Money Management Educational Resources & Opportunities

March 26, 2015

Teaching Children About Money (General)

  • Jump$tart's Reality Check – How will your kids stack up to their dream life? Take the Jump$tart Reality Check quiz.
  • Teaching Children Money Habits for Life– This University of Minnesota Extension resource, part of the Children and Money Series, provides tips and tools for teaching kids about money.
  • Teaching Children the Value of Money – This article is adapted from one written by Megan O’Neil-Haight, University of Maryland Extension, and originally published in Delmarva Youth Magazine, November/December 2005.


  • Allowances and Alternatives – This University of Minnesota Extension resource, part of the Children and Money Series, provides an overview of the four main ways children receive money (cash gifts, earned money, dole and allowances) and the advantages and disadvantages of each system.
  • Allowance Game –This fun interactive way to teach kids about the basics of budgeting comes from Iowa State University Extension.

Money Tips by Age

Even starting at the very early stages of life, teaching money skills can be important. Here are free or low-cost tools to teach children the importance of money management.


  • Thrive by Five: Teaching Your Preschooler About Spending and Saving – This site provides free activities and other resources for parents who want to encourage healthy attitudes about money in young children. Resources are provided in both English and Spanish. The site was developed by the Credit Union National Association in partnership with Cooperative Extension staff and credit union educators.


  • Money on the Bookshelf: A Family Financial Literacy Program – The purpose of this financial literacy curriculum guide is to provide parents and children in families with limited resources with opportunities to have positive interactions about money and to enhance the financial and lifelong learning skills of both parent and child. It was developed by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.
  • Reading Makes Cents – Reading Makes Cents is comprised of a collection of 53 experiential activities developed around exemplary children’s literature that has money as a theme. The selected children's literature explores ideas, activities, and strategies that help children learn how to earn, save, share, and spend money. The curriculum is designed for children in grades 3 to 5. Most of the activities are stand-alone and designed to be completed in one session. Some of the activities build on others, but generally, you can pick and choose activities from within or among sections. This format makes the curriculum ideally suited for out-of-school-time programs. It was developed by the National 4-H Curriculum system.

Middle & High School

4-H Consumer Savvy – Click on the project name to the left to go to its online project site. Financial Consumer Developed by the National 4-H Council (2004).

  • Helper’s Guide – Provides supplemental materials that help adult volunteers facilitate learning situations for various ages of youth. Numerous group activities are included to help youth develop essential life skills as they pursue their interest in consumer education.
  • The Consumer in Me – Youth will experience what it means to be a consumer through saving, spending and sharing. Grades 4 and 5.
  • Consumer Wise – Introduces youth to the influence of peer pressure, the power of advertising and the expanding web market as they learn to make independent shopping decisions. Grades 6 to 8.
  • Consumer Road Map – Teens will navigate the potholes in the marketplace en route to becoming savvy consumers. Grades 9 to 12.

4-H Financial Champions – Click on the project name to the left to go to the product ordering page. Developed by the National 4-H Council (2003).

  • Helper’s Guide – Helpers will enjoy involving youth in the right fully-developed group activities that expand the concepts in the youth guides.
  • Money FUNdamentals – The activities in this action-packed guide invite youth to develop a money personality profile and style, explain needs and wants, deal with money decisions, set financial goals and develop a money plan. Grades 7 to 9.
  • Money Moves – Youth learn how to predict outcomes and analyze their finances. Youth will calculate interest, determine the cost of credit, manage a checking account, select financial services, make marketplace decisions and discover the 11 ways of handling money. Grades 9 to 12.

High School

  • Money Talks: Web Site for Teens – The Money Talks web site offers teens, and their teachers, a fun and interactive opportunity to learn about money management. Teens can play games, take quizzes, watch videos, read or download colorful teen guides, and more. The web site is available in English or Spanish. It was developed by the Personal Finance Community on the eXtension system.
  • NEFE High School Financial Planning Program – In this performance-based learning program created by the National Endowment for Financial Education, high school students create their own financial plan, create their own budget, propose a personal saving and investing plan, select strategies to use in handling credit and managing their debt, demonstrate how to use various financial services, create a personal insurance plan, and examine how their choice of career and lifestyle will affect their financial plan. The NEFE High School Financial Planning Program one-page flyer gives a brief description of the seven units in the NEFE HSFPP, lists curriculum ordering information and provides contact information for Michigan 4-H audiences who are interested in conducting the program.

Free or Low-Cost Activities

Jump$tart Coalition

Jump$tart is a national coalition of organizations dedicated to improving the financial literacy of pre-kindergarten through college-age youth by providing advocacy, research, standards and educational resources. Jump$tart strives to prepare youth for life-long successful financial decision-making.

  • Jump$tart Coalition Clearinghouse is a searchable clearinghouse of free or low-cost personal finance resources.
  • Jump$tart National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education – These standards delineate the personal finance knowledge and skills that K-12 students should possess. The Jump$tart Coalition intends the National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education to serve as a model. As such, the standards represent the framework of an ideal personal finance curriculum, portions of which might not be appropriate for individual instructors and students. The Coalition leaves it up to various stakeholders to decide how to address the topics in the National Standards. Personal finance describes the principles and methods that individuals use to acquire and manage income and assets. Financial literacy is the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage one's financial resources effectively for lifetime financial security.
  • Jump$tart Coalition Survey of Personal Financial Literacy Among Students – This site presents the survey instruments and results of more than a decade of the Jump$tart Coalition Survey of Personal Financial Literacy Among Students.
  • Jump$tart Best Practices for Personal Finance Education Materials – This set of best practices for developing and choosing personal finance educational materials is intended to help teachers, authors, publishers, educational consultants and others. The Jump$start Coalition encourages these groups to apply as many of the statements list as appropriate for a specific educational resource.
  • Jump$tart National Educator Conference – This annual conference supports the teaching of personal finance in the classroom by demonstrating financial education resources, providing participants with personal development related to financial education they can use themselves, providing teachers with a national network of colleagues and more.

Michigan Jump$tart Coalition

The Michigan Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy is a conglomeration of more than 30 public, private and non-profit organizations that seek to improve the personal financial literacy of Michigan´s young adults.

  • Teacher Educator Conferences – Provides information on upcoming personal finance education conferences.
    Money $mart School Library – Provides information about this program, which is designed to provide financial literacy library collections to Michigan schools.
  • Contests – Check the Michigan Jump$tart Coalition home page for current news about contests.

Millionaire’s Project

The 4-H Millionaire’s Project is dedicated to improving financial education for teens. This interactive investing education website is in development at Michigan State University Extension with funding provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Foundation. Contact Julie Chapin at for more information.

Important Savings Weeks

  • America Saves Week – America Saves Week, a national week dedicated to savings in America, is celebrated in February of each year.
  • Money Smart Week – Money Smart Week, a Michigan week dedicated to educating individuals about money management, is celebrated in April of each year. Free training resources are available throughout Michigan.

Events and Workshops

  • 4-H Exploration Days – 4-H Exploration Days is an annual Michigan State University pre-college program that attracts approximately 2,500 youth participants and chaperones representing all 83 Michigan counties to MSU each June. Sessions related to money management topics are presented each year in partnership with the Michigan Credit Union League. Check the website in early March for more information and registration details.
  • NEFE High School Financial Planning Program Teacher Training – The NEFE (National Endowment for Financial Education) partnership between MSU Extension and the Michigan Credit Union League holds several free one-day teacher-training opportunities each year. The partnership offers the training to individuals who are interested in using the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program curriculum to teach high school-aged youth about finances. For the most up-to-date training information, contact Beth Troost at the Michigan Credit Union League at

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