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Have you started to talk to your children about money?

Playing cards for moneyBigger is about to turn 7 and we’ve realised that we haven’t even started to talk to her about money – at the moment she doesn’t even get any pocket money

Asking around the other parents in our class there seems to be a big range of how much pocket money the children get and what they have to do to earn it

I’m not sure what the right approach is but one of my key parenting aims is to raise children who are properly equipped to go out into the world – that they know how to budget, to avoid debt, how to make their money work for them rather than getting into a financial hole

Recent research into Young People and Money by the Money Advice Service has found that children start to form money habits by age 7 but that only 18% of parents have talked to their children about money at this age

Like lots of other parents (43% according to this research) we haven’t really engaged with them much before because we haven’t wanted them to have to worry about money

I know that they have realised that things have changed financially over the last few years – we lost a big chunk of our household income when Mr M lost his job and we’ve had to make cuts.  I hope that having seen how we budget and try and stretch our budget that they will realise that money needs looking after, that you have to save up for treats and Mummy goes out to work so we can afford to have food, warmth and so on

The Money Advice Service has put together 5 tips for talking about money with your children –

  1. Subtly integrate it into your child’s life. You don’t have to have a big ‘money chat’ to bring up the idea of good money management. When you go shopping for example, encourage your child to make a choice between two items so they understand they can’t ‘have it all’ or explain to them that whilst two products are very similar, one is cheaper and it can be sensible to go for that one.
  2. It’s never too young to start. My own experience backs up the Money Advice Service’s academic study which shows that money habits begin to be developed prior to the age of seven. Children shouldn’t have to worry about family finances, but you can help them understand money without doing this.
  3. Be confident. This is your opportunity to help your children develop positive, beneficial habits. Even if you aren’t the best at money management, you will still have lots you can pass on to your children.
  4. Have a go. Money is a very practical subject and children can be very hands on learners. Find ways for your children to handle and use money whenever possible and having pocket money can be a great way of doing this. In younger children, role play can be used – for example playing ‘shop’ using pretend money.
  5. It’s ok to make a few mistakes; it’s how we all learn, and that applies to money as well. It’s far better for children to be making mistakes with little or no consequences than them facing bigger money issues when they are older which could have a bigger impact.

To find out more about helping children to understand money www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

Are you talking to your children about money?

When did your children start to get pocket money and what do they have to do in exchange for it?

Have you any tips for talking about money with children?


This is a sponsored post – the Money Advice Service provided me with some vouchers for sharing their survey results, all views remain my own

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