How can you begin to teach kids about money?

Let’s face it, it’s not easy to talk about money with other adults, let alone teach kids about money. We pay so much digitally these days that the feeling of a ten-pound note in hand is lost on many youngsters.

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Let’s face it, it’s not easy to talk about money with other adults, let alone teach kids about money. We pay so much digitally these days that the feeling of a ten-pound note in hand is lost on many youngsters. And with that, the concept of money and savings accounts may have all but disappeared from young minds. But, without a doubt, kids will always pay attention to money when it suits them. Such as in the supermarket sweet aisle or the local toy shop.

As the adult in their life, it’s your responsibility to help teach them about money. Instilling healthy financial habits from a young age is entirely possible and, in the current economic climate, highly encouraged. So many things have changed in regard to finances, interest rates, mortgages, and even how we go about borrowing money. And, no doubt, the generation coming behind us will have even more to navigate. So why not make it easier to grasp by passing on your own knowledge earlier in life?


5 Ways to teach kids about money.

Set up a savings jar.

Growing up my sister and I saved any money we had using our piggy banks. They were from our local bank and shaped like hippos. Not only were they fun, but it was a great way to teach us about saving. But, while whimsical money banks are a great concept, nothing beats a clear glass or plastic jar! Not only do you have the joy of being able to see your money grow, but it can be recycled from other household items such as sauce jars or glass bottles.

But why stop there? With recycled jars or pots, you can even encourage your little ones to decorate them in their own, personal styles. They can use stickers, gift wrapping, or even ceramic paints to make their savings account eye-catching!

Even as adults my husband and I have two or three ‘change‘ jars where we put loose coins. We’ve been using an old glass mug to put coppers and other useless coins in for the last few years. While this may never equate to much, it’s always handy when you need a pound for the trolleys or money for the parking meter.

Make it fun!

What better way is there to grab a child’s attention than to make a game of it? There are various websites out there that offer free money games to help teach your kids about saving, spending, and everything in between. Mortgage Calculator is just one such site. They have a variety of games to choose from and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing through most of them to suss out the best ones.

My personal favourite is a simple clicker game known as Idle Money Tree. It’s one of the easier games, requiring minimal concentration to click and collect falling money bags. Other games are more complex such as Cash Back, which requires you to give change back to customers using the correct coins and bills. This is something I deal with every day as a retail worker, so needless to say it’s not something I want to do at home.

If you want to help your kids advance their understanding of money and math, be sure to set them up on Mortgage Calculator. They’ve several different genres, all of which are educational. So, even if math and money aren’t of interest to them, there’ll always be something else to choose from.

Let your kids in on how you spend your money and lead by example!

Kids are watching everything we do all the time. From how we treat people to how we spend, you can bet they’re storing it all in their little brains. If you’re constantly using plastic to pay for everything, they’ll pick up on it. Or if you and your partner are frequently arguing about money, they’ll notice that too. But, if you make a conscious effort to set a good example for them, they’re more likely to develop good, healthy habits.

That includes how they interact with and treat money.

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Teach them the value of money.

A good way to do this would be, for example, if your child wanted to buy themselves a magazine from the corner shop. Explain how much it costs and either help them count out the money from their jar or have them do it themselves. This way they can see exactly how much they’re removing from their own money and are able to physically hold it in their hands.

When you take them to the shops, encourage them to physically hand over the money to the cashier. Don’t opt to use your debit card in its sted! This defeats the purpose of the exercise.

Introduce pocket money for simple chores.

My sister and I grew up doing weekly chores which often resulted in pocket money. It was a great way to not only teach us the most basic of household tasks, but also that money has to be earned. We don’t just get it for free (unless it’s a special occasion such as a birthday or Christmas).

You can start from primary school age, but be realistic. You’re not going to ask a six-year-old to pick up the hoover and clean the living room, are you? Instead, ask little ones to pick up their toys, help set the table for dinner, or even unpack the groceries. As they get older these tasks can become more advanced such as cleaning the dishes, making their bed, washing the car, or even mowing the grass.

