There is a wealth of things you can talk about with your child. Each time you discuss money with them it helps build their understanding. We have suggested a few ideas:
Pocket money: not all families can afford, or think it's right to give pocket money to their children. Whatever your situation, talk it through with your child/children. Help them understand how family finances are. If they get pocket money make sure they understand that they have to budget; spend some and save some.
Savings: why these are so important, to understand the value of saving for something special/keeping it safe in a 'piggy bank' or 'savings account'/saving for emergency things or for a ‘rainy day’.
Borrowing money: that it’s best to try and avoid it, but understanding sometimes that it’s necessary. If they borrow from friends and family it means they should always pay it back as soon as possible. If they borrow from building societies, banks etc. explain how they would have to pay back extra with interest, but over an agreed time period.
Necessities: that these things are things in life we need in order to survive - food, water, shelter, clothing but things that are pleasures or luxuries like going to the cinema, holidays, toys, sweets etc are not.
Salaries: that these are regular payments of money ‘earned’ by people working; that different qualifications lead to different jobs and careers and that salaries can vary greatly. Look in local papers or job centres to see the sorts of salaries and compare these to famous movie stars, singers, footballers etc.
Interest: that it’s the money ‘earned’ on savings (money paid into an account as well as the interest left in); that interest is also charged on borrowed money so more money has to be paid back than is actually borrowed.
Worth: that all money is valuable however small an amount, talk about what £1, £10, £100, £1, 000 would buy in the UK and what those amounts would be worth in a country such as Africa.
Pension: that this is the money paid to a person once they retire and aren’t working anymore or receiving a salary; that Government gives tax relief on savings put towards a pension; that money saved in a pension is ‘locked’ away until you’ve reached retirement age.
Taxes: that your earnings always have taxes taken off to pay for things like police, roads, rubbish collection, schools etc.
Value for money: that often we are tempted to get something just because it has a label or a ‘brand’ and that we should all make sure we get something that is needed, worthwhile, good quality and a good amount.
Fundraising: that doing something to ‘earn’ money for charities, or the less able, is a compassionate and caring thing - rather than always thinking about oneself.
Waste: that ‘waste’ is really throwing money away - buying more than you need, leaving lights on and other electrical items on puts bills up, throwing something away that could be re-used. Remember recycle - re-use.