For Teachers

Teacher’s Guide to Money Management Topics

Here are a bunch of tips, learning objectives, worksheets, and pre-built lesson plans to help you build your curriculum to teach students about money management!

classroom-with-teacher-preparing-lesson-plan

Money management is critical to a happy and successful adult life, and you can benefit your students tremendously by giving them a solid background. Teachers and homeschoolers can impact students’ future paths, from the earliest years of school to the moment they graduate. 

We will cover the money management topics and learning objectives teachers should cover in each grade. You’ll find teacher guides that cover each sub-topic extensively, with resources and lesson plans at your fingertips. Our guides connect to the National Standards for Personal Financial Education, ensuring your students learn money management well.

Topics That Should Be Covered When Teaching Money Management At Each Grade Level

Pre-K

In Pre-K, there is a focus on money awareness and identification. Students learn that bills and coins have value, seeing how money management is essential.

Kindergarten

Kindergarteners learn how money works, prioritize wants and needs, and learn the difference between goods and services. They find more challenging money math ideas and make change.

1st Grade

In 1st grade, students continue to work on money denominations and value while diving into more advanced money management concepts. They learn about saving, spending, earning, trading, and resources, setting the groundwork for the future.

2nd Grade

Students at this level learn about opportunity cost and the different types of resources: natural, human, and capital. They discover how currency works, how to earn income, and why prices are set in specific ways.

3rd Grade

3rd-grade learners find specific ways to manage their money. They learn about accounts, banking, deposits, withdrawals, and interest. They also see how consumers and producers interact, incentives for spending and saving money, and how specialization can increase income.

4th Grade

Money management instruction in 4th grade includes deepening knowledge of earning income, spending, and saving. Students also learn about investing – a crucial component in personal finance – and managing credit and risk.

5th Grade

Your fifth-grade kids discover specific ways to manage their money. They see how budgeting works, look into credit and debit cards and dive deeper into the world of investing. You also introduce them to taxes, the role of the Fed in personal finance, and how competition impacts what they pay.

6th Grade

In sixth grade, students see how the economy works and why it matters for personal money management. They learn about earning income, how shortages and surpluses affect prices, and the pros and cons of interest in their financial situations.

7th Grade

If you teach 7th grade, you’ll want to discuss entrepreneurship and profit, how cryptocurrencies and NFTs are changing the way we look at money, and different ways to earn income. They also learn about ways to boost income in various careers.

8th Grade

These students discover different ways to get paid, learn about rent and dividends as income producers, and insurance. They understand the gig economy, comparison shopping, and adjusting budgets.

9th Grade

9th-graders cover many money management topics, including how inflation affects personal finances. They look at the car-buying process, research warranties, diversified investing, managing risk, and how to calculate taxes and their effect on their money.

10th Grade

In this grade, learners make business plans and see how entrepreneurship works. They research careers in-depth to start seeing potential job interests in the future, create virtual stock portfolios, and see how advertisers try to persuade them to spend.

11th Grade

Entrepreneurship is one of the main focuses this year, and students understand the importance of intelligent decision-making and reflecting on risks and rewards. They also look at housing, particularly taxes and mortgage rates, to prepare for future money management.

12th Grade

12th-graders learn about earning income, spending, saving, investing, managing credit, and managing risk. They analyze careers and benefits, pursuing training and education and their impact on income, and see how peer pressure can alter their spending habits.

Grade-Level Overviews and Teacher Guides

Check out our grade-level specific money management overviews and teacher guides:

Grade-Level Guides

Teacher Guides by Topic

Activities, Worksheets, and Other Guides

Money Management Learning Objectives

Money management is a broad topic with exciting teaching possibilities. Each grade level has specific learning objectives relating to the National Standards for Personal Finance Education. 

In pre-K, teachers build fundamental knowledge of money and how it works in our society. 

Each grade level covers the topics of earning income, spending, saving, investing, managing credit, and managing risk.

Earning Income

In Kindergarten through 4th grade, learners focus on different jobs, how people get paid, and how training and education can lead to more income.

Standards in grades 5 – 8 revolve around government influences on income, how to specialize in careers, and how to find an ideal job based on interests.

In 9th-12th grade, kids are expected to learn about benefits, decision-making processes, handling challenging economic environments, and the various taxes that impact money management.

Spending

In K – 4th grade, students learn that people spend differently, many factors influence prices and spending decisions, and there are multiple ways to make purchases (checks, cash, credit cards, etc.)

In grades 5 – 8, kids learn budgeting, making informed decisions, how to sift through information for accurate info, and when to use specific payment methods.

9th-12th graders look deeper at budgets, consumer influences, housing, charity perks, and having an organized management system.

Saving

In kindergarten through 4th grade, kids see that saving is a choice with many benefits, people differ in their savings approaches, and interest can be helpful to savers.

In 5th – 8th grade, students learn how to save for large purchases, personal satisfaction, and the power of compound interest.

Grades 9 through 12 have students look at various savings accounts, inflation, government protections and regulations, avoiding emotional decisions, and retirement plans.

Investing

In grades K – 4, students learn what investing is, the idea of rates or return,  and see the potential of investing to increase wealth over time. 

Grades 5-8 learners break down the many forms of investments, risk factors and tolerances, the advantage of long-term investing, and how people choose where to put their money.

In 9th – 12th grade, the standards dive into investing in detail, including how to calculate returns, the connection between rates and risk, inflation, market factors, common behaviors, and financial technology tools.

Managing Credit

K – 4th-grade students learn about the concept of credit, seeing how interest affects total costs, and how lenders view people with good credit more favorably.

5th – 8th graders learn why interest rates vary, how APR works, how loans work, and how borrowing impacts personal finance.

9th through 12th graders see the power of research when obtaining credit or loans, learn about borrowing for higher education, and see how down payments and mortgages work.

Managing Risk

Kindergarten through 4th-graders learn that risk is part of life, but having plans can help, like emergency funds and insurance.

5th – 8th-grade students see that unexpected events can significantly impact their money, insurance and warranties can help protect assets, and that identity theft is increasingly common. 9th – 12th-grade standards include the ideas of differing levels of risk management for individuals, the many types of insurance, insurance fraud, and how to evaluate what degree of insurance is necessary.

About the Author

Peter Brown

Peter Brown is a National Board Certified teacher with over two decades of experience in the classroom. He loves working with students of all ages in many subjects, but particularly in practical areas like money education, to help kids achieve their goals. When he is not teaching or writing about financial literacy, you can find him surfing, hiking, skiing, or traveling to new places.

Last updated on: September 22, 2022