid in their life knows these primary life skills in order to thrive as an adult and successfully function in the world of money. 

Watch the video to learn what these skills are.


The 1st money skill every kid needs to have is money leadership and spend planning. 

This skill is about knowing what the bleep you really want and need (as opposed to a knee jerk limbic system must have response) and having strategies to plan your spend to align to those wants and needs. 

This is about developing discernment skills and financial boundaries so you do less impulse buying and more considered and conscious spending that brings more of the things that serve you and bring you joy, into your life. 

This skill is also about knowing you need to allocate some of your money to invest so it can grow and work for you and to save some of it to spend on bigger expenditure items that are going to come along.

Simple put…



 Money skill number two is understanding the difference between needs versus wants.

When we can tell the difference between needs and wants and own the truth that most of our spend choices are exactly that, choices, we move from being slaves to money to being free.

When kids are small, everything is, “I need it!”

Many adults never progress financially past this phase and spend their whole life believing, “I need it!” instead of understanding what a true need is.


Money skill number three that you want every kid to have is the ability to delay gratification. 

Researchers at Temple University used machine learning to better understand what human qualities are most likely to predict financial success. They found that a person’s ability to delay instant gratification was also among the most important determinants of affluence.

This recent research confirmed the famous marshmallow test, the original study of “delay discounting”, or how much a person discounts the value of future rewards compared to immediate ones. The marshmallow study revealed that children with greater self-control are more likely to generate higher income and accumulate greater financial wealth later in life.

Delayed gratification is the ability to extend the time between when you feel “I want this thing” to actually having it. 

The longer you’re able to delay gratification, the more it gives you space to:

  • save the money you need for it;
  • discern whether it’s a need versus a want, whether you really, really want it;
  • understand the impact of this choice and determine if it is going to take you closer to your freedom or further from it; and
  • settle your emotional ‘knee jerk’ limbic response system to be able to make better conscious choices with your frontal cortex. 

If you want your child to be money savvy and be able to create and manage real wealth, you must instill in them the importance of passing on smaller, immediate rewards in favor of larger ones that they have to wait for.


The 4th money skill need to ensure money savvy kid has is knowing the difference between saving and investing . Most adults don’t understand the difference. 

Teach your kids:

  •  Saving is putting some money away now, with the intention of spending it later. 
  • Investing is this cool skill of using some of the money they have to buy assets that will earn them income and grow in value. 

Saving is for that bigger toy they want to buy, or that outing they want to go on with their friends, or for their education, or to buy their first car. (never new, always secondhand!) 

Whatever it is for, teach your kids that saving is putting money aside now to spend in the intermediate future, so that they don’t go and use consumer debt. 

They also need to understand that the money they invest they are never going spend! Yes, you read that correctly. You never consume your assets, you feed off the money your assets earn for you.

You’ll be amazed how easily young kids understand the concept of investing if they are introduced to it in a clean and empowered way. This is because they’re not bogged down by all the limiting beliefs and “scary BS stories” most adults take on about money and investing through their own growing up process.


Money savvy skill number 5 is knowing what money is!. Money is not something that pops out of an ATM.  Money is also not some weird thing that happens when you wave a credit card over a touchpoint. Kids (and adults) need to understand money and the transfer of it represent an exchange of value.

As a society we have agreed that we will use money as a mechanism to exchange value. 

It’s really important that kids also learn that this exchange of value includes our time and our energy and the value that we put into the world. Work is a value exchange where we get to give value in order to get money back.


The 6th money skill every kid and every adult needs to know is the skill and the knowing of enoughness.

Having money and anything it can buy does not define who we are or your value.


How “good” we are, how “successful” we are, how “wealthy” we are, how much we contribute, how “loving” we are – has no bearing on our worthiness.

Be careful of using money as a reward system. This easily leads a person to define their worthiness to external validation and financial success. This is how our society has entrenched the story of money being the main metric or success and our worthiness. 

Enoughness is not only knowing we’re all already enough, it’s also knowing there is enough.

There is enough for everybody’s needs. Not necessarily everybody’s wants, but everybody’s needs. The way to teach kids that there is enough is to teach them to give.

When you’ve given your kids (and yourself) these core money skills, you can trust that they will be able to thrive in this world of money. They will have all they need to manage it, grow it, and spend it in a manner that serves them rather than enslaves them. 

In the comments below I’d love to know:

  • Which of these six money skills do you wish you’d been taught when you were a kid, and if you had known these earlier, what difference would it have made in your life? 

A big daily dose of self compassion is wealthy life skill #7, so if you don’t have these skills yet, it’s okay. It’s never too late to start creating a new tomorrow. 

Today you are living your futures past. 

You have the freedom to make choices today that will create a healthy, abundant, amazing relationship with money and give you all the resources you need to live your fully-expressed wealthy life. 

One step at a time, and remember to have loads of fun along the way.

The Wealth Chef’s Money Savvy Kids training  goes deeper into each of these core money skills and gives you step-by-step instructions on how to empower your kids with these skills at different stages of their development and practical ways to do it. Money Savvy Kids doesn’t just tell you what your kids need to know, it gives you the tools to teach your kids to be great with money and shows you how.


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One Comment

  • silvia says:

    Thank you Ann for these great insights. It would have helped me to grow up knowing the difference between saving and investing (in fact knowing that these two even exist!!). But for sure what really strikes me is being clear on what money really is: an exchange of energy, nothing emotionally charged or dirty or taboo or overcomplicated… About delayed gratification, you mentioned some strategies to build that muscle. Can you give us some example? Thank you.

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