Why school isn’t enough to teach kids about money

Author
Spriggy
4
July
2023

When it comes to teaching children about money, many people assume that school is enough. After all, children are taught basic math and financial literacy in school, right? While this is certainly true, it is not enough. 

Money smarts are not something you learn in the classroom. It's a life skill that requires real decision-making, conceptual understanding and influence from those around you. In fact, 67% of parents we surveyed1 don’t think schools aren’t doing enough to teach their kids about money. 

Spriggy was created to help children experience how money actually works. By providing kids with real-life experience managing their own money, Spriggy helps children better understand financial concepts and practical skills that they may not learn in school. 

“Research shows that the best way for kids to learn is to let them give it a go2

Here are some of the things that Spriggy can teach your children that they may not learn in school.

School doesn’t give kids practical experience with money

There is only so much that children can learn about earning money in a classroom. When you give children regular pocket money or set chores for them to do, it helps them experience what it means to earn an income. They learn that money is not just given to them for no reason - they have to work for it. 

Your kids are sitting in a classroom, learning about budgeting, saving, and investing. Sounds pretty good, right? But here's the catch—it's really only theory they’re learning with little practical application. Research3 from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows financial literacy involves more than just knowledge, it requires the mobilisation of practical skills. 

To truly understand money, kids need to roll up their sleeves and get hands-on experience. From learning about income through a regular allowance to creating their own budgets, from making their own spending decisions to planning for something they want to buy, they’ll learn a lot more from actually managing their own money than from a lecture. 

When they see the impact of their financial decisions in action, those lessons will stick!

See how Spriggy can give kids practical money experience.

Money lessons in school often lack personalisation and relevance

Everyone is unique,  and everyone learns about money differently. That’s why a one-size-fits-all approach to financial education just doesn’t work. Unfortunately, that's often the case in schools. They don’t really cater to kids who have different levels of financial knowledge and come from diverse backgrounds. 

As parents, we need to make financial education more relatable and exciting. How? By helping them learn in a way that’s relevant to them. When kids see themselves in the lessons, they'll be more engaged and eager to learn!

Limited Teacher Expertise

Teachers rock, there’s no doubt. But when it comes to financial literacy, not all teachers have the specialised knowledge and training needed to teach kids about money effectively. It's like asking Spider-Man to explain the intricacies of the stock market—it's just not his thing!

And it’s really not up to teachers to take on our kids’ financial prowess. That’s a job for us parents. We need to give our kids the tools (like regular pocket money and savings goals), the resources (like a simple budget) and the guidance (like regular money talks) they need to be great with money. 

There just isn’t enough time to learn about money at school 

School schedules are packed tighter than a can of sardines. That often means financial education gets squeezed in with barely a sliver of attention. But all isn’t lost. What kids learn about money at school through their math or social studies lessons are still valuable. But they need to be connected to money concepts in everyday life so their understanding is reinforced through real-world application.  

But why is it so important for children to learn about money? 

Financial literacy is a key life skill that is essential for success. In a world where credit card debt, student loan debt, and other financial problems are becoming more and more common, it's essential that children learn how to manage their money early on in life. 

One of the key benefits of teaching children about money is that it helps them develop a sense of financial responsibility and good money habits right from a young age. When children are given the opportunity to manage their own money, they learn that they are responsible for their own financial future. They learn that they have the power to make smart financial decisions that can help them achieve their goals and live the life that they want. 

Conclusion

We can’t rely solely on schools to teach kids about money. School-based financial education often lacks practical application, personalisation, and relevance to students' lives. Money is a personal thing, and kids need to learn in a way that makes sense to their world. There will be a day in the future when schools are much better equipped to support parents in how they teach their kids about money. Till then, it’s up to us parents to help our kids get money smart. 

1. Spriggy survey, 2022
2. Yannier, N., Hudson, et al (2021) Active learning: “Hands-on” meets “minds-on”
3. https://www.oecd.org/pisa/sitedocument/PISA-2021-Financial-Literacy-Framework.pdf

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