How do you give financial education to children?

See expert tips and learn how to give financial education to kids of different ages.

A recent research by Ibope revealed that only 21% of Brazilians had financial education up to the age of 12. For many generations, this topic has disappeared from schools and family conversations.

This scenario is beginning to change, especially with the inclusion of financial education as a cross-cutting theme in the BNCC, the document that guides schools and defines the skills students should develop.

Of course, families also play an essential role. In this article, educator and specialist in this field, Cláudia Onofre, helps families with tips to stimulate the financial education of their children at home.

Check it out below:

The importance of financial education for children

THE Financial Education should be included in the routine of children from an early age because the earlier they learn, the more positive impact it will have as they grow young and mature.

When in touch with financial education, the child begins to think critically about money, analyze spending, become aware of the importance of saving and how these attitudes will work together to achieve their dreams and goals. This works directly with the Child developmentpromoting well-being, autonomy and organizational capacity.

For children, it is essential to draw parallels that show that financial education goes beyond the relationship with money. It is important to bring real examples such as saving water, energy, not wasting food and recycling waste. Present real-life situations so that children can reflect on how our relationship with money relates to conscious consumption and sustainability.

Another important factor in teaching financial education is to encourage entrepreneurship, work directly with the future of the child and contribute to the development of ethics, responsibility, leadership and self-esteem.

Family and School Responsibility

The child’s first experience is familiar and we know that they learn by example. Children are like “sponges” and pay attention to the world around them. If they grow up in a structure where the family doesn’t care about the present or only think about money, the child will find it normal and there is a good chance that they will grow up in the same cycle.

When the time comes go to school, a new phase of learning is coming and the school is also starting to play an important role in this process. Teaching the child and also involving the family members so that they can walk together, and only then will learning be effective.

How to promote children’s financial education?

Check out tips to practice financial education in children’s daily lives

Now that we’ve talked about the importance of financial education for children and the shared responsibilities between family and school in this mission, let’s move on to practical tips on how to do this at home with your children.

Start talking about financial education with your kids

To start this important discussion at home, a tip is always to link this topic to the realization of dreams or goals. Ask the child to talk about a dream and then think of a collective dream as a family.

Show that money is needed to make these dreams come true, and for that the whole family needs to participate effectively in planning and changes in the routine to start saving: make a shopping list, reuse school supplies, decide what foods can be made at home, such as for example a pizza. In addition to being more economical, these new habits can also be a lot of fun!

It is important to illustrate to the child that financial education will enable them to achieve their dreams, motivate them and help them maintain discipline and focus.

Make children aware of immediate consumption

It is necessary to show children that money should be for our benefit, and that a financial education does not mean that we have to give up life. Before buying and spending, teach children to always think about three questions:

  • I need?
  • I have money?
  • Does it have to be now?

Each of these questions leads to reflection. “I need?” avoids impulse purchases and in adult life it helps not to be tempted by promotions. “Do I have the money?” helps to understand the importance of having money saved and in adult life will help to avoid unnecessary financing and installments. “Must it now?” shows that when we can wait a few days, we often don’t miss the purchase and then realize it wasn’t necessary.

If the answers are yes, we can move on to the expense and enjoy the achievement guilt-free! This habit helps not only children, but also young people and adults not to fall into the trap of immediate consumption. When this happens, guilt quickly sets in for buying something unnecessary. In this way, your children learn from an early age not to be hoarders, but to buy in a healthy and enjoyable way.

Children from 3 to 5 years: playful knowledge

Although children in this age group have not yet mastered the math, they can already understand that money (notes and coins) represents an amount with which they can make purchases.

At that age, the learning through play is very important and should be used to explain the initial concepts of financial education. That is why the importance of encouragement save money in piggy bank. Another strategy is to make games and games where the buy situation. You can create an imaginary coin (colored paper, sticks or even pebbles of different sizes) that will allow the child to work on the relationship between resources and consumption.

In summary, the ideal in this age group is that the child is encouraged through playful actions to absorb the first notions about consuming and saving.

Children from 6 to 10 years: creativity in everyday life

In this age group, the child already has a greater baggage of mathematical knowledge, even knowing how to do simpler mathematics. Moreover, it is a time when imagination and energy are running at full speed.

Therefore, it is ideal to keep the piggy bank strategy so that the child follows the savings concept and introduce some creative actions to earn your own money. A good solution is to propose some extra tasks – other than the tasks that are already part of the daily obligation, such as making the bed, helping with cleaning the kitchen, etc. – so that she can be “paid”.

Explore creatively and motivate the child to do something that will generate a profit that comes from another source. Do you like painting? How about drawing and painting a painting to auction during the family lunch? Do you play an instrument? We can propose a mini show for friends and family. Do you like to cook? How about making a cake and selling it to the neighbors?

These can be important strategies for the little one to learn about the importance of money and ways to earn it. This notion contributes to the valorization of financial resources, but also to the notions of conscious consumption versus waste, and the importance of saving to achieve what you want.

Children over 11 years old: dialogue, improvement and examples

We have reached pre-adolescence. Dialogue in this age group is more challenging, so an excellent way to get your child interested and learn about financial education is for example. If the child has been introduced to healthy habits from an early age, then the process will be smoother at this stage.

There is no point in telling the child to value money and behave conscientiously if the family members at home do not apply the same rule every day. During this stage, when children begin to wonder more and more about what they are being taught, learning by example is the best method.

From this age group it is important to encourage people to save money, for example investing in pension and think about future benefits. So when the child earns money from uncles, grandparents, godparents on his birthday or other memorial dates, he already knows what to spend and what to invest.

It’s also time to show you how to choose between two options and how to deal with resource scarcity. If there comes a time when the money runs out, you need to think and think about where the “slip” happened and not contribute money before the agreed period.

Extra tip: Financial education activities to do at home!

Activities to practice financial education at home

Money is part of everyday life and we have seen that learning how to manage money in a healthy way from an early age is very important for the future of children. Therefore, the in history and the Fold together they created material that helps families work on the theme indoors in a fun way!

Download the “My first wallet”, a complete kit to practice financial education, with molds for kids to make their own wallets, play money and activity tips for every age group.


Claudia Onofre is the mother of Laís and Letícia, an educator and specialist in financial education. He is also responsible for Inside History’s projects to promote reading in schools.

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Author: insurance101

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