The concepts of spending and saving are ones that continue to challenge many of us, and we can only imagine that the thought of teaching the little people in our lives about good money management is nothing short of daunting.

A study from Cambridge University tells us that by age seven, children’s underlying attitudes towards money have been formed. Getting in early and teaching children about the value of money is important because it sets them up for later success.

We’ve put together some of the best tips and tricks when it comes to introducing money to kids of any age!

By age seven, children’s underlying attitudes towards money have been formed.

Starting Out Simple: Ages 3-5

Accredited financial comparison site Canstar suggests taking small steps towards making money management a conscious practice for children.

Games like ‘shops’ using play-money is a fun and natural way to introduce the value of money to young children. Using small amounts of real money, try letting children practise putting money in their piggy banks, and showing them what those few dollars could buy.

Remember, finances don’t need to be boring! Bring their piggy banks to life with a game of Piggy Bank Spin and Colour! You’ll improve both their coin identification and art skills with this free, simple craft project that can be used again and again.

Stepping It Up: Ages 6-9

This is a perfect age to introduce pocket-money – it doesn’t have to be much! Opening a bank account is also helpful to grow and nurture positive saving habits.

Encourage children to set saving goals and work out a plan for how to reach them! For example, there might be a toy or special item your child wants – use this to your advantage! Get them to save for it and use their own pocket-money to buy it. This is a great way to help them understand the value of money.

Matching their savings is a fantastic incentive in the early stages! For each dollar they save, you could offer them 50 cents or even $1 to spur them on!

As they begin to use real money, coin counting games are invaluable – try these easy and interactive ideas like Coin Scoop, Race to $1, and Coin Sorting!

InbeTWEENS: Ages 10-15

While they might be too young to get a proper job, encourage them to earn extra cash by doing odd jobs for family and friends. Show them your household bills and how you plan to pay them.

This is a great time to introduce the idea of credit and borrowing money. Explain what it means, and what it can look like. You could even let them borrow a small amount of money from you and set up a repayments schedule if you wanted to illustrate it tangibly.

Add some physical activity into the mix to get their brains and bodies stimulated and break up the monotony!’s Bouncing Ball Budgets gets everyone involved, throwing a ball around with numbers on it that correspond to questions about money to get kids thinking about their own spending habits – this is a great reflective tool!

Another fantastic resource is Next Gen Personal Finance’s Bean Game! Who doesn’t love jelly beans? Use these free printables and a few jelly beans for an engaging group game or one-on-one fun in an activity that mimics real-life spending and saving, with a sweet twist.

Putting It Into Practice: Ages 16+

Encourage your teen to get a casual job – this will allow them to try out everything you’ve been teaching them. Let them pay for one or two bills of their own, like their phone plan; this responsibility will inspire them to save for ‘rainy days’, and help them to realise they can’t always have everything they want right now.

If you like, you could explain ‘Buy now, Pay later’ schemes like AfterPay and ZipPay. Talk about the positives and negatives and encourage them to spend within their means, to avoid going into debt unnecessarily.

This is a perfect time to introduce some budgeting basics to your teen with Don’t Bust Your Budget game. Using a free, cute printable board and more jellybeans, illustrate real-life financial scenarios followed by a discussion session at the end of each of the four rounds of play.

Our biggest tip? Make it FUN! Teaching good money management is an investment in their future, and that certainly isn’t boring!