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Financially literate

Is Your Grandchild Financially Literate?


We tend to discuss ‘literacy’ all the time—but what about being financially literate? Many in the business community and educators are concerned about economic literacy in America, particularly as changes nationally, and on a worldwide scale, take place so rapidly. We need to prepare our young people for the challenges ahead.

All fifty states have finally added Economics to their K–12 standards, but so far only six high schools nationwide have added the testing of student knowledge of personal finance to their exit requirements, which is remarkably slow in light of the need to catch up. As such, it’s vitally important that parents and grandparents pick up the slack, taking advantage of opportunities to share age-appropriate, economic information, from budgeting to brand marketing to free trade economies—and how it all impacts their grandchildren’s financial future.

What can grandparents do?

Whether we’re aware of it or not, our grandkids pick up on our attitudes toward many things, including money, employment, retirement, investment, and career expectations for them, even if we only see them occasionally. As a result, what we don’t say, can affect them more than what is said, and that includes finances. What may be missing, however, is their understanding of why you live within a budget or weigh pros and cons before purchasing something or chose to go to college, and this is useful information.

Actionable steps you can take:

Have conversations about finances. Look for opportunities to discuss budgeting, saving, planning ahead, making wise purchases, and so on. With older grandchildren, you can discuss the stock and bond market, college savings funds, retirement funds, interest rates, economic indicators, the interconnectedness of consumer products and services worldwide, and so on.

Encourage innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. Encourage critical thinking skills, creativity and stimulate entrepreneurial thinking by listening to their ideas with interest: from lemonade stands to nonprofits and technology apps. Entrepreneurs are younger and younger these days—and your grandchild may have a unique perspective or innovative ideas of valuable and worthy of consideration.

Provide the best resources. Look for age-appropriate books that increase their knowledge of economics, as well as websites and projects you can do together. Visit local business and discuss how they work. See full article in GRAND Magazine

Encourage financial responsibility. Provide opportunities for personal financial decision-making through managing money. They may know the difference between ‘want’ and ‘need’, but do they apply it?


L. S. Perricone is an economics teacher, author, artist, & entrepreneur. Her books include 6th Grade Entrepreneurs and 8th Grade C-E-Oh!



Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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