How families teach children about money

Money Advice Service


The financial education children receive from their families at home is crucial in shaping their future understanding of money.

This research for the Money Advice Service took a behaviour change approach to understanding how and what parents are teaching their children about money.

It identified ‘bright spots’ in behaviour, particularly among low income families, and explored areas where parents were less confident or not teaching as effectively as they might.



Based on observation of interactions around money and depth interviews in respondents’ own homes, the research revealed parents face a number of challenges talking to and teaching children about money, including articulating the long-term benefits of understanding money and when to start teaching them about money in the first place.

Many parents understood that they ‘should’ teach their children about money but were not clear on the fundamental reasons why they should do so, which could undermine their ability to teach effectively or impart consistent messages. It also meant children would be less likely to understand how to apply what they had learned in other situations.

The report highlights examples of good practice focusing on four areas: earning, spending, saving and borrowing.