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Financial Literacy for Ages 11-13

These are prime years for teaching the basics of money management. Your kids are gaining a more in-depth understanding of how money works and are still interested in learning from their parents. During this age range, your kids should be ready for a number of mature financial steps.  

Key Money Basics Ages 11-13

Increased intellectual understanding and self-awareness, plus a tween's desire to be viewed as a young adult, make this an ideal time to broaden their financial independence. Youth ages 11-13 should be working to develop these financial literacy skills. 

  • The importance of budgeting (parents can encourage stronger budgeting by paying allowance bi-weekly rather than weekly). 
  • Opening a bank account
  • Earning an allowance and the responsibilities of saving and spending money
  • How small businesses work 
  • The concept of longer-term savings, such as saving for a car or college
  • Performing small jobs to learn the value of earning money
  • The basics of online banking. Using money- and number-based online games, apps, and educational resources to expand digital financial learning. 
  • Preparing for peer pressure to buy things that "all the other kids" are buying. Around age 8 is when peer pressure begins to influence some children. 
  • The importance of giving to others through charitable giving
  • Allow small loans, which teaches how to get out of debt. For instance, if they don't have enough savings now but want a new pair of shoes, loan them part of the cost of the shoes and accept regular repayments for the balance from their allowance. 

Kids Savings


Kids First savings is a special type of savings account and rewards program offered through First National Bank exclusively for youth ages 16 or younger. Stop by any of our locations to open a Kids First savings account. 

A savings account: 

  • Introduces the savings habit early. Saving is central to financial security. Urge them to save part of their allowance or birthday money. 
  • Incentivizes youth to save more. With the Kids First savings account, each person opening an account receives a savings card that gets stamped for every $10 deposit. Once the card is completed, the kid receives a prize (e.g., coupon to a local business, coin bag, piggy bank, or other special prize). 
  • Helps with a big purchase. Kids can use their savings to make a larger purchase than their regular allowance. 
  • Is a stepping stone. Eventually, kids will need a checking account, debit card, credit card, loan, and college savings. A savings account is the first step toward all the other financial tools they will need in the future. 

Learn More About the Special Features of a Kids First Savings Account

Kids Bank

Kids Bank

Kids Bank is a partnership between First National Bank of Valley Junction and Hillside Elementary in West Des Moines. Kids Bank provides students with hands-on experiences involving the organization and operation of a bank. Students assume different roles in the Kids Bank, such as board members, tellers, and marketers. 

If you are interested in learning about this program and how it could potentially be replicated in a school located in a community near one of First National Bank's branches in Ames, Ankeny, West Des Moines, or Osceola, stop by any of our bank locations and ask to speak to the branch manager.

If you would like to learn more about the program at Hillside Elementary, contact Vice President and Sr. Relationship Banking Manager Lori Short or Valley Junction Branch Manager Jason Keigley.

Hands-on Activities


Age appropriate chores help your kids grow, learn, and prepare. By earning a modest allowance for completing their chores, they are also learning about earning an income, spending responsibly, and budgeting so something is left over after receiving their allowance to save. 

Age appropriate chores, Ages 12+

  • Babysit (siblings or neighbors)
  • Clean the house
  • Mow the grass and shovel snow
  • Wash the car
  • Cook small meals
  • Clean the refrigerator
  • Take out the trash
  • Make the grocery list

Online Activities

Building wealth

Building Wealth

Teens create a future self-identity to understand who they want to be and how they want to live at retirement age. They will be introduced to the fundamentals of retirement and develop a savings plan that will help them achieve their retirement goals. 

Co-sponsored by the Charles Schwab Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America

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Super Easy Savings

Set a budget for yourself using an easy system.

Co-sponsored by the Charles Schwab Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America

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Dinner party price

Dinner Party Price

Figure out how much your dinner party costs per serving. 

Co-sponsored by the Charles Schwab Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America

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Financial Confidence

Financial Confidence

Most girls say they would rather make their own money than rely on their parents. Set financial goals for the future.

Co-sponsored by the Charles Schwab Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America

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Prioritizing Spending

Learn the difference between a need and a want and how to prioritize what to purchase. 

Co-sponsored by the Charles Schwab Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America

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