• icon of teacher

          Private Tutoring

          We provide one-on-one tutoring in a quiet and comfortable environment, allowing students grades to progress at their own pace with maximal attention given by a qualified instructor, ensuring improvement in the subject area as well as overall confidence.

          spaceship pencil icon personalized tutoring

          Personalized Tutoring

          Individualized learning for students in grades K-8 seeking enhancement or remediation in Math and ELA

          school bag icon

          Homework Help

          Our Homework Booster program is offered to help students K-12 with their daily homework assignments, and is available Monday through Saturday in the following subjects: Math, ELA, Science, Social Studies.

          book icon with pencil

          Essay Writing Help

          Writing is a skill that takes years to perfect, so let our tutors guide you through your toughest school assignments, papers, and personal statements. Whether it is a deadline you need to meet, ideas you need to put together, or just a quick proofread, our “Essay Drop-Off” service is just what you need!

  • Test Prep Courses
  • STEAM Camp
  • Clubs
        • About Us

          Here at Tip-Top Brain, we believe that every student has the natural ability to learn if given the opportunity to receive a quality education. With a safe, supportive, and positive classroom environment and upbeat, intelligent, and compassionate instructors to guide students throughout their educational journeys, we believe that all students can discover and unlock their fullest potential.

          contact us envelope

          Contact Us

          We're very friendly and responsive!. Visit our contact us page to fill out a contact form, get directions, or even find answers to questions students or parents like have asked us!

          experienced teachers at blackboard tip-top brain

          Meet Our Tutors

          Where should we start? There is so much we could say about our talented tutors. Read all about their unique personalities and academic backgrounds here!

          blog icon

          Our Blog

          There's so much to learn these days, don't you agree? Check out our blog here!

          NOW HIRING

          Love Teaching?

          Tip-Top Brain is growing and looking for talented individuals to help us on our mission to help students discover and unlock their fullest potentials.


5 Fundamentals of Financial Literacy

5 Fundamentals of Financial Literacy
Financial literacy is one of the most important things kids will not learn in school. Whereas it may seem natural to teach your child to swim or drive, teaching financial literacy is rarely a concerted effort. How do we begin to equip our children with money management skills? Well, like anything else start with the basics:

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

“When will I ever use the Pythagorean theorem? Why don’t they teach us useful things like how to balance a checkbook?” Nearly all of us have heard this question from parents and students alike. It is true, most American schools don’t teach the most practical life skills, but that doesn’t mean kids shouldn’t learn them. But, without a special class or curriculum requirement, how do we begin to teach our children financial literacy? Well, let’s start with five of the most important lessons you’ll want your child to learn:

1. Prioritizing Needs Vs. Wants

On the most fundamental level, children must be able to discern between wants and needs.

Strike up a conversation with your little one and ask them for an example of a “want” vs. a “need.” Children, generally, understand the difference, and should be able to list needs like food and water. Of course, shelter and medicine are critically important, but it’s possible your child has never considered them “needs” so much as “givens.”

More importantly, children need to recognize how the “want vs. need” dichotomy affects budgeting. Specifically, it’s important to impress children with the idea that “needs” are to be met before “wants” are considered. In short, “needs” should be prioritized when making purchases. Meanwhile, fun, or luxurious purchases, like toys or vacations, should be bought only after your needs have been met. For older children and teenagers, the distinction between wants and needs can become more nuanced.

2. Opportunity cost

 Children also need to know money is finite, even for wealthy families.

Opportunity cost is perhaps the most important idea you can bestow upon your child. Opportunity cost is the notion that for every decision we say “yes” to, there’s another we’ve said “no” to. Simply put, you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

A straightforward way to teach this lesson is to involve children in making everyday choices. The grocery store is a natural place to demonstrate opportunity cost. Kids can be asked to decide between two treats, but with the knowledge that their budget only allows them to purchase one.

You don’t always need to use concrete, monetary-based decisions to develop an understanding of opportunity cost. More abstractly, you can choose between two movies before bedtime, with the understanding there is only time to watch one.

