Kids need to know that there are four basic things you can do with money — save it, spend it, invest it and donate it — and you should discuss all those aspects of finance, said Khalfani-Cox. She uses a piggy bank with four chambers, one for each action, to help her children think about their financial priorities.
"Young kids only see us spending money at the store, so if you don't talk to them, they think money is just to buy stuff," Khalfani-Cox said.
More schools are teaching children about personal finance, but your kids' money education should begin at home, said Jennifer Myers, a financial planner and mother of one. She is president of SageVest Wealth Management in McLean, Virginia.
"The reality is that you can't teach financial education in a classroom," said Myers, who recently launched SageVestKids.com to educate parents about how to talk to their kids about finances and activities they can do with their children. "It's learned at home and by experience.
"Parents should look in the mirror," she added. "What is the lifestyle that we lead? What impression is that lifestyle giving my child?"
You don't have to go it alone. Plenty of books and websites, including T. Rowe Price's MoneyConfidentKids.com, can help you develop a curriculum that is right for your children.