Four Pillars

Lenox Money-Smart Kids program is structured around four money management concepts: Save, Spend, Invest, and Donate. By compartmentalizing money into categories and allocating funds for each pillar, children build responsible money habits into their daily routines — just like brushing their teeth. By putting children in charge of their own earnings, they'll naturally develop smart financial habits — with a little coaching from you of course.

We've made that coaching part a bit easier because between getting the kids dressed, fed, cleaned, homework done and to school — we know parents are overwhelmed! Lenox Money-Smart Kids; includes worksheets, activities and tools for all ages in each of the four pillars. A few topics include:

  • Organizing a “Family Fun Night” on a budget
  • “Comparison Shopping” at the grocery store
  • “Anatomy of a Paystub”
  • Buying a new car
  • Comparing savings and investment plans

We need more for our kids — to equip them to succeed and to have the edge they need. Only parents can get their children started on the road to financial success, and that takes your involvement.

Budget & Savings Plan

Saving for short-, medium- and long-term goals.

Login to Download

By giving your child the ability to earn an income, you can introduce new concepts and issues. Teaching children the importance of money choices and the act of saving money are crucial parts of learning and growing. Many of us struggle with these basic money management skills. In fact, over 56% of U.S. adults admit that they do not have a budget.*

Even if your child only receives a few dollars a week, they have the ability to make spending decisions. Help them list the things they would like to do with their money, then assess whether they have the appropriate funds to do those activities or purchase those items. Start by developing a weekly budget, and then create short- and long-term goals that will require some savings. When your child saves for specific things, they will feel ownership in that particular item or service because they've had to patiently save for it. That's hard for any adult to do… let alone a child! To help you get started, log in and download the “Budget & Savings Plan” worksheet.

*The sixth annual Financial Literacy Survey of adults, conducted in 2012 on behalf of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association.

Got To Have It

A family activity that introduces the key differences between wants and needs.

Login to Download

The first lesson is often the hardest: Determining the difference between needs and wants. Start with some basic items that constitute needs like shelter, food and clothing. Then discuss items that may be considered wants such as toys, designer clothes, games and candy. Talk about how these things can be nice to have, but they aren't necessary. Your child should understand that people often want much more than they need. As a result, people must make choices about what they truly need and what they can afford.

Remember, the best financial lessons for your child is to learn through example. Use everyday activities to keep an open dialogue. You should speak with them about why you make the purchases you do. Are you influenced by advertising? Pricing? The quality of the product? How do you choose one product over another?

Get the entire family talking with the “Gotta Have It, Can't Live Without It” worksheet. Simply log in to gain access to this free lesson and more age appropriate modules.

Savings Alternatives

Teaches the basics of savings accounts and Interest.

Login to Download

Intro To Investing

A Basic Introduction to Investing (stocks, mutual funds and real estate).

Login to Download

Forget stocks, bonds, mutual funds, margin calls and compounding start with the basics. Begin by explaining the difference between short- and long-term goals and between saving and investing. Long-term goals tend to be difficult for children to grasp since they are a part of the “now” generation! Try to make the goals relatable. For example, money you set aside to invest is NOT money that you will use for everyday expenses, for the next video game or a trip to the mall. Investments are for the long-term – years into the future.

As your child learns more about investments, Lenox Money Smart Kids will introduce different types of investments. Your child will decide which ones fit their needs – some are riskier than others and some let you take your money more quickly than others. Through the program, they'll gain the knowledge to make the appropriate decision. Start by introducing the basics of savings accounts using “Savings Alternatives.” For more advanced concepts, look at “Introduction to Investing.” Simply log in to access these lesson plans and more.