Helping Kids Understand the Value of Compound Interest

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As parents, one of our most important responsibilities is to teach our children about money and financial concepts. From a young age, it’s crucial to instill in them a solid understanding of how money works and the importance of saving and investing. One key aspect of financial literacy that often goes overlooked is compound interest. Explaining compound interest to a child may seem daunting at first, but with the right approach and resources, it can become an engaging and enlightening experience.

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of compound interest and provide you with practical tips on how to explain money to a child. We will also introduce you to a valuable tool, Invstr Jr, that can help simplify the concept of compound interest and make learning about money fun and interactive for kids.

What is Compound Interest?

Before we dive into explaining money and compound interest to children, let’s establish a foundational understanding of what it means. Compound interest is the concept of earning interest on both the initial amount of money (principal) and the accumulated interest from previous periods. In simple terms, it’s like earning interest on your interest.

Imagine your child has a piggy bank with some money in it. If they leave that money in the piggy bank for a while, it can grow over time. Compound interest works in a similar way. When you put money into a savings account or an investment, it can earn interest, and that interest can also earn more interest over time. This compounding effect is what makes compound interest such a powerful tool for growing wealth.

Why is Compound Interest Important?

Compound interest plays a pivotal role when it comes to investing, and understanding its significance is crucial for children as they embark on their financial journey. Here are some compelling explanations as to why compound interest is important when it comes to investing, tailored specifically for our young audience:

Snowball Effect: Compound interest has a remarkable snowball effect. By reinvesting the interest earned on their initial investment, children can experience exponential growth in their savings over time. This means that even small amounts of money can grow significantly if they are invested wisely and given enough time to compound. The earlier children start investing, the more time their money has to snowball into a substantial sum.

Building Long-Term Wealth: Investing with compound interest allows children to build long-term wealth. By consistently adding to their investments and letting compound interest work its magic, they can watch their money grow steadily over the years. This can provide them with financial security and open doors to opportunities like funding their education, starting a business, or achieving their dreams.

Beating Inflation: Inflation is the gradual increase in prices over time. It erodes the purchasing power of money, meaning that the same amount of money can buy less in the future. By investing with compound interest, children can outpace inflation and ensure that their savings retain their value over time. This helps them protect their purchasing power and maintain a stable financial position.

Learn the Power of Patience: Compound interest teaches children the importance of patience and delayed gratification. Investing is a long-term game, and it requires discipline and the ability to resist impulsive spending. By witnessing their investments grow steadily over time, children can learn the value of delayed rewards and develop the patience necessary for financial success.

Explore the Power of Choices: Investing with compound interest empowers children to make choices and take control of their financial future. It encourages them to consider different investment options, evaluate risks, and make informed decisions. Understanding compound interest enables children to become confident and responsible stewards of their money, paving the way for a lifetime of smart financial choices.

The Benefits of Compound Interest

It doesn’t end there! Compound interest offers a multitude of benefits for those who understand its power and utilize it wisely. By harnessing the potential of compound interest, children can set themselves up for financial success in the future. Let’s explore a comprehensive list of the benefits of compound interest and delve into each one in detail:

Accelerated Growth

Compound interest accelerates the growth of investments over time. As the interest earned on the initial investment is reinvested, it generates additional interest, creating a compounding effect. This compounding allows investments to grow at an increasing rate, resulting in a substantial accumulation of wealth.

Wealth Accumulation

Compound interest is a powerful tool for accumulating wealth. By consistently reinvesting the interest earned, children can watch their savings multiply over the years. The longer the investment horizon, the more significant the accumulation of wealth becomes. Compound interest empowers children to build a solid financial foundation and secure their future.

Financial Independence

Investing with compound interest can lead to financial independence. By starting early and letting investments grow over a long period, children can establish a robust financial portfolio. This can provide them with the means to achieve their goals, pursue their passions, and have the freedom to make choices without financial constraints.

Retirement Planning

Compound interest is instrumental in retirement planning. By consistently investing a portion of their income and allowing it to compound over several decades, children can build a sizable retirement nest egg. This ensures financial security and a comfortable retirement lifestyle.

Wealth Transfer

Compound interest can facilitate the transfer of wealth between generations. By instilling the importance of investing and compound interest in their children, parents can pass on a legacy of financial knowledge and wealth. This empowers future generations to continue growing and managing family assets responsibly.

Risk Mitigation

Investing with compound interest mitigates the risks associated with inflation and economic fluctuations. As investments grow with compounded returns, they have the potential to outpace inflation and provide a buffer against economic uncertainties. Compound interest acts as a shield, preserving the value of investments and helping children navigate changing market conditions.

Educational Opportunities

The benefits of compound interest extend beyond financial gains. By accumulating wealth through compound interest, children have access to greater educational opportunities. They can pursue higher education, attend specialized courses, or explore learning experiences that enrich their knowledge and skills.

Entrepreneurial Ventures

Compound interest can provide children with the means to embark on entrepreneurial ventures. The accumulated wealth can serve as startup capital, helping them turn their innovative ideas into successful businesses. Compound interest acts as a catalyst for entrepreneurial endeavors, fueling economic growth and fostering creativity.

Generational Wealth Creation

Compound interest allows children to create generational wealth. By starting early, consistently investing, and reinvesting the returns, children can build a substantial financial legacy that benefits not only themselves but also future generations. This creates a foundation of stability and opportunities for their families to thrive.

Financial Empowerment

Ultimately, compound interest empowers children to take control of their financial future. It equips them with the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions, manage their money wisely, and secure their financial well-being. The benefits of compound interest extend far beyond the numbers, as it cultivates a mindset of financial empowerment and responsibility.

Fun and Engaging Ways to Teach Kids about Compound Interest

Now that we have a basic understanding of compound interest, let’s explore some effective strategies for explaining money to children in an engaging and relatable manner.

Start with Real-Life Examples: Children learn best through concrete examples. Begin by using relatable scenarios to illustrate the concept of compound interest. For instance, you can explain how money grows in a savings account or show them how their college savings fund can accumulate interest over time. The key is to make it relevant to their lives and aspirations.

Use Visual Aids: Visual aids can greatly enhance a child’s comprehension of complex ideas. Graphs, charts, or even a simple growth timeline can help them visualize the growth of their savings or investment over time. Encourage them to track their progress visually and witness the power of compound interest firsthand.

Introduce Invstr Jr: Invstr Jr is an exciting financial education platform designed specifically for children. It offers interactive tools and resources that simplify financial concepts like compound interest, making them accessible and enjoyable for kids. Invstr Jr provides engaging games, quizzes

The Savings Challenge: Parents can create a savings challenge where children set aside a portion of their allowance or earnings and track their savings over time. To make it more exciting, parents can offer to match a percentage of the saved amount. This demonstrates the concept of compound interest as children witness their savings grow faster with the added contribution from their parents. For example, if a child saves $10 and the parent matches it with an additional $5, they can visually see how their money compounds and grows over time.

Alternatively, parents can encourage their kids to start a small business or take on entrepreneurial projects. Whether it’s selling handmade crafts, running a lemonade stand, or providing services like dog walking or gardening, children can experience the concept of compound interest by reinvesting their profits. Parents can guide them to allocate a portion of their earnings back into the business, such as purchasing more supplies or upgrading their equipment. By reinvesting, children can witness firsthand how their initial profits can compound and lead to greater returns in the future.

Tools and Resources for Teaching Kids about Compound Interest

When it comes to teaching kids about compound interest, having the right tools and resources can make a significant difference in their understanding and engagement. Invstr Jr, an innovative financial education platform, offers a comprehensive solution to simplify complex financial concepts and empower children to grasp the power of compound interest. Let’s explore how Invstr Jr can be a valuable resource, along with other tools and resources, for teaching kids about compound interest.

Invstr Jr: Invstr Jr is an interactive and engaging platform that introduces children to the world of finance and investing. It offers a range of features and activities specifically tailored to their age group, making learning about compound interest both educational and entertaining. With Invstr Jr, children can explore various financial concepts, including compound interest, through games, quizzes, and interactive simulations.

Compound Interest Calculators: Online compound interest calculators can be excellent tools for illustrating the growth potential of investments.

Compound Interest Simulation: By inputting different amounts, interest rates, and time periods, children can witness firsthand how compound interest can grow their money exponentially. This hands-on experience helps solidify their understanding of the concept.

You can also check out our guide to compound interest!

Teaching Compound Interest for Kids with Invstr Jr

Let’s explore how Invstr Jr can be an effective solution for teaching compound interest and provide additional tools and resources to enhance their learning experience.

Interactive Learning Modules: Invstr’s Academy offers interactive learning modules specifically designed to to be jargon-free. These modules break down complex ideas into digestible pieces, using interactive visuals and engaging activities to make learning exciting and enjoyable.

