Kids' Wallets and Teaching Money Management

Girl with wallet

A kid wallet makes a great gift for teaching your child about responsibility and the importance of managing his/her money.

Generally, a wallet makes a good gift for children ages four and up. While some kids may express an interest in Mommy or Daddy's wallet before this age, a preschooler is old enough to understand what a wallet is actually used for.

Buy Kid Wallets Online

Although many stores do carry a small assortment of wallets for children, shopping online is often the best way to find a unique gift. To start your search for the perfect kid wallet, LoveToKnow Kids recommends visiting the following helpful links:

  • has a large collection of wallets and handbags featuring popular cartoon characters. If your child is obsessed with SpongeBob Squarepants, Scooby Doo, or Dora the Explorer, a cartoon-themed wallet is a great choice.
  • Oriental Trading Company has a "Design Your Own Wallet" kit that includes blank canvas wallets children can personalize with the design of their choice.
  • Learning Resources makes a cash and carry wallet for preschoolers that comes filled with pretend money. Invest in the coordinating cash register and let your child go on an at home shopping spree.

Money Management Tips for Children

Once you've chosen your child's first wallet, it's time for a lesson in the essentials of good money management.

Teaching Basic Concepts with "Parent Bucks"

Working with play money provides a stress-free way for young children to develop their math skills while setting the foundation for lifelong financial literacy. suggests using "Parent Bucks" to help kids ages three to eight learn money management skills. Print off several copies of this brightly colored play money onto heavyweight cardstock, then show your child how to count and add the different bill denominations. If you wish, you can even set up a system where children are rewarded for good behavior with "Parent Bucks" that they can use to buy privileges such as extra TV time or the chance to stay up 30 minutes later on the night of their choice.

Giving an Allowance

If your child is ready for the responsibility of managing real cash, it may be time to start awarding a weekly allowance. Many experts suggest giving one dollar for each year of your child's age, although you may wish to increase this amount if you plan to have your child use his/her allowance to pay for larger expenses such as clothing, fees for school activities, or charitable donations. While some families chose to tie allowances to the successful completion of age-appropriate chores, other parents believe that the two issues should be kept separate.

Understanding Credit

While many adults use credit cards on a regular basis, the concept of using credit to purchase items can be very hard for children to grasp. In fact, researchers have found that many preschoolers believe that credit cards offer "magic money" on demand. If you wish to teach your child about the responsible use of credit, consider allowing him/her to borrow money with the expectation that you'll be repaid with interest on a specified date. To make the simulation more realistic, give your child one of the plastic inserts from a discarded credit card application to use as his/her personal credit card at the "Bank of Mom and Dad."

Additional LoveToKnow Resources

Visit LoveToKnow Save for an assortment of personal finance tips, including a tutorial on Teaching Kids to Save Money.

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Kids' Wallets and Teaching Money Management