Money lessons for kids at different ages and stages

Money can be a hard concept for kids to get their heads around. Lay the groundwork when they’re young and set them up with some simple tools and advice. It might be one of the most valuable things you do for them.

Simple starters

Children are like sponges and they’ll learn from your savings and spending habits. Talk about money as you go about your daily lives, when you’re shopping or paying bills. If you ever get cash out of an ATM, show your child the receipt, so they understand that machines don’t just give out free money and you need to have money in a bank account before you can make a withdrawal.

If you don’t use much cash, show them your internet banking or mobile app balance and teach them the same lesson.

Encourage your children to save up for things they want. Help them set savings goals and track how they’re doing and how long it will take to save up for what they want.

If you’re on internet banking show them our Goal Tracker tool – a great way to show how they’re progressing.

Under age 7

Start building a future from the moment your little one arrives by selecting a savings account with a good rate of return and interest that'll build overtime. A small start now could grow into a sizeable amount over time. You’ll (parent or guardian) need to operate the account on your child’s behalf.

From age 7

You can set them on the right path by:

  • Getting them to save a bit of their pocket money
  • Encouraging them to set savings goals for something they want
  • Setting them up with ‘read only’ internet banking or mobile app so they can see their bank balance.

From age 10

With your permission, your child over 10 years old can get an ATM/EFTPOS card for their Free Up account.

Encourage them to keep going with their savings goals, and teach them about the financial steps they could take to help them reach their goals.

Help them to understand the value of money by involving them in family budgeting decisions for example if you're planning a holiday or shopping for groceries, discuss how much it costs.

From age 13

Your teenager can withdraw money and pay for things in store and online without parental or guardian permission. They can get access to the mobile app, internet banking and phone banking to transfer money between accounts. If they have a Free Up account, they can choose to get a Visa Debit Card or an ATM/EFTPOS card without parental or guardian permission.

It’s a good age to give them a little more spending power, like shopping for their own clothes, gadgets or other things they’re into. Think about giving them a monthly budget and putting them in charge.

Don’t just let them loose on internet banking, educate them about online security. Check out

Bank on it

Depending on the age of your child you may want to set up a savings and/or an everyday account. Find out more about the different account options and how to set your child up with a bank account.

Financial literacy in school

We think it's important that all Kiwi kids are prepared for the financial world ahead, so we work with Banqer to help provide financial literacy lessons for free at schools throughout the country.

Banqer is an online tool that can be used in classrooms to create a complex and realistic virtual economy that students participate in. Find out more about Banqer and how you can get it in your child's class.