RALEIGH (WTVD) -- When it comes to teaching her 3-year-old daughter Marie about money, Karyn Bryant is starting now with an allowance.
"We want her to know so she can earn her toys," Bryant said. "It's a quarter a star. When she sets the table, picks up toys, or does she gets a star."
And, financial experts say Bryant is on the right track. The U.S. Senate has designated April as Financial Literacy Month and experts say the sooner the better to start teaching healthy habits.
"You can start as early as say 4 or 5 teaching about coins how to identify different coins, what they're worth," explained President and CEO of Pinafore Wealth Counsel Lisa Gabriel.
"There are stock market games and family grocery games that teach kids how much things cost at the grocery store," Gabriel said.
Those games can help change the statistics which show failing grades in financial literacy for teens from 15-18 in the U.S.
"Sixty-two percent of those tested got a D or an F with an average score below 60," said Gabriel. "But, I don't think that's terribly surprising because 61 percent of us adults don't use a budget."
Gabriel says there is a payoff to starting lessons in finances early.
"There's a research study that shows when children become financially independent at an early age say right after college, that their lifetime earnings are 20 percent higher."
Gabriel says during the early teen years its important to teach about avoiding impulse purchases, long term savings goals, budgeting, and credit cards.
She adds cyber security should also be part of the lessons with so many online purchases. But, the important thing is to begin with some simple talks about money that can pay dividends for a lifetime.
For a link to free E books on finances click HERE.
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Money tips for kids during Financial Literacy Month
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