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Odders-White Offers Advice on Teaching Children about Money

by Rob Kelly Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Children as young as three are ready to start learning about money, says Elizabeth Odders-White, associate dean of the Full-Time MBA program and the U.S. Bank Professor in the Department of Finance, Investment, and Banking at the Wisconsin School of Business.

elizabeth odders-white finance professor uw-madison wisconsin school of business

Elizabeth Odders-White, U.S. Bank Professor in the Department of Finance, Investment, and Banking at the Wisconsin School of Business.

"There's not a huge difference in absorbing financial information and other information," Odders-White says in a CreditCards.com article titled “What Kids Should Know About Money, At What Age.”

In the article, Odders-White cautions adults about using language that might lead to negativity or cause children undue stress about money. "We know that people have vivid memories of negative experiences around money, and that has an effect on how people view money," she says.

Odders-White also offers advice on helping six- to 12-year-old children learn about shopping. Rather than saying, “We can’t afford that,” she says to remind children about the consequences of their choices they make: “We could buy X, but then we can’t buy Y.”

This teaches children about resource management and delayed gratification. "That's a key piece of what happens in this age group," Odders-White says.

A Reuters article on how to manage children’s money also includes some advice from Odders-White. In the article titled “How to Bank Your Child’s Money,” Odder-White says that although many adults bank online, children benefit from banking in person.

Read the full articles at CreditCard.com and at Reuters. The Reuters article also appears on the Time and CNBC websites.

To learn about Odders-White’s research on this topic, see her recent Forward Thinking Faculty Blog post.