How to teach children about money

This is not a blog about counting coins or about taking away- although money is a great tool for that and arguably a needed skill. (You can even use them to help with times tables)

I once taught a little boy in year 2 who had many disadvantages in his life which meant he needed extra support in many areas. He couldn’t read or write but money was his language. He outweighed many of his peers on knowing what coins were which and he knew what coins he should get back in change.

Dr Joanna Martin

Dr Joanna Martin (Photo Credit-One of Many website)

For this blog, I spoke to the amazing Dr. Joanna Martin ( who said it’s great to get nannies (and parents) to help little people learn about money. In her recent Facebook live, she mentions that herself and many of the adults she works with didn’t have much education on money as children either from parents or school! We can change that for future generations!

Joanna said that the psychology of money in adults is all based around emotions such as fear, shame, anger and guilt so we must bring consciousness to the language we use with little ones to take the emotions out of it.

Her son, James, was given a cash register at about the age of two and Joanna noticed the the language around money felt wrong such as one time he was holding a handful of coins and she said “wow, look at you, you’ve got so much money, you’re so rich!”

So, going forward they decided to speaking about money very matter of factly and just say what was so such as “oh look, you’ve got 1p and 2p, that makes 3p” taking away the language of rich and poor.

So for choosing a birthday present for a five year olds party when James chose a present at £50, they would say “that’s £50- how much we are spending today is around £10 to £20, would you like to choose something around that price?”

As a nanny for very wealthy families, I’m always very conscious that I don’t want my feelings about money to make any impact on the children I work with. Either as a parent or a nanny, Joanna advises us to deal with our own emotional stuff around money so that we can be an example for the children. To normalise the relationship to money.

To make it exciting, Joanna told her son she would reveal the “secrets of money” when he was old enough. For James, it was five years old but she recommends you to do it when you feel your child is ready.

Teaching the rules about money

  1. Make money (the earn phase) to earn money, you have to help people, to add value to someone
  2. Money goes to whoever takes the best care of it- (budgeting) Joanna shares an anecdote of James finding some coins down the back of the sofa and said “no one seems to be taking care of this money, may I take care of it?”
  3. Money likes to grow- (saving) as they are keen gardeners they link the fact that a seed need the right nutrition in the soil, with water and sunlight, money also needs the right environment to help it grow.

On Friday the 7th and Saturday the 8th of June they are holding a Wealth Insights taster (for adults) in London which is four hours. If you’re free, go check it out:


Joanna then talks about her jam jar system where the child has a “holding” jar which is then split three ways:


The fun jar can be spent on anything they would like


The give jar can be given to their chosen charity


The grow jar is taken to the bank for the future

On choosing which savings account is best, take a look at Martin Lewis’s advice here:

I asked some parents what they are doing to help their children…

Bryony Powell, Rossendale (aged 2)

Emily, Ontario, Canada (aged 6 and a half weeks)

Grace Evans Money Box, Loughborough (aged 23 months)

“Grace got her money box at 6 months old for her first Christmas. She also has a savings account which we put money into monthly that we will encourage her to use (with help) when we think its appropriate. I’ve started giving her money and my card to pay cashier’s so she understands the transaction taking place.” (Lorna Thomson, Loughborough)

“I’m doing the help to save account through HMRC for Laiq (aged 3). You in upto a max of £50 per month over a 4year period and once after 2years they give you 50% interest and after the next 2years the same. Should have £3600 by the time its done i think and then all that is going into an ISA for him until hes 18” (Claire O’Dell, Rochdale)

More to Books

There’s a running theme of banking and saving in Mary Poppins by Pamela Travers. But for younger readers here are a couple of books that introduce the idea of saving and growing money.

I genuinely love Lauren Child and she has featured in a few of my blogs already. I love how she discusses everyday topics through adventures with Charlie and Lola.

But I’ve used all my Pocket change by Lauren Child (Photo Credit:

A book for our entrepreneurs:

Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins (photo

Show me your piggy banks!

Love Kat x

Taylor, Waterfoot, Lancs (Aged 4) with his hand painted Train Bank

Taylor also has a 1 2 3 Santander savings account that is added to weekly which he will have access to when he is 18.

Ethan Fletcher’s Piggy Bank, Manchester (aged 20 months)

“This is my sons piggy bank which have pennies given by family or randomly finds around the house. He also has a savings account which I put in money from bdays and pay his child benefit into then he can have when he’s older” (Abby Fletcher, Manchester)

Published by moretobooks

Award- winning author of the book: “There’s more to books than reading- how to help your child bring stories to life” With a Masters in Education, I have taught as a School teacher across Northern England and have worked as a Nanny/Governess in London and across the world. I support parents and nannies to bring learning into the home in an exciting and purposeful way. Also a speaker at events such as NannyPalooza and the International Nanny Day 2017 and featured in the Nanny Magazine (USA) and Childcare Magazine (UK)

Join the Conversation


  1. Different ages require different explanations. I would encourage parents to have their kids start a small business, or have a small business and have the children help. Something easy. Nothing economically binding. Say… a lemonade stand, making crafts to sell out of the garage, and such. Let’s say we’re making cookies and brownies. We go to the store to purchase, saving all receipts and putting the numbers in a journal. What we pays for is a minus. What we make is a gain. If we decide to make a sales stand, we write down all we have to pay. When we make sales, we do the numbers. In the end, with the kids, we see our outgoing money and incoming profits. In this way, the kids come to better understand. When things are good, we see that. When we’re losing, though we sold, we discuss how we can better make money and not lose. This will give kids a better understanding of what businesses have to go through and further discussions can be made. **Here’s another: many kids want an allowance. They do chores. Say cleaning the house, taking our the trash, cleaning the dishes, yard care are in the discussion. Discuss the time it takes to do these chores. Then you can put a hourly dollar amount. If they do a good job, more. If not so good, less.

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