FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS
Teaching kids about money: three practical tips
16 August 2019
How to teach kids about money
When it comes to money, your kids probably see you as a walking, talking ATM—open seven days a week, and sometimes accepting begging as currency. But as parents and carers, you’re more than that. You’re also coaches and educators, guiding your kids into their financial futures.
And it pays to start early. According to KidsNews Australia, money habits are set by age seven. The habit of delaying gratification, which can be one of the skills that determines financial success, is formed in early childhood. So, as parents, the best gift you can give your kids may be an early money education.
We know what you’re thinking—you don’t have time for financial boot camp in between work, supermarket runs, and school drop-offs. No problem! Daily life is full of educational material to weave into your weekly schedule.
How to teach kids about money
Let them watch
Giving kids the odd glimpse of the adult world of finances can be good exposure. After all, one day they’ll be living in it.
The next time you make an expensive purchase (say, a TV or a car) take your kids along. Use these scenarios to bring money concepts like saving, spending, and budgeting to life. Explain how you set a savings goal and made the necessary sacrifices to achieve it. You’ll be linking your savings journey with something tangible. Savings will no longer be a vague concept that grownups discuss, but something concrete and literal.
Let them participate
Your local supermarket is the ideal classroom, with food aisles providing endless inspiration to set a kid-friendly budget plan into action. Get the kids involved in planning your weekly grocery budget. Explain how to divide costs into sections (like meals or lunches), leaving room for fixed costs (essentials like washing powder) and treats. Entice them with the opportunity to choose some of the extras, provided they fit into the splurge budget.
You could even take the money lessons beyond the supermarket by asking the kids to help with the family’s holiday budget. If you’re into camping you could get the kids involved in the pre-trip shopping list and snack budget. They’ll be able to see, touch, and experience the fruits of their budget planning—and what’s more rewarding than a family getaway in the Grampians!
Let them practise
Getting your kids involved in the day to day running of the house can also be rewarding. You could offer to pay them for any extra work they do (think gardening or car washing). If they have their eye on a new bike or iPhone, help them set a goal and break it into small achievable pieces. When they start crafting basic budget plans for long-term goals, they can learn to see themselves as captains of their financial fates. And according to MoneySmart, the practical application of money lessons is what makes things stick. Kids may benefit from flexing their financial muscles out in the real world, even if this means failing at times. Allow them to make mistakes. After all, delayed gratification is something we’re all still learning.
Get them started
Suncorp Bank offers bank and savings accounts to help get your little people started on their money journey. Popular options for kids include the Suncorp Everyday Options Account (an all-in-one transaction and savings account) and the Suncorp Kids Savings Account. Both have no monthly account keeping fees and no minimum balance to open the account or start earning interest.
At Suncorp we believe every money journey is an important one, whether you’re saving for your first house or your first bike. There’s something truly special about taking small financial steps together as a family.
Monthly account keeping fee waived for new Everyday Options accounts opened from 3/12/2018. Fee will be charged and waived for as long as the account is held. Offer is subject to change without notice and may be withdrawn or extended at any time.
Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product.