How to boost your kids’ financial literacy

1 June 2024

  • Megan and Christian are teaching their 10-year-old twins a balanced view of money management to help them prepare for the future and have a healthy relationship with their finances.
  • CommBank’s personal finance expert Jess Irvine advises parents to present money as exciting and positive and teach kids that earning, spending, and investing can be enjoyable and beneficial.

Ten-year-old twins, Kobe and Elkie, have  big money dreams (including a dog and a new house). Their parents, Megan and Christian want to teach their kids how to boost their financial literacy and set them up for success. “I just want them to be secure,” says Megan. Christian agrees: “It’s a big scary world; it would make us feel better.”

See how Jess Irvine suggests how parents Megan and Christian could teach their kids about money on The Brighter Side.

How Megan and Christian are teaching their kids about money

Megan and Christian are trying their best to share sound money advice with their twins. Here’s what they’re doing:

Recognising bad habits

Megan says she’s more financially conservative thanks to her bank-manager father imparting lessons at an early age. Christian, on the other hand, tends to be more frivolous with spending. “I’m the handbrake,” Megan says with a laugh. “We even each other out.” But the couple know parents influence their kids’ attitudes towards money, so their focus is not passing on any bad habits.

Showing that hard work brings reward

Christian works away – two weeks on and one week off – and his schedule sets a good example for the kids about how reward comes from sacrifice. “The kids will say, ‘Daddy, why can’t you just stay home?’ and I tell them, ‘I need to work so we can afford things.’”

Rethinking pocket money

Megan and Christian used to give the twins pocket money in cash but noticed they would spend it immediately at the canteen or on stickers. “It was easy come, easy go,” says Christian. Now pocket money goes straight into a savings account, which the kids love checking to ensure it’s growing.

What Jess Irvine wants every child to know about money

Money is exciting

“If you bring an attitude of fear or anxiety about money, kids will replicate it,” explains Jess. Let them know “money is how we get the things we want – it’s exciting to earn money, it’s exciting to spend it and it’s exciting to invest it and watch it grow.

Spend less than you earn

“I want kids to hear you say, ‘Spend less than you earn, save and invest the rest,’” says Jess, adding: “[Ensure] they know that money saved, is what you spend later on, whether it’s on a skateboard or their first car.”

It’s your money, it’s your choice

Try to bite your tongue if they blow it all on lollies or games. “Kids need to have money that is theirs so they can feel the sting of running out of money while they’re in a safe environment,” says Jess. Instead of reprimanding them, ask if they think their purchase was worth it.

Monitor your money

As a parent, Jess uses  Kit, built by CommBank, the kids’ pocket money app and prepaid card. “It lets you set an allowance to be paid into their account with a linked card they can use to spend their money, and they can set savings goals,” she says. “You can also set extra jobs, such as mowing the lawn, to give them the opportunity to earn extra money.” For peace of mind, you can access it anytime and customise controls.

Start using Kit – The kids pocket money app

  1. Download the Kit app from the App Store or Google Play Store.
  2. Create a Kit account and add up to five child profiles, each with a prepaid card.
  3. Let your kids learn, earn, save.

Jess Irvine, CommBank’s personal finance expert, and a respected journalist with nearly two decades of financial reporting experience. Her personal passion is helping people with their money.

Kit is issued by Hay Limited(ABN 34 629 037 403 AFSL 515459). PDS and TMD are available at the CommBank website. Please consider the PDS before making a decision about Kit. 

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Things you should know

This article provides general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as personal financial product advice. The views expressed by contributors are their own and don’t necessarily reflect the views of CBA. As the information has been provided without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on this information, consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and Terms and Conditions, and whether the product is appropriate to your circumstances. You should also consider whether seeking independent professional legal, tax and financial advice is necessary. Every effort has been taken to ensure the information was correct as at the time of printing but it may be subject to change. No part of the editorial contents may be reproduced or copied in any form without the prior permission and acknowledgement of CBA.

Kit is a brand of CBA New Digital Businesses Pty Ltd ABN 38 633 072 830 trading as HEY KIT. CBA New Digital Businesses Pty Ltd is a wholly owned but non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124.