3. Money Mismanagement

Parents are there to help shield their children from making mistakes.

While making sure your child doesn’t burn the house down, or get themselves hurt, some mistakes are best made sooner than later. When it comes to managing money, too many young people aren’t given the autonomy to fail until they’re older. However, as your child gets older, their financial missteps will become larger and potentially harder to remedy.

The best way to avoid your adult-children from mismanaging money is by allowing them to mismanage their money as children. Spending money we don’t have or making a less than sound financial decision is something we are all guilty of. When you allow your child to do this, they learn the strife of money mismanagement firsthand. Perhaps they can’t purchase the video game they really wanted or go to the movies this weekend. In either case, these small losses may save them worse money-mistakes in the future, which could amount to missed rent or late car payments.

4. Delayed Gratification

Delayed gratification is hard for most kids to learn, but this generation is facing a truly uphill battle.

In the age of smartwatches, smartphones, and, well, smart everything, waiting has gone the way of the dinosaur. Kids have learned that satisfaction is taps away, and always available. Unfortunately, the cornerstone of financial literacy is delayed gratification.

Delayed gratification is the idea that what gratifies or satisfies us is coming down the pike. By delaying our gratification, we save money, which is critical later in life for huge expenses like retirement or college. But how do we teach kids to understand delayed gratification? Well, it’s simple, point out delays in their gratification, and model an appropriate response.

For instance, if your child is becoming antsy dinner isn’t ready, point out why. Explain that preparing dinner is largely out of their control and requires time. Better yet, explain that you too are hungry, but patiently waiting for dinner as well. Firstly, your child probably has no clue that you too experience hunger. More importantly, they recognize that you are hungry, but patiently waiting. This notion that we often wait for what we want is sort of new for kids and teens, and even us adults seem to forget from time to time.

5. “Real” Money

Children often lack a realistic understanding of money. 

What does your child think “a lot” of money is? How much money is enough to live each week? Kids have trouble answering questions like these, because their answers are contingent upon their limited financial experience. Try to point out the prices of items you frequently purchase, or ask your child how much items cost as you shop. These small glances, and quick price-checks, begin to contextualize costs for them.

Growing up, my Dad, brother, and I used to play a game at the grocery store. My Dad would have each of us try to guess the total cost of our grocery cart. My brother, Sam, and I would try our hardest to keep track of the total as we shopped, but seldom remembered things exactly. So, we’d survey the cart frantically, produce our figures, and anxiously wait for the receipt. The winner merely got to sit in the front seat on the way home, but my Dad was just proud to have two 10-year-old boys arguing over whether “$5” is too much for eggs.

While it’s true schools don’t explicitly teach these life skills, it doesn’t mean kids can’t or won’t acquire them. Even at home, you can begin to lay down these fundamentals of financial literacy with your child. One of the largest obstacles students face learning financial literacy is when they begin learning, so the earlier the better. Many people only come to learn the most basics of financial literacy once they’re earning and spending their own money. Generally, this means the sort of mistakes they learn from are more expensive than those you might make in middle school. By incorporating finances into conversation with children, and modeling responsible money-management, you’re providing a spring-board for a “rich” financial future!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Education Systems: What can we learn from schooling success abroad? (PART 2)

American schools are home to some of the most well-learned students, and qualified teachers in the world. However, countries like Finland, Denmark, and Sweden outrank the United States in education every year. What programs and practices does Finland, Denmark, and Sweden employ to reach the massive success they do? And which might be transferable here to American Schools?

Can An Old Dog Teach Your Child New Tricks?

Can An Old Dog Teach Your Child New Tricks?

Emotional intelligence is learned, not innate. As your child grows, they mature emotionally too, allowing them to have more fulfilling and meaningful relationships. Despite a language barrier, pets are remarkably good at helping children develop emotional intelligence. Check out 7 ways a pet can help your child develop emotionally.

Please complete this form and our program coordinator will reach out to you shortly.

Our response time is within 24 hours
glowing arrow

We're committed to your privacy. Tip-Top Brain uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time.