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Learning more about your child’s ‘Common Cents’

Learning more about your child’s ‘Common Cents’

Veronica Howarth  ●   27 January 2016

Young Aussies are savvy spenders and eager earners but could improve their budgeting skills.

The topic of money can be a broad and often overwhelming subject for parents – especially at the start of the school year when there is so much else going on! There is so much you can choose to focus on as a parent, it’s often hard to narrow down what you should be teaching your child and when.

We have identified five core competencies that make up a strong financial literacy for primary school aged children: spending, saving, earning, budgeting and investing. To help you get a better understanding of your child’s ability within these areas, we have developed the ‘Common Cents Quiz’, which your child can take too.

Trialling the Quiz nationally (1), we uncovered some interesting statistics about the ways in which children understand money management, including:

  • 68% of Aussie kids like saving their money more than spending it.
  • 77% of children understand that they can earn extra money by doing chores around the house.
  • Only 50% of Aussie kids know what a budget is, with one in five thinking a ‘budget’ is a sheet of paper with numbers on it.
  • Over half of children surveyed said they would take $5 now, over larger monetary sums if they have to wait. 

Interestingly, the report also reveals that 69% of primary school children in Australia receive pocket money, and 82% of those children are expected to complete tasks to earn it. Pocket money is a great way for parents to teach kids the value of money and the earning process.

To help you determine your child’s ‘Common Cents’, we encourage you to sit down with them and work through the Quiz together. We hope that this will enable you to uncover the areas (earning, spending, saving, budgeting and investing) in which your child can improve, and structure their financial education accordingly.

You can also find additional resources on The Beanstalk including downloadable Activity Sheets and articles to help you teach your child about money. You can use this information to compliment our programs such as the School Banking program, which teaches lifelong money management skills. 

Download the ‘Common Cents Quiz’ here and head to The Beanstalk to watch our ‘Common Cents’ video.


Veronica Howarth
Veronica Howarth

Head of School Banking and Youth

Veronica is responsible for Youth at the Commonwealth Bank. With over 20 years in the business, her passion is leadership, coaching and business transformation. She understands and appreciates the value of early financial management skills.

1About the research: Independent research carried out on behalf of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, by ACA Research. A total of 1,130 surveys completed among parents and their children aged 5-12 years. A quantitative online research methodology was used, with a 10-minute questionnaire for parents, and 5 minutes for children. National sample throughout Australia. The fieldwork was conducted between the 14th and 18th December 2015.