Money Wellness
Illustration of six kids holding piggy banks
category iconmanaging your money
calendar icon15 May 2024

International Day of Families – 15 May

We’re calling for parents to use International Day of Families to teach their kids about money management

We recently surveyed people we’ve helped with debt:

  • 93% of them said they didn't receive financial education when they were younger.
  • 80% believe that having financial education would have made a difference to their current situation.
  • 64% said they would be more confident in managing their money if they'd been taught about finances.

Money management is a vital life skill, and according to MoneyHelper, children who do better with money tend to have parents who talk to them about it and give them responsibility for spending and saving from an early age.

We'd like to encourage parents to use International Day of Families as an opportunity to start conversations with their children about money management. It doesn't matter how old they are - from teaching toddlers to drop coins into a piggy bank to creating budgets for university spending, you can always make a difference to your children's attitudes towards money.

Seven ways to teach kids about money management

It all starts with you

Kids learn from your habits, customs, and routines – and money is no different. Take them shopping and explain your payment methods and why you're making certain choices. Involve them in the process, like having them hand over the cash and count the change.

Turn the household budget into a game

78% of the people we surveyed wished they'd been taught about budgeting. Turn it into a fun game by creating a spreadsheet and showing your children where the money comes from and where it goes each month. Discuss bills, essential spending, and how the remaining money can be saved or spent.

Kids learn quickly

Teaching kids about money at an early age won't be as difficult as doing it when they're older. Start with simple tasks like putting coins in piggy banks and gradually move on to more complex activities, like costing up the weekly food shop or saving energy and water to reduce bills.

Getting your head around payslips

Don't be afraid to show your kids your payslip and explain what tax is, how much you pay, and why. Discussing tax codes and how they affect you is an important skill for working life.

Want doesn't mean need

In an over-commercialised world, understanding the difference between need and want is essential. Show them the things they need, like food and warmth, and compare them to toys or technology. Don't be afraid to say no to things they want if the household budget doesn't allow for it.

Cash is king

We increasingly pay for everything digitally, but giving kids cash can better help them understand spending and improve their maths skills. Show them coins and notes and ask them to count them or have them count out change in shops.

If you do pay digitally, use it as an opportunity to discuss safety, such as PIN numbers and protecting virtual payments from fraudsters.

Don't shy away from debt

Debt isn't always bad. Teach your kids that debt can be a financial tool that can help them, such as student loans, mortgages, or starting a business. But also discuss the negative aspects of taking on too much debt, like failing to keep up with repayments, high-interest charges, stress, and financial instability. And ultimately reassure them that if they do find themselves in problem debt and don’t see a way out there is free help available. Talking openly about debt from a young age can go a long way to removing the stigma, meaning future generations will be more open to seeking support and won’t struggle on alone. 

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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