Teach older children about money

Prepare for the future

It’s a big step for children starting secondary school. They’ll want to be more independent and will start thinking about their future. We have three key things you can help them to think about.

Lessons and tips for 11 to 13 year olds

1. Working and earning

Encourage your kids to start thinking ahead. Get them to think about what kind of job they would like to do in the future. What are their dreams? They may want a big house, a flash car or to travel the world. Whatever their dreams, it’s good to dream big and plan when you’re young.

  • Earn cash for jobs – encourage your child to do some jobs around the house. You could offer different ‘rates of pay’ for different jobs. For example, washing the car or cutting the grass.
  • Think about the future – when they leave school, what do they see themselves doing? What sort of job are they interested in and how much does it tend to pay.

Learn together – think about the future

Talk about different types of jobs and how much they pay. Get them to think about what school subjects would be useful for the type of job they’d like. They’ll be picking their options in school and will need to think about this. Understanding how you can earn different amounts of money for different jobs may influence what they hope to do when they leave school.

2. Borrowing money

Sometimes there is no other option than to borrow money. Maybe money for a new car, or a mortgage for a house. Help your children understand borrowing so they can manage any debts they have in the future.

  • Types of borrowing – credit cards, loans, mortgages and overdrafts. These are all types of borrowing but will have different terms to repay the debt.
  • Reasons to borrow – think back to the ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ before you borrow money.
  • Can you afford the repayments – it costs more than you think to borrow money.
  • Borrowing money may be the only option – for example, a mortgage or car loan.
  • If you can’t pay the money back – the consequences will depend on the type of debt you have.

Learn together – borrowing from the bank of mum and dad

It’s ‘standard’ that kids will want to borrow money from ‘the bank of mum and dad’. Get your kids to think about different ways they could get the money they want.

  • Could they do jobs around the house to earn some money?
  • Do they have anything they could sell?
  • Do they have savings they could use, or can they save-up until they can afford it?
  • Could they borrow the money from you? Make sure you agree the terms for them to pay it back.

Talking about where the money is coming from can help your child make good money decisions. When you need to put the effort in to ‘earn’ the money, the item they ‘needed’ might not seem so necessary after all.

3. Understanding finance

There are lots of different types of financial products that you may need to use as an adult. From around 11 to 13, your child will start learning about financial products. We have some tips to help guide the conversations you can have with them to support their learning.

There are benefits and risks with products like insurance or loans.

Select products to meet your needs.

Look at the different types of financial products available. For example, current or savings accounts, mortgages, car insurance or even mobile phone contracts. Understanding these financial products will help them learn about finance.

Working out a budget for saving and spending will help them to make good financial decisions.

Learn together – bank accounts

You can open a bank account for a child at the age of 11. There are lots to choose from. Look at the different bank account options with your child and decide what is important to you.

  • Will the money earn interest?
  • Does the account offer a debit card, contactless or a cash card?
  • Will they be allowed to spend money that they don’t have (an overdraft)?
  • Are there any charges?
  • Does the bank offer a banking app to keep an eye on their money?
  • Do their friends have a bank account?

You’ll see that not all accounts are the same. Select an account that suits your child’s needs.

Learn more about youth and student accounts.

Lessons and tips for 14 to 16 year olds

Between 14 and 16, your kids are becoming more independent. It’s good to know they have some money in an account, but also good to know that they can make good financial decisions.

1. Budgeting

This is an important life skill, which will set your kids up on the road to financial independence.

Encourage them to budget their money. If they keep an eye on what they spend, they may be able to put some money aside for savings. Having responsibility for their own expenses is a great way to learn and understand the value of money.

Learn together – balance their budget

Here are some ideas how you can put money lessons into practice and give your teenager a chance to budget:

  • Give them money for a day out and set them a challenge. Tell them that they need to buy a drink, some lunch and save some money for a treat.
  • Help them work out what they can afford to spend and how to stick to their budget.
  • Talk about how you budget your own money. Making sure you have money to pay for your bills before you buy any treats.

We have tips and advice on budgeting and saving on our money management page.

2. Protect yourselves from fraud

Make sure your kids know how to spot a fraud scam. They can be easy targets if they are on social media or shopping online.

If they think they've been scammed, they should contact us immediately.

Make sure they use strong passwords and keep their personal and banking details private.

Learn together – spotting fraud

Fraudsters will target the young and vulnerable. Make sure your kids know what to look out for.

  • Talk about how to spot a scam on Facebook, WhatsApp and through phone or text messages.
  • We have lots of information on how to spot a scam on our latest scams page. Have a look together.
  • Help your kids learn about fraud and how to protect themselves.

There are some helpful guides from GetSafeOnline.org and the Citizens Advice Scams Action Service. Most importantly, make sure they know to report fraud as soon as they spot something they don’t recognise.

3. Work and taxes

From 13, teenagers can get a part-time job. There are rules about when they can work and what they can to do. You can find more information on this on the government website.

Help them look for a part-time job. They’ll be able to earn their own money and build their confidence and independence. Help them to write a CV and draft a covering letter to go with it. If they can’t find paid work, you could encourage them to do some volunteer work. It won’t be paid, but it will give them experience while they look for a paid job.

When they are 18, they may be able to claim benefits from the government if they don’t have a job or can't work. Talk about what these are and how they can check if they’re eligible.

Once they have their own money, encourage your kids to be smart with their money. Get them to budget and put 50% aside for their essentials, save 30% and enjoy the rest.

Learn together – talk through a payslip

If you don’t have a payslip, you can find examples online. Go through the details with your kids and show them salary, deductions and ‘take home’ pay. It will help them understand their own payslip when they get a job.

  • National Insurance number – kids get this when they’re 16. Keep it safe.
  • Income tax – explain how much they can earn before they need to pay tax.
  • Gross pay and net pay – Gross pay is the total amount earnt. Net pay is what’s left after income tax and National Insurance contributions are paid.
  • Contributions – money taken for things like pensions, social club memberships and student loan repayments.

Older children’s lesson

Keep an eye on your money and set yourself a budget.

Save when you can and watch out for fraud scams.

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