4 Money Valentines for Parents to Give to Kids

Solid financial advice is better than chocolates. (Right?)

Money can’t buy you love, ’cause love don’t cost a thing. But on Valentine’s Day this year, can you think of some ways you show love to your kids through smart money choices? Here are four kids & money valentines. You can use them as a jumping-off point to make your own and share what you come up with.

1. My love for you is like compound interest—it’s growing every day!

Love may be a supernatural force beyond our understanding, but here’s some magic your kids can take to the bank. If they put away money in an investing account like a Roth IRA, they will earn interest on whatever they deposit—and interest on that interest! How to put that to an elementary schooler? If you put a quarter a day starting at age 10, earning an average of 7% per year, you’ll have more than $50,000 by age 65.

2. How do I love thee? Let me count the 529 ways.

Have you started putting away for your kid’s college savings? Studies show that kids whose parents set up an account for their postsecondary education (such as a 529 college savings plan) are more likely to go on to college than other kids. Is there a better way to show your love than letting your child know you’re thinking about her future?

3. Just like my 401(k), we’re a great match!

Retirement planning might not seem like the most romantic subject for Valentine’s Day. But if your kid is at an age when he’s obsessed with learning about new jobs (like my friend’s son, who thinks the neighborhood garbage collectors are celebrities), this card can be conversation starter about the sweet things our jobs do for us. Begin by telling your kid this: When your employer matches contributions to your 401(k), that’s free money. What’s not to love?

4. Let’s share the love!

One of the greatest gifts you can give your kid is a love of giving back to others. One valentine that shares the love like no other? Brainstorm with your kid about ways you can use time, talent, and money to help a local nonprofit, charity, religious group, or even your elderly neighbor down the block who needs some computer troubleshooting. Spread love to your community.