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4 Basic Money Principles All Kids Can Learn

Rachel Cruze

Q: What are some basic principles I can teach my young kids before they get older?

Rachel’s Answer:

Great question. Sometimes we make money too complicated.

Managing money is based on one thing: common sense. Despite what you might hear, we all have it!

And the best thing you can do for yourself is to start putting your common sense into practice. You’ll do that by doing these basic principles of money management:


We talk about it all the time—the most powerful wealth-building tool is your income. That goes for both kids, teens and adults. The 6-year-old you teach to save for a bicycle will eventually turn into a 17-year-old who is eager to save for college.

Earn commissions, not allowances. Earn commission for doing chores around the house, like taking out the trash, feeding the dog, and helping with the dishes.


Priorities. Priorities. Priorities. Making money shouldn’t be a license to go spend it all right away. Too many kids and teenagers make $50 and spend it within a day on something they will have forgotten about a month from now.

There’s nothing wrong with having a little fun every now and then using cash to buy something you want. But there has to be a balance.


If you head off to college without understanding the principle of saving, then you will most likely graduate with a lot of debt.

Start early. Use a piggy bank or, even better, a clear jar so you can see their money growing. Once you are old enough, open a basic savings account.


The point of building wealth is to give. The earlier you get that, the better you will be in the long run.

Pick a charity to support and learn about tithing. Use your own money to tithe.

These are the basics—simple principles you can implement at an early age.

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Rachel Cruze

Growing up as Dave Ramsey's kid, Rachel Cruze learned the basic principles of money at an early age. She travels across the country teaching those same principles, in a personal and passionate message of money and hope, to teens and young adults. To find out more about Rachel, visit or follow her on Twitter at @RachelCruze.