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Learning about money with your child

Learning about money doesn’t have to be boring. Allow your child to have some fun along the way and at the same time discover how to choose wisely, how to save regularly and how to make their money go further. Together you may even end up saving money for the whole family!

There is more to financial education than just learning information…

It is also about developing:

Values - having a healthy attitude to money, not letting it dominate our lives.
Skills - thinking ahead about financial needs, learning to plan and budget spending.
Knowledge - understanding financial services and products and making informed choices.
Behaviours – practising regular saving and other good financial habits from a young age.

By involving your child in some of the ways that you use money, you can help them to develop the values, skills, knowledge and behaviours to manage money well, reinforcing the learning that is taking place at school. Children and young people aged 8 - 15 have told us that talking to their family and their friends about money has the biggest influence on their spending decisions1, so as parents and carers you are extremely important in this process!

“My mum says I spend money too quickly so this will help me think about what I really want”

According to a 2013 survey, nearly two-thirds of children get their first bank or building society account and their first mobile phone before they start secondary school2. Research by the Money Advice Service found that many habits around money are already being formed by the age of seven3. As children are experiencing money and making money related decisions at an earlier age, it is really important to start talking about some of the basics such as how to budget, spend and save early on, in order to establish good money habits for life.

Adult teacher or parent helping school children

Using mobile phones, contactless cards, watches and digital wallets for transactions is becoming more and more common, and actual coins and notes tend to be seen and used less often. These digital ways to pay for things can be ‘invisible’ to children making it difficult for them to understand where money comes from and how much things cost. If opportunities arise, showing your children some of the ways you pay for things can bring virtual transactions to life, as well as discussing and explaining the reasons for the choices you make.

It is also important to talk to your children about the values that influence your use of money, for example why you might donate to a charity or lend money to a friend. The LifeSavers vision is rooted in a set of four core values generosity, wisdom, thankfulness and justice, which have been selected as they are relevant to discussions across a range of financial themes and topics.

Check out the Top Tips section for more practical activities and ideas that will help you and your child learn about money together!

1 Research conducted by YouGov and commissioned by Young Enterprise, June 2016
2 BBA/pfeg/YouGov survey, 2013
3 Habit Formation and Learning in Young Children, by Dr David Whitebread & Dr Sue Bingham (University of Cambridge) commissioned by the Money Advice Service, May 2013