While it may be tempting, don’t use money as a bride for children to study or do homework. This is known as extrinsic motivation. We as humans should learn because we want to learn, and not because we’re being paid to do so. This encourages learning for the sake of bettering themselves, rather than for financial gain.


Have you any other tips about how to teach kids about money?

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33 comments

  1. These tips are so helpful! I was never taught anything about finance when I was younger and I really believe it should be taught in schools.

  2. Something my husband and I are really trying to do with our almost 6 year old. Love these tips!

  3. This is great and some fab ideas to put into practice too!
    My 6 year old gets £3 if he does his jobs (puts washing away and lays the table every night for dinner) he loves saving it and then going out for the day to spend it!

  4. I LOVE THIS POST! I had no idea that these types of games existed, I think it is very relevant to teach these kinds of things to children and introduce them to games where they learn things that will serve them for life.

  5. This is so important! My mom always tried to teach my brother and I how to be responsible with our money. Great tips!

  6. Nnniiiccceeee…I love the idea of introducing a small way of rewarding them for the chores they do. It makes them understand the proper way money can get to your pockets.

  7. I agree that they need to learn the value of money and earn it. I used to have a chart and every time I tidied my room or did the drying up I got 20p. This kind of thing works.

  8. Just last week I and my husband were thinking of teaching our kid about finance. Your post is just perfect and has such good ideas to make the teaching process a fun ride.

  9. These tips are really good. Teaching children about money equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to manage their money effectively now and in the future. Children who do better with money tend to have parents/carers who talk to them about money and give them responsibility for spending and saving from an early age.

  10. These are all great techniques to teach kids the value of money. I dont have kids yet but I have nephews and nieces. I want them to grow up taking care of their money and learning its value of it.

  11. We started teaching our girls at a young age using Monopoly money. It was a great visual lesson as they had to actually hand over “money” for expenses and see what little was left in their hands.

  12. These are great and practical tips. I agree with you how it is important to make it fun in order to get their attention. I had no idea there are available games online. Will definitely check this out. Thank you for sharing.

  13. This is a great post. I agree, it’s so important to teach kids about money. Our daughter will help with chores for money and she has paid with cash a few times at the shop. My daughter would love decorating a money box – great idea! Thanks for sharing. Jade MumLifeAndMe

  14. I absolutely love this! As a mother myself, I think it’s great to start teaching them about money early on. My kids are 8 and 6 and this is a great suggestion list! Thanks for sharing! ❤️

  15. Great ideas and love the idea of saving ars. Kids always love to put money there. We had one before and it helped us a lot. Thank you for these great tips!

  16. Great post! I’ve met a lot of spoiled kids and teens, who don’t understand that sometimes their parents can’t afford it or are simply a waste of money. I think teaching them early on is a great way to help them learn about money, how it works, and hard work needed to earn it. Thanks for sharing!

  17. I created a money management planner for my daughter to allow her to understand how money can help us as a family and also her future. The problem is, she’s not great in maths but we getting there.

  18. This post in itself is so fun! These are great tips to help talk about money with kids. I’m glad more parents are considering these topics and teaching them early on. Thank you for sharing!

  19. My parents taught me well about saving money. My sisters used to do chores and get rewards from them. And during the holidays, it was joyful to buy things we loved and we know we worked hard for them.

  20. As soon as we started giving our kids an allowance we started teaching them about money. Earning money, saving money & thinking about what to spend it on and if needed planning how to save for a bigger purchase they want. Both my kids are pretty good with their money!

  21. My husband and I have been teaching our boys a lot about finances. They are 7 and 9 but already have their own checking and savings accounts. If it isn’t a birthday or Christmas, they have to spend their money on things they want. We also give them a monthly allowance for helping with chores. It’s really been helping teach them about it all!

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