Guide your children to financial maturity

Teaching your children about money and finances is easiest when you start early. Here’s a quick review of what you should teach your children at each age if you want them to become financially competent adults.

Preschool – Skills to Teach

* Identify coins and bills; learn what each is worth.

* Understand that you can’t buy everything; choices are necessary.

* Save money in a piggy bank.


Grade School – Skills to Teach

* Read price tags; learn comparison shopping.

* Do money arithmetic; make change.

* Manage an allowance; use it to pay for some of child’s own purchases.

* Open a savings account and learn about interest.

* Participate in family financial discussions about major purchases, vacation choices, etc.


Teens – Skills to Teach

* Work to earn money.

* Budget for larger purchases.

* Learn to use a checking account.

* Learn about investing – stocks, mutual funds, CDs, IRAs, etc.

* Share in financial planning (and saving) for college.


College/Young Adult – Skills to Teach

* Learn about borrowing money (interest, default, etc.).

* Use credit card judiciously.

* Participate in family estate planning discussions.


Knowing about money – how to earn it, use it, invest it, and share it – is a critical life skill. It’s never too early to start teaching your children about financial matters

About Brenda J. McGivern, CPA

Brenda McGivern started her own certified public accounting and management consulting firm in October 2001. The full service CPA firm provides tax and accounting solutions to meet the needs of today’s small business and individual. Brenda McGivern has become a trusted advisor and valuable resource her clients rely on for timely, accurate assistance when they need it.

Before starting the firm, she worked as an accountant for three years at a local firm and prior to that five years at a large international CPA firm in Boston. She has performed the following tax services: federal, state and local tax planning, international tax planning, estate and succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, capital retention and IRS representation. She has also coordinated assurance engagements, such as financial statement audits, reviews and compilations from the planning phase through the reporting phase. She has prepared and reviewed regulatory filings for numerous regulatory agencies including the Security and Exchange Commission.

Prior to these positions she was selected from over 2,000 candidates into an eight-person intensive financial management program at an international technology company. The program consisted of graduate level classroom study and two six-month rotational assignments in financial operations.

She graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. McGivern also holds a license in Massachusetts as a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. She resides in Stoughton, Massachusetts with her husband Brian, and their sons Sean, Ryan and Conor and their dog, Davis.

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