Building budget-minded kids



May 24, 2019

Math They’ll Love To Learn  

Remember math class when you threw back your head and cried out to the universe, “Why do I need this? Will I ever use this stuff in the real world?”  Well, I would love to say that it all was useful, but just last week I had figure out the circumference of a circle for a small landscaping project…so I just looked it up on my phone.   

So, instead of dredging up painful classroom memories, why don’t we look at a math skill that can actually be useful everyday–using money responsibly and effectively through budgeting.

Whether your kids are counting on their sticky little fingers or using graphing apps, teaching age-appropriate money-management lessons will keep them engaged with math while preparing them for adulthood.


Making a budget, and planning how to stick to it, is a great basic math lesson. Here’s how to make it memorable:

  • For younger kids, brainstorm the things they’d like to spend and save on, from cash for Christmas presents and tithing to saving up for a trip to the theme park.
  • Older kids could budget for a cell phone, gas, clothes or, if they are oddly ambitious, their future college textbooks.
  • Once they’ve created their wish list, have them add up the costs and then divide the result to see how much money they’ll need to earn every month, week or day. Tada! They’ve just created their first budget.

Once the budget is in place, put it into action.

  • Help younger kids deposit cash gifts at an ATM, or deposit checks from their mobile banking app. You can also directly transfer allowance/chore money into their bank account.

Don’t have a kids’ account yet? check out Start Young accounts at ECCU.

  • Older kids can use a debit card to pay expenses and even set up direct bill pay from their accounts.

Want them to use a debit card with safeguards that you control? It’s available with Start Young accounts.

  • Bank side-by-side using the app and allow them to see how their balance changes as they deposit and withdraw money.

If you need banking accounts that you can monitor from anywhere, Start Young accounts may be what you’re looking for.



Money math lessons don’t have to be confined to the classroom. Here’s how to include your children in your own financial life.

Young Children

From simple counting and addition to division and fractions, money management and budgeting is a perfect way to teach basic math.

  • If you use a card for purchases, look over the receipt and ask them how many bills and coins they would need to pay the same amount.
  • Share your budgeting decisions at the grocery store. Teach them to compare the price per unit on price tags and ask them to recommend the best deal.

Older Children

As your kids’ math skills improve, money lessons can be more complex. Their future credit score will thank you!

  • Introduce a full budget picture with income and expenses to help them understand where their (and your) money goes each month.
  • If you’re financing a large purchase, bring them into the process. Help them understand how things like interest affects the final price.


When teaching money management there’s no substitute for daily hands-on experience, which is why having their own banking accounts is the perfect way to prepare them for a financially responsible future.

Want more ideas for money-based math lessons? Check out the ECCU Blog.

To learn more about accounts kids accounts that keep them accountable, visit:






Category: Common Cents