Jean Chatzky
According to John Bryant, a financial literacy advocate and educator, teaching your children about money can mean the difference between a lifetime of financial success and a lifetime of constant struggle. Through his nonprofit organization Operation Hope, John seeks to provide economic education to economically disadvantaged families. Jean talks to John about some of the critical lessons he says all kids need to learn about money in order to become financially independent and wealthy in spirit.

What Kids Need to Know About Money:

  • ATM does not mean "All the money." Parents need to teach their children the realities of where money comes from, how much things cost and how to manage money responsibly, John says. The topic of money shouldn't be a taboo topic of conversation in the home, he says.
  • The 10 percent rule: John recommends teaching kids to always save 10 percent of their paycheck in order to build wealth. "If you save $100 a month from age 17 to age 65 in a conservatively indexed mutual fund, you'll be worth $4.3 million," he says.
  • It pays to be smart. John says kids need to know that financial success is not about making more money—it's about making better decisions with the money you make.
  • People always have options. Help children understand the difference between needs and wants, consumers and producers, and spending and investing, John says. This will help them make better decisions about the kind of people they aspire to become in the future, he says.
  • No one's going to save you but you. Teach children that it's up to them to take charge of their life and make their goals and dreams happen, John says.