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How to Handle Cash for Kids

Be a boss and give it a toss! But not actually. Here’s how to handle your money the right way.

boy-and-girl-counting-money

There is something incredibly satisfying in possessing money and having the liberty of handling it any way you want. Think about it. What you do with money becomes – primarily, but not ultimately, as long as parents are involved – your own business.

If you are a kid who has earned your own money and can count single bills backward from 100 – 1, then you have what it takes to handle your own cash! You can decide to make it rain all around you while jumping backward on your bed (Do this in slow motion to make the lucky moment count). If you instead get the urge to burrow it all inside of a top-secret safe six feet underground in a top-secret undisclosed location, that’s cool too. But no matter your style of handling, there is a method to handling it, especially when cash is not in use. Try to keep your sticky fingers off, will you?

Here you will learn why keeping your cash organized and safe is important, how to store your cash in your wallet or purse, at home or in the bank, how to properly pay with cash at the register, and also what games there are to help you learn about handling cash in a fun way! Let’s get rolling.

Why Keeping Your Cash Organized and Safe Is Important

Organization is key in just about anything, really. I’m sure you have heard this from your parents a thousand times, and since I’m not here to lecture or critique, don’t take it personally. Money is worth organizing and keeping in a neat and safe environment as much as possible. In such a way where it needs its wrinkles ironed out or folded after a wash, you ask? Not quite, but I do love sarcasm. The goal is to keep money tucked away somewhere more often than not. This is to prevent losses, theft, and to also know where your cash is at all times, giving you the responsibility that you want and deserve as a kid, with greater chances of your money never coming up short. It’s a win-win, so remember that a lack of organization can harm your finances and discourage your parents from giving you the advantage of financial freedom earlier on in life. 

Let’s recap with a rundown of why it’s important:

  • Theft prevention – The higher your safety/security levels are with money, the less likely it is for you to become a victim of stolen cash.
  • Being able to account for your funds – Organization with handling money gives you the full control of knowing how much you have at any given time. Taking tabs on your money, whether that means creating a monthly budget spreadsheet, or by adding everything up the old-fashioned way on a weekly or monthly basis – either way, you’re holding yourself accountable to your own money.
  • It’s easy – If you appreciate and value money the way I do, you’ll find that it’s actually a piece of cake to take care of. More motivating than taking care of a younger sibling, perhaps. You’ll be more encouraged knowing that your money is available to you whenever you need it.

How to Store Your Cash In Your Wallet or Purse

It’s tempting to just shove money halfway down your pocket or to clutch it in your hands while you’re busy doing whatever it is that kids do. 

The thing with that is that it risks falling out of your pocket or being placed down somewhere that is long forgotten at the end of the day. Storing your cash inside of your wallet or purse reduces your chances of losing it and therefore having to bid your money farewell. 

Wallets give you a sense of security, knowing that your money is safe. Just remember to store your wallet correctly, or you’ll end up saying sayonara twice (first to your money, then to your wallet). You may also want to limit how much you physically handle it. Money circulation makes it a perfect candidate for carrying unfathomable germs, so keep that in mind before cozying up to suck your thumb after a long day of money handling. If you have no place to store your money, now’s a good time to purchase a wallet. 

I know what you’re thinking. A few things can happen that are out of your control, like when a milli-headed, penniless bully decides to help himself to some of your wealth, or getting caught in a sudden whirlwind mixed with a blizzardous tornado that’s jointly out for your pockets. We get that those things can happen. A wise pocket-size fancy mouse once said,  

“Earning a lot of money is not the key to wealth and prosperity. How you handle it is.”

How to Store Your Cash at Home or In the Bank

Now that you have your mind on your wallet, don’t put all those coins in one basket. Keep your money handy in different places. All of your money can be made safe and sound between your wallet, at home in a safe, or in a shoebox. When money is kept at home, be sure to find the perfect hideaway spot out of plain sight or in a place that is not easily reachable. And although we know you trust your family, you may at times welcome guests or have unwelcome visitors (which is highly unlikely and not something to worry about as it is not controlled). As long as you do your best to keep your cash safe, you’re headed in the right direction financially.

Tip: Having a heavy safe that’s not easily moved can be a great option in keeping cash safe at home.

The bank is another place to keep your money as common as the house yet relatively safer. Keeping money in a bank, without a doubt, kicks security up a notch. It also helps you become more aware than you usually would of spending your money, especially considering the constraints that can sometimes apply based on the type of account and with penalties or charges if and when certain conditions aren’t followed. For example, some banks require you to maintain a minimum balance in your account. If you overspend and exceed the minimum spending allowance, a penalty will accrue, causing you to lose some of your money. Knowing the rules of your banking system is a good way to avoid unnecessary spending and owing to the bank. Talk to your parents about how to follow the rules of the bank so your account can continue to flourish.

There are a lot of types of bank accounts for kids. Discuss bank accounts with your parents to find the right one for you. When it comes to growing the money you are handling, look into an interest-earning checking account. This type of checking account helps you earn interest while money is sitting pretty in your account. How cool? Always keep track of your checking account balance to avoid penalties such as overdraft fees.

How to Properly Pay with Cash at the Register

Before taking the trip to the grocery store or to the shopping mall with friends, there are a few things to consider, making your transaction easy, quick, and non-regrettable:

  1. Know what you are going to buy beforehand. This can save you from overspending on things you didn’t intend on buying to begin with. If the feeling of pressure from friends kicks in after they start to exhibit signs of bossiness by dictating how your money should be spent, shake it off and choose to go solo next time. 
  2. Know how much it costs. Knowing how much something costs prior to heading out to buy it can help you to make that amount available and that amount only. Give a little wiggle room on the price just in case it’s a few cents more than what you thought it would be. Have it ready before you get to the register to get the transaction done even quicker. 
  3. Brace for temptation and combat it. Fighting temptation doesn’t have to be a losing game for you. Start by acknowledging the things that you want, tell yourself the things you need, and break down how you plan to avoid those things that are not on your need list at the moment. Budgeting can help with this. If you have a set budget in mind, then overcoming your temptations of overspending will be a breeze. If you find you need further help with getting over that temptation hump, consult your parents or a financial advisor to help you combat the desire to overspend.

Games to Help You Learn About Handling Cash In a Fun Way

Games are meant to be fun and also teach tough real-world lessons. This list of games is sure to paint a nice picture of how money should be handled, spent, and budgeted to stay risk-free, safe, secure, and to make the best decisions that will keep your pockets flowing. For more games to play, head over to our page on the best kids’ games for handling cash!

  1. Exact Change Card Game – Educational Money Counting Game for Kids
  2. Con ’Em If You Can is a financial entertainment video game that teaches players about the different types of persuasion tactics used in financial fraud so they are better able to defend themselves against such tactics.
  3. Play Money – this is a simple yet ingenious way to practice handling your money and will be a stepping stone for how you handle it in future. Another cool feature is that the money – both bills and coins – look real!
  4. These unique and versatile Money Bags create endless fun and possibilities for a kid to use them to store money, toys, keys, anything of value and to place them wherever they deem safe. Ideal for younger kids, but equally useful to ages 10+. Another great practice game to test how money can be kept safe.

Now that you have a pocket full of knowledge and a better understanding of how handling money in a smart way works, you are ready to conquer the finance world!

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About the Author

Christina Ezeagwuna

Christina is a professional writer with 7+ years in entrepreneurship, opening a rental baby furniture business in 2016 that she still runs today. Christina is a mom of three budding, financially savvy kids and works as a content manager for the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement.

Last updated on: March 21, 2022