Financial Milestones for Preschoolers

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You don’t have to be a money expert to give your preschooler the building blocks to a healthy financial future. These simple three milestones are great age-appropriate foundations for financial literacy. Plus, we offer below some conversation-starters and activities to match their rapidly growing memory, vocabulary, and social skills.

Basic Currency Recognition

Introducing your child to money should include understanding the different currencies. At this age, focus on the variations of size, colors, and values of different coins. You could ask your child to sort coins into different cups based on size. Or practice their counting skills based on either the value or the number of coins. Starting with coins versus paper currency can keep the lessons simple, and your child engaged. Try some of these activities to begin conversations about money and how it’s used to exchange different things.

Wants and Needs

As parents, we’ve all had frustrating conversations with our children when they want something; that’s not part of our spending plan. There are plenty of opportunities in everyday life to get ahead of those conversations and start a positive dialogue on needs vs. wants. Taking everyday tasks such as trips to the grocery store or picking up a gift for a birthday party can be a great time to ask your child about what they believe are wants and what they think are needs. This topic is a great way to engage the whole family, and you might find yourself surprised at everyone’s responses and reasoning.

Spend, Save, Give

The basics of budgeting are paramount to building a foundation for personal finances. Even at an early age, children need to understand the distinctions between spending, saving, and giving their money. As your child earns money, whether from basic household chores or money they receive for special occasions like birthdays, have your child divvy their funds into these three categories. Early budgeting can help develop positive money habits that you can nurture as your child continues to grow.

Having conversations about money early and often gives your child a strong foundation for financial wellness. Engaging them in activities and conversations can prepare your child for making confident and informed financial decisions.

Looking for ways to keep your child engaged in financial milestones? Visit our Money & Beyond Jr. page for videos and activities for the entire family.



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