Monday, April 26, 2021

Talking About Money with Kids

 State Treasurer David McRae submitted this guest column. 

Throughout April, as part of Financial Education Month, I have been writing about ways families can improve their financial literacy and savings skills. What we haven’t talked about yet is how to discuss all this with our kids.

Nearly 7 in 10 parents report that they are reluctant to talk about money with their children. And as a dad, I get it. It can be awkward to discuss about how much or how little you have with kids who might not understand the intricacies of a family budget – or the value of a dollar. But it’s important to do nonetheless.

Katherine Martinelli with the Child Mind Institute writes: “Teaching children to be financially responsible early on will help them cope with challenges like setting limits, planning a budget and resisting impulse buys.”

So, how young is too young to start these conversations? A University of Wisconsin-Madison study found that kids can begin to understand basic financial concepts by age three. So, it’s never really too early.

Financial guru Dave Ramsey does, however, share a few tips to start the conversation that I wanted to pass on to you today.

First, he says, “start slow.” You probably don’t need to talk with your 8-year-old about the differences between a SEP IRA and 401(k). But you could have them create a budget based off their allowance. Consider working with your child to put a portion of their allowance directly into a savings account, give a portion to a charity or church, and reserve a portion for short-term spending.

Then, Ramsey advises, be honest. He writes: “If you regret going into debt or not saving more for college, tell your kids…. [They] can handle it—really.”
Next, Ramsey gives any parents nervous about disclosing their salary an out. He encourages you to talk values (such as budgeting and saving), not figures. The truth is, regardless of whether you’re talking about a $40,000-a-year salary or a $10-a-week allowance, these broad concepts apply.

Fourth, he encourages families to set goals together. Whether it’s a vacation or a car, let kids know what you’re saving for and allow them to participate in the process.

Finally, learn about money together. I’m excited to share the State Treasury has put together a series of tools to help you do that. Please visit to find a curated a series of games, activities, and financial tools that every member of the family can use. If nothing else, we hope they help you start the conversation in your own home.

Mississippi Treasurer David McRae is the 55th Treasurer for the State of Mississippi. In this role, he helps manage the state’s cash flow, oversees College Savings Mississippi, and has returned more than $20 million in unclaimed money to Mississippians. For more information, visit


Anonymous said...

Nothing against David personally, I’ve heard he is a good man and capable, but I generally don’t want the government giving me advise on managing money.
If I’m advising my kids, I’ll tell them to watch the gvmt and do the opposite of that.

Anonymous said...

WTF? Really? I didn’t know the state treasurer was responsible for financial literacy?. And even if he was, is he so shortsighted as to think those that are financially illiterate read press releases?

Anonymous said...

Financial management, using a calculator and real world applications would go a lot further than the Pythagorean theorem and other useless stuff that that force children to learn. They always told us we would have to do it manually because "what if you don't have a calculator"? I'm 38 and I am never further than arms length from a calculator or an app that will calculate what I need. Teach kids how to manage money, invest, save, and other real world stuff to better themselves.

Anonymous said...

Yeah good luck with that. Children today don’t give a rats butt about saving. They primarily care about what have you done for them lately. And the more you give them the less they respect what you do for them. The lure of free communist money is turning today’s generation into self serving fascists

Whose Image Is On A Dime? said...

4:06 - In general, 'children today' also don't give a rat's butt about algebra, Spanish or English comp....but they're forced to sit and listen to (learn?) those things. Financial literacy should be required in public schools beginning in third grade and gradually ramped up each of the following nine years.

The New Paradigm said...

Except in private and parochial school settings, the teaching of financial literacy, personal responsibility, parenting and family values is real high on the racist radar.

Admission of systemic racism, being the new goal of education, all of those other areas are counter to wealth redistribution and the achievement of mediocrity. All one need know about a bank account is that the government will make periodic deposits.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS