MyState Bank: Is it time for schools to start teaching kids more about money?

By Polly Fleeting ·

Money can be a tough subject sometimes, no matter your age. But a large majority of Aussie parents feel that it’s up to schools to equip kids with the financial knowledge they need, not just at home. 

These were the findings of a study conducted by MyState Bank which explored the readiness of kids to start navigating digital banking products, like online bank accounts, as we head closer towards a cashless society. 

While 98% of parents that participated in the survey stated they wanted schools to have financial literacy programs as part of the curriculum, less than a third (31%) said their kids had ever participated in such programs. 

“Managing money is an important life skill, and we believe there is a strong case for financial education to be more widely available,” MyState Bank’s General Manager Digital and Marketing, Heather McGovern said. 

“Whether it is teaching a younger child how to save or budget or helping an older child to learn about wealth creation, it is important that we keep talking to young people about money so they can feel confident about the future.” 

RELATED ARTICLE: Bank accounts for children - how to maintain kids savings motivation 

The days of smashing open piggy banks and counting up your kids’ cash savings are becoming a dated tradition, and who knows, maybe the tooth fairy will swap out gold coins for tap and go one of these days. 

But as fewer Australian wallets hold bundles of cash, 67% of parents feel that the shift to digital banking will leave their kids worse off and encourage them to misuse money. 

MyState Bank’s data found that over a third of respondents' children used their funds without permission on digital platforms such as mobile apps, downloading music or games.  

“It’s true, digital banking has become a huge part of the way Aussies use their money, with the rise of tap and go, mobile payments and a whole bunch of fintech services,” Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont said. 

“Because of this shift, it’s even more crucial that both parents and schools help kids establish good budgeting, spending and saving habits in this environment, so they go on to be financially savvy adults later in life.”  

Tips for teaching your kids about money at home 

Whether or not your child’s school has a financial literacy program at their school, it’s still important to keep up the money lessons at home. Here are some simple tips on how to keep your kids in the financial know.  

  • Set financial goals with them:Has there been a toy or game your kids can’t stop talking about? Rather than rushing off to Kmart yourself, encourage them to save for it, or at least part of it. This way your child will develop an idea of how long it takes to save money and what it means to put cash away. 
  • Give them hand-on experience: Whether it’s a trip to your local grocer or setting up a lemonade stand, make sure your kids are aware of and involved in the transaction that is happening. Kids tend to copy so however you manage your money in front of them, they’ll likely follow suit.   
  • Help them with their bank account: Whether you are after a specific kids savings account, or just want to open a regular bank account for them, they’re going to need your help. But don’t fully take the reigns, ensure they are part of the depositing, transferring or withdrawing process as well, the more they see the more they’ll learn!   
  • Discuss money with them: Keep them in the loop about certain family expenses, whether that’s the price of petrol when you fill up or your monthly Netflix bill. If they are aware of how much things cost early on, it can really open their eyes to budgeting and potentially encourage healthy saving habits. 

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Polly Fleeting
Polly Fleeting
Money writer

Polly Fleeting is a personal finance writer here at Mozo, specialising in loans and credit cards. Her work is aimed at helping people find ways to make smart product choices, reduce debt and get more for their hard-earned dollars. Polly has a degree in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney.