Penny's Money Lessons

Hi, friends! I'm Penny D. Pelican and I work at Synergy Bank. I love teaching my friends all about money and how to save. Did you know there is a savings account just for kids? Ask your parents to visit here to learn more. I'd love to share all about banks and money with you! Click on the + buttons below to learn more about each of these topics.



How Does a Bank Work?

A bank is not just a storage place for money! A bank provides many services: checking accounts, savings accounts, loans to buy things like cars and houses, and much more. The bank holds your money in safe place until you need it.

Did you know that banks pay you to keep your money in their accounts? That’s right! If you put your money in a savings account, the bank will pay you a small amount which is called interest.

A bank can also lend money to people who needs to buy something big like a boat or house. When someone borrows money from a bank, they must pay all the money back over time plus a little extra. This is also called interest.

Earning Money

In order to buy the things that we like, we have to have money. Your parents go to work and that company or person pays them for the time that they worked. This is called earning money. You can do things to earn money too!

You can cut grass, take out the trash, walk your neighbor’s dog, or have a lemonade stand to earn money. You’ll feel good when you are paid for your hard work. Once you have earned your money, you’ll have to decide how to spend it.

Spending, Sharing, Savings

Once you earn money, you have the choice to either spend, save, or share it. I like to do a little of all three!

Spend – Spending money may seem like the most fun option. When you spend money, you give a person or store money in exchange for something like a toy or game. It’s important to remember that in order to purchase something, you need the money. If you want to buy something that costs more than you have, you will need to save.

Save – You can also save your money! Have you ever had to save for something that you really wanted? Sure, it was hard to save up but I bet it felt awesome when you finally got to buy what you wanted! Saving money helps you to save up for the future too!

Share – You could also share a little your money with a worthy cause that means a lot to you. For example, if you like animals you can donate a few dollars to the animal shelter to help them care for animals.

When I earn my money from working at the bank, I like to do a little bit of all three. I spend a little on myself, save a little in my savings account, and then share a little to help animals.


A budget is a tool for thinking about where your money comes from and where it goes. This helps you to know how much you can spend, save, and share.

To make a budget, write how much money you will earn on one side (income) and how much you want to spend, save, and share on the other (expenses).

Needs and Wants

It's important to know the difference between a need and a want so that you can spend your hard earned money wisely!

"Needs" are the things you need to live like water, food, clothes, and shelter. "Wants" are the things you would like to have but don't need to survive. Wants could be things like books, movies, toys, and games.

When you make your budget, you should spend your money on your needs first, and then worry about the wants with the money that is left over.

Can you spot the needs and the wants in the list below?


American Women Quarters Program

Through the American Women Quarters Program, the U.S. Mint will release five new quarter designs each year that honor an extraordinary woman in American history! The women featured in 2022 include Maya Angelou, Dr. Sally Ride, Wilma Mankiller, Nina Otero-Warren, and Anna May Wong.


Learn more about the 2022 Honorees below!

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was a celebrated writer, performer, and social activist. Her work includes more than 30 best-selling titles of verse, non-fiction and fiction. Her career includes dance, theater, journalism, and social activism.

Dr. Sally Ride

Dr. Sally Ride was a physicist, astronaut, educator, and the first American woman to soar into space. Aboard Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983, she became the first American woman and the youngest American (at 32 years old) in space.


Wilma Mankiller

Wilma Mankiller was the first woman elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation and an activist for Native American and women’s rights. She led the creation of community water systems, rehabilitation of homes, and raised education levels among her tribe.

Nina Otero-Warren

Nina Otero-Warren was a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools. She worked to improve education for all New Mexicans, working to preserve the culture of the state’s Hispanic and Native American communities.

Anna May Wong

Anna May Wong was the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood, appearing in more than 60 movies throughout her career. She left a legacy for women in the film industry.


Activities & Fun


Coloring Sheets

Jokes & Riddles

  • How do you stop a bull from charging?

    You take away its credit card!

  • If money grew on trees, what would be everyone's favorite season?


  • What type of money do crabs use?

    Sand dollars.

  • How is the moon like a dollar?

    They both have four quarters.

  • How much money does a skunk have?

    One scent!

  • What did the dollar name its daughter?


  • Why did the student eat his dollar bill?

    His mother told him it was for lunch!

  • What is brown and has a head and a tail, but no legs?

    A penny!

  • What did one penny say to the other penny?

    Let's get together and make some cents.

  • Knock Knock!
    Who's there?

    Cash who?
    I knew you were a nut!

  • Why can't you borrow money from a leprechaun?

    Because they're always a little short!

  • What has a hundred heads and a hundred tails?

    One hundred pennies!

  • What did the football coach say to the broken vending machine?

    Give me my quarterback!

  • What did the duck say after he went shopping?

    Put it on my bill!

  • When does it rain money?

    When there's change in the weather!

  • Where can you always find money?

    In the dictionary!

  • How do dinosaurs pay their bills?

    With Tyrannosaurus checks!

  • Where do fish keep their money?

    In a river-bank!

  • Where does a penguin keep its money?

    In a snow bank!

  • Where does Dracula keep his money?

    In a blood bank!

Learn About Money


What is money? Money can be almost anything, as long as everyone agrees on its value. One of the earliest forms of money was metal, such as gold or silver. In North America, Native Americans used beads made of shell, called wampum, as a form of money.

Before people used money, they bartered, or traded, things they had for things they wanted. For example, a person may have traded three goats for two sheep. Each person had to give the other something they wanted and everyone had to agree that their value was similar.

People have used money for more than 4,000 years. It is believed the government of Turkey was the first to make coins which were a combination of silver and gold called electrum. Many ancient peoples including the Greeks and Romans used coins. The first types of paper money were used in China more than 1,000 years ago. Early paper money was a written note that a person could write which promised to pay a certain amount of gold or silver money later. Later, governments began printing paper money.

Today, paper money and coins that are used are called currency. Each country has its own form of currency. In the United States and several other countries, the currency is the dollar. Other common currencies are the euro, the peso, the pound, and the yen.

Fun Facts

  • Pennies buried in a garden will repel slugs, which get electric shocks from touching copper and zinc.
  • All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of a $5 bill.
  • It takes about 4,000 double folds (first forward and then backward) before a bill will tear.
  • At the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 37 million notes roll off the presses — per day. Almost half are $1 bills. Almost 95% of the notes printed each year are used to replace notes already in circulation.
  • Worn coins are melted down and used to make new coins. Worn bills are shredded. Some shredded bills are recycled and made into roof shingles or fireplace logs.
  • A stack of dollar bills one mile high would be worth 14.5 million dollars.
  • Though discontinued, technically, high-denomination bills ($500, $1,000, $5,000, $10,000 and $100,000) are still legal tender. They were last printed in 1945 and discontinued by july 14, 1969. The present denominations of U.S. currency in production are $1, $2, $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills.
  • More Monopoly money is printed each year than actual money.
  • The first coins were minted around 2,500 years ago.
  • The Romans were the first to stamp the image of a living person on a coin.
  • There are eagles printed on all US currency.


How a Bank Works

Ways to Earn Money

How Coins Are Made

Credit: United States Mint

Field Trip to the Money Factory


US Currency Features

Credit: US Currency Educator Program

Journey of the US Currency

Credit: US Currency Educator Program

  • Lemonade Day - 10

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