Tips for helping children understand money

Have a go at this Money Personality quiz which has been adapted from Barclays Life Skills.  It’s a Microsoft Excel file.



The Money Advice Service website has lots of excellent resources for all ages on understanding and managing money.  Pupils have been watching these videos aimed at teenagers in registration.


These tips come from the Guardian Money section – more details on their website.

Start Early

Apparently adult money habits are set by the age of 7 (although we can change!).  Start talking to children about money when they are very young.

Want vs. Need

It’s easy to tell a child that they can’t have something because you can’t afford it.  When you’re talking about a trip to Disneyland that’s easy to justify, but most of the time, we can afford that chocolate bar, or trip to Starbucks, but we are choosing not to spend the money that way.

Children can become scared if we say we can’t afford things – it makes it seem like we are not in control of our money.  Talk to your child about how you choose to spend the money you have coming into the house.

Different Pots for Different Things

Encourage children to save some of their pocket money and spend some.

Allow Children to Make Mistakes

It’s best to learn this lesson early – if they spend their weekly canteen money by Wednesday in year 8, that’s better than running a credit card bill to the max when the get to university.

Make it Relevant

One good way to do this is to give children more control over their budget when spending money in the school canteen.  Give them a sum of money for the week or month, just after you get paid.  Discuss with them how this will break down every day and use the menus online to see what they can spend it on.  A main meal is currently £2.50 but there are cheaper alternatives.

Lead by Example

Be honest with your child about money and try and avoid having shopping as a major leisure activity.

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