Involving Kids in Family Finances


One of the best lessons we can share with our kids is about money. By middle school, kids should have a good understanding of how money works as well as the importance of saving.

Rebecca Alwine is an Army wife and mother of three who realized shortly after having her third child that debt was not okay. "We had credit card debt and a brand new minivan payment, we knew that something had to change. While we knew that everyone has "debt" and many consider it a normal part of life, we didn't want our kids to have that mentality, so we involved them in our debt free journey." Rebecca says that her children have been a part of their savings journey, involving them in every step. "They understand how money works and know that by saving money, we can do more fun things as a family."

Rebecca mentions that there is one very important component of getting kids involved in savings: "We talk about money, we have family budget meetings so we can discuss how we're going to use our income, and we discuss our financial goals. The kids were really excited when we paid off our last debt, the minivan, and are happy when we color in new lines on our "savings account" chart."

Being money-wise at different stages requires clear explanations as well as honesty about your own family finances. You can turn each situation that involves money into a learning moment, or even a game to make kids more interested.

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Money on the Side

Camp Arifjan, Kuwait -- A colonel in the 1st Theater Sustainment Command has money on his mind.

Army Col. George Fields, the Chief of Intelligence, or G2, has been teaching a free "Managing Your Money" class here in his spare time. More than 400 students have attended his six week-long class to learn more about increasing their own finances.

"All I did was sit down and listen to a guy one day who showed me what he was doing" said the colonel as he explained how he became interested in what he calls, "becoming financially free."


A Plan for Success

I’m Staff Sergeant Robert Zuniga and I have been an active duty Air Force medic for eight years. I plan on staying in long enough so that I can retire at 20 years. I have always been interested in personal finance and would like to share how it IS possible for me and my stay-at-home wife and two kids to not only save and invest a ton of money but also have a lot of responsible fun as well on 'low' enlisted pay. You CAN do it too!

First off, we write down our goals and separate wants from needs.