Financial Literacy for Children

​​Teaching children about money is important, as good money habits from young will serve our children well in their adulthood.

To do so, we may have introduced coin boxes or savings banks for them to store spare change, birthday money or cash gifts. 

Inculcating children with the habit of saving is a good start. However, gaining a proper appreciation of money involves more than a physical box to save coins. For example, how can we teach concepts such as planning ahead, budgeting, and delayed gratification, that will benefit children for the long term? 

A talk conducted by IFL at Bishan Library in collaboration with NLB

A talk conducted by IFL at Bishan Library in collaboration with NLB

Here are the top three tips from Mr R. Sivanithy, Master Trainer at the MoneySense – Singapore Polytechnic Institute for Financial Literacy on how we can help our children learn about money and develop the right skills to make good financial decisions from a young age:

  1. Tip #1: Save before Spending 
    Encourage children to set aside a fixed amount of their allowance every day or month before spending.

  2. Tip #2: Differentiate between Needs and Wants 
    Explain to children that a need is a necessity such as food and water. On the other hand, a want is something that is nice to have but not necessary, e.g., a new toy.

  3. Tip #3: Lead by Example 
    Share your thought processes about money with your kids and encourage them to ask questions about how you save and decide what to spend on.

Research has shown that children first learn about the world through observation and imitation. Hence, the adult role models they interact with, including parents and even their preschool educators, are crucial in imparting positive financial habits to children. So do try out these tips with your young ones!

Complimentary “MoneySense for Your Child” Programme
If you’re interested to find out more about imparting financial skills to your children, the Institute for Financial Literacy (IFL) has a specially curated 90-minute “MoneySense for Your Child” session that aims to equip adults with knowledge of how to help their children become financially savvy.

IFL conducts talks and workshops catering to children in the following three age groups – preschool, primary school and secondary school. These sessions include various exercises that focus on creating learning opportunities for children to practice, learn and talk about money. Through the exercises, children will gradually build an appreciation about the value and importance of money in their lives. IFL also conducts Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) Facebook Live sessions during which an expert from IFL will answer money-related questions from the audience. 

“I found it easier to impart money management skills to my child after attending the talk,” said Mdm Lee, parent of 2. 

Find out more about the “MoneySense for Your Child” talks and workshops here.


This article is contributed by the MoneySense – Singapore Polytechnic Institute for Financial Literacy (IFL).

​MoneySense is Singapore’s National Financial Education Programme and the IFL is a collaboration between MoneySense and Singapore Polytechnic International Pte Ltd. IFL provides free and unbiased financial education programmes to the public. We provide education and do not promote financial products. The free financial education programmes cover basic money management, financial planning and investment know-​how. ​​​Find out more about MoneySense at​ and IFL at ​