Teaching kids to be “Money Smart”
25-11-2016
As parents, you are the first teachers of your children and play a major role in positioning them to make informed decisions about the way they use money and understand the impact this can have on their future wellbeing.

Young people learn from their parents from an early age. You will have already began introducing them to ideas about, and attitudes towards, money before they start school and are modeling your money behaviors to your children. It is important for you to help your children develop discerning skills across a range of consumer and financial real world contexts.

To help ensure the next generations are informed consumers and more financially aware, consumer and financial literacy education is now an important part of the school curriculum in all states and territories. Schools welcome the engagement and support of parents. The activities you do at home with your children in relation to money help support and reinforce the consumer and financial learning that takes place at school.

Some suggestions for family discussion can include:
  • Pocket money: teaching young people the value of earning. Talk about what jobs your children could do for pocket money, the benefits of earning pocket money, and what they are expected to do at home without payment just because they're part of the family.
  • Discuss needs and wants: how do your children know if they really need an item or if the item is something they could live without?
  • What strategies could they use to stop and think about whether to spend or save their money: What good examples can you set for your children to learn from when it comes to budgeting and saving money?
  • How could your children develop a sense of responsibility and family and community ethics: Perhaps they could donate time or money to the less fortunate, or even to a local project as these are great ways for them to learn about becoming part of the community.
  • Consider giving your teen the opportunity to earn more by offering additional jobs or helping them with finding a casual job: Discuss what your teen may need to know if they get a casual job.
  • Discuss the influence advertising, brand names and peer pressure have on what your family spend.
  • Discuss various types of scams and what your family might need to be aware of: especially when browsing or buying online.
  • How will growing up bring with it more responsibility and more complexity? What financial responsibilities will they take on as they get older?
  • What are some of your children's savings goals? Discuss approaches to help your children reach these goals.
  • Talk about the importance of budgeting; show them simple budgets first then help them with more complex budgets as they get older.
  • What are some of the many ways that individuals and households receive income?
  • Raise your children's awareness about money being finite rather than something that is always readily available. Reinforce with them that you can only spend what you earn. Discuss the value of money.
  • What's the difference between debit cards and credit cards, and what effects can come from using them? Explain how getting into debt can affect a credit report and make it difficult later on to get a loan for a car or a home. Discuss how credit card interest rates mean you're likely to pay a lot more money for something that's on sale, and how using your debit card means using your own money and using a credit card means using a financial institution's money.