Savings Goal Setting: Invstr Jr enables children to set savings goals and track their progress. By defining their objectives and visualizing their savings growth, children can develop a sense of purpose and motivation. Invstr Jr provides a practical tool to teach children about the importance of setting financial goals and how compound interest can help them achieve those goals.

Virtual Investment Simulator: Invstr’s Fantasy Finance® lets you manage a virtual $1M portfolio, a virtual investment simulator that allows children to simulate investing in real-world stocks with up-to-date market data and prices. This simulation provides a safe environment for children to learn about the potential returns and risks associated with investing, all without risking real money. By experiencing the impact of compound interest on their virtual investments, children gain valuable insights into the power of long-term investing.
Parental Guidance and Progress Tracking: Invstr Jr includes features that allow parents to actively participate in their child’s financial education journey. Parents can monitor their child’s progress, provide guidance, and engage in conversations about compound interest and investing. This collaborative approach fosters a supportive environment for learning and reinforces the lessons taught through Invstr Jr.

Developing Good Financial Habits in Kids

Instilling good financial habits in children from an early age is crucial for their long-term financial well-being. Teaching children about compound interest is just one piece of the puzzle. By fostering positive financial habits, we empower children to make sound financial decisions, cultivate responsible money management skills, and build a strong foundation for their future. Here are some key reasons why developing good financial habits in kids is of utmost importance:

Financial Responsibility

Developing good financial habits teaches children the importance of being responsible with money. They learn the value of budgeting, saving, and making thoughtful spending choices. By instilling these habits early on, children develop a sense of accountability and understand the consequences of their financial decisions.

Long-Term Planning

Good financial habits encourage children to think beyond immediate gratification and consider long-term goals. They learn to set financial objectives, create savings plans, and make investments for the future. By emphasizing the importance of patience and delayed gratification, children become skilled at planning and executing strategies that yield long-term financial success.

Money Management Skills

Developing good financial habits equips children with essential money management skills. They learn to track their expenses, differentiate between needs and wants, and make informed choices about how to allocate their resources. These skills lay the groundwork for a lifetime of responsible money management, helping children navigate financial challenges with confidence.

Financial Independence

By teaching children good financial habits, we empower them to become financially independent individuals. They gain the knowledge and skills necessary to manage their finances effectively, make smart investment decisions, and avoid unnecessary debt. Financial independence provides children with the freedom to pursue their goals and aspirations without being burdened by financial constraints.

Building a Strong Financial Foundation

Good financial habits set the stage for building a strong financial foundation. Children learn the importance of saving money regularly, investing wisely, and managing risk. These habits contribute to the accumulation of wealth, financial stability, and the ability to weather unexpected financial emergencies.

Empowering Future Generations

Teaching children good financial habits has a ripple effect that extends beyond their own lives. By equipping them with the necessary tools and knowledge, we empower them to pass on valuable financial lessons to future generations. This creates a cycle of financial empowerment and sets the stage for a brighter financial future for their families and communities.

Developing a Healthy Relationship with Money

Good financial habits help children develop a healthy relationship with money. They learn to view money as a tool for achieving their goals and fulfilling their dreams rather than a source of stress or materialistic pursuits. By understanding the value of financial well-being and responsible money management, children can lead fulfilling lives that are not solely defined by material wealth.

By emphasizing the importance of developing good financial habits in children, we lay the foundation for a lifetime of financial success, security, and responsible decision-making. Now, let’s explore how Invstr Jr can further support the development of these habits and provide children with the necessary tools and resources to become financially literate individuals.


Teaching children about compound interest and developing good financial habits are vital steps in equipping them for a financially secure future. By helping kids understand the power of compound interest, we unlock a world of possibilities for their financial growth and success. Invstr Jr serves as a valuable resource, simplifying complex financial concepts and making learning about compound interest engaging and enjoyable for children.

By instilling good financial habits in children, we empower them to become responsible stewards of their money, plan for the future, and make informed financial decisions. The benefits of compound interest, such as accelerated growth, wealth accumulation, and financial independence, provide a solid foundation for their financial journey.

This article was generated using automation technology. It has been thoroughly reviewed, edited and fact-checked by an editor at Invstr.

All investing involves risk and can lead to losses.
Past performance does not guarantee future results.
Invstr Financial LLC (Invstr) is registered as an advisor with the SEC. Securities trading is offered to self-directed investors by Social Invstr LLC, a member of FINRA.

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