If you’re coupon-savvy and doing your best to make the most of your family’s finances, you’re probably also considering ways to pass smart money skills down to your kids. With Sesame Street’s “For Me, For You, For Later” kids can follow Elmo as he learns wise ways to take care of his money.

The Free Program

  • Encourages children to think about concepts such as value, choices, patience, saving, and sharing when it comes to spending money.
  • Teaches practical, age-appropriate lessons about basic money management skills. It ranges from how people go to work to earn money and how an ATM is not a magic money machine, to how bank accounts work.
  • Offers an interactive website for kids and parents, including videos and podcasts (which are great to put on an mp3 player and listen to in the car).
  • Has printable materials to download, such as workbooks, which include suggestions for activities families can do together at home to learn more about money management Also has play money the kids can color themselves.
  • Suggests making “Spend, Save, Share” jars with your kids to give them a way to visualize how they use their money. If you’re familiar with Dave Ramsey, this is right along the lines of his “Spend, Save, Give” philosophy.

As I worked through the material with my kids, I realized the program taught the same basic concepts I teach in my coupon classes to adults.  For example:  We choose how to spend money.  If you choose to use coupons, you can spend money on other things you value. Couponing is like earning money because your effort saves you money on things you buy anyway. Elmo was just echoing ideas I was already teaching and encouraging, not only in my classes, but to my kids!

“For Me, For You, For Later” does a great job of explaining concepts to the kids that they will apply every day for the rest of their lives.  If you can handle a little Elmo, this could be a valuable tool to help your kids build a foundation for smart money management.

Tips For Using The Material

  • For the podcasts, you’ll find the first episode in the series is at the bottom of the download list, starting with “Elmo’s Three Jars.”  When you transfer them to a mp3 player, build the playlist from bottom-up.
  • If you print the workbook, the layout is meant to be full page spreads. I stapled the pages together back-to-back and then added an extra staple on the outside edge to hold the pages together. The book is 12 full color pages, but before you have a heart attack thinking, “INK!” consider that the cost of the ink is a pretty good deal compared to buying a kids’ book.
  • You can save ink by reading the parent/caregiver guide on the computer. While the kids’ book has activities they can color or cut out, the adult book is purely informational.

    This has been a guest post by Rachel from Elisworth AFB, SD
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Use Sesame Street's Free Program to Teach Your Children Smart Money Skills