By: Sarah Wilsman, Content Specialist

Let’s be honest, kids think money comes from an ATM. Or maybe a tree in the backyard? Tax season is a great time to help them understand and respect money: where it actually comes from and how to manage it. Building financial skills is essential, and OverDrive has a Money Matters list of titles to help educate students on budgeting, saving and earning money (before they have to face the IRS).

Why teach kids about money?

According to a study in this Forbes article, money habits are formed as early as age 7. Forbes offers tips for teaching money lessons to students organized by ages from pre-K through 12, along with specific activities to inform the lessons. The upshot:

You may have to wait to buy something you want.
You need to make choices about how to spend money.
When comparing colleges, be sure to consider how much each school would cost.

Into college, students should grasp one lesson that parents sometimes struggle with:

You should use a credit card only if you can pay the balance off in full each month.

Money lessons for every age

Financial expert Dave Ramsey also has 15 tips for helping kids save money, broken down by ages:

How to Teach Young Children About Money

Use a clear jar to save.
Set an example.
Show them that stuff costs money.

How to Teach Elementary Students and Middle Schoolers About Money

Show opportunity cost.
Give commissions, not allowances.
Avoid impulse buys.
Stress the importance of giving.

How to Teach Teenagers About Money

Teach them contentment.
Give them the responsibility of a bank account.
Get them saving for college.
Teach them the danger of credit cards.
Get them on a simple budget.
Introduce them to the magic of compound interest.
Help them figure out how to make money.