[OFF TOPIC RANT]GL
My wife's sister is in a perpetual state of finanical crisis ... almost all of it completely and utterly self inflicted. It's no way to live life IMO. Take what you have and make it work for you as best you can. I didn't get a financial education either, I sought it out myself after being tired of always being behind the 8-ball financially. I am determined to pass these things along to my son.
If I can manage to live soley of dividends when I retire then I can pass the original investment to my offspring. That is how you begin generational wealth and I hope I am able to get that started for my family tree.
In order to keep it rolling your kids need to understand it. I have been working on financial concepts with my son, who is now 8. He *earns* an allowance, but only if he completes his assigned tasks for the week. He has to save at least 25% (sometimes he saves more voluntarily). When he deposits his savings into the credit union, I match the total. He has built up a nice little sum.
He understands that by saving his money it allows the bank to loan it to his neighbor to build a house, buy a car, or start a business. That person pays the money back, with interest. The bank gives him some of the interest and keeps the rest as profit. [ok, that's a bit flowery, but close enough]
Recently we took a look at his bank statement and I showed him how his interest payments had been increasing over time and asked why he thought that might be. "My interest is making interest now?". BINGO! A few words about compound interest over time and he has the concept.
He is allowed to spend 50-75% of his earned allowance on pretty much whatever he wants. The occasional ice cream cone, toys, video games, etc. He has occasionally bought some junk - and realized that a fool and his money are soon parted. He now understands how advertising works and he often seeks Mom and Dad's council before he makes a purchase.
He has also saved for larger ticket items, sometimes eschewing short-term wants in favor of his long-term goal (though not always). I think he is well on his way, and is light years ahead of where I was at his age.
I learned many of these financial lessons in earnest between the ages of 26-30, more often than not the hard way.
[/OFF TOPIC RANT]