Young children ask questions about money because they’re curious. It may feel hard to respond, but these discussions can offer great learning moments. Of course, the answers will be different for each family, but these suggestions may help you with your conversation.

Where is money made?

“There are four big factories called ‘mints’ that make coins out of metal. Paper money is made at a place called the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Then the money is sent to banks.”

Where do we get money?

“People earn money by working. That means they do a job and get money for doing it. You’ll work at a job, too, when you’re older. I go to work every day at _______. Grandpa works as a _________. That’s how we get money to spend on the things we need.”

How can you use that plastic card to buy stuff?

“Adults have two kinds of plastic cards: debit cards and credit cards. When you use a debit card, you’re paying with money you already have. When you use a credit card, you promise to pay later. Sometimes the card information is saved and we buy things on a computer or phone. We also have to pay for that.”

Where does our money go?

“We spend some of our money on our needs, such as our home and food. We also spend money on things our family wants, such as games and activities. And we try to save some money for things we need or want in the future. Our needs and wants are part of our budget, a plan for how much money we will spend, and what we will spend it on.”

How does the money get into the ATM?

“When we save money, we put it in the bank. It’s like your piggy bank, except it’s a big building that holds lots of money. When we want some of our own money from the bank, we can get it from the ATM or go inside the bank and ask for it.”

Why can’t I have a _______ like Joey has?

“Joey’s family made a choice to spend their money on the ______ that he wanted. We are saving our money for other choices.”