mother along with grandmother teaching young daughter about finance by counting coins, with money jar in foreground

Children acquire financial habits as early as age 7, a new study says. Unfortunately, most parents still hesitate to broach the subject of money with their children. (JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images)

Canada | Financial Literacy

Perfect time to talk to your kids about money? When they are 7

From apps to board games to the tried and true allowance, here are some fun ways you can help your children develop sound financial habits

A Facebook IconFacebook A Twitter IconTwitter A Linkedin IconLinkedin An Email IconEmail

According to a study by behavioural experts at the University of Cambridge in England, youngsters acquire sound financial habits as early as age 7. By then, kids already recognize the value of money and can make smart decisions when it comes to planning, postponing or even forgoing a purchase. The problem is that most parents, who serve as role models, hesitate to broach the subject of money so early with their children. Here are a few fun ways to help you talk to your kids about money:

1. Most financial institutions provide basic web content with no real added value. Desjardins stands out from the crowd, with its funny and educational Charly & Max Get Involved! videos and games, available in French and English. Supported by Scotia Bank, the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education’s Talk With Our Kids About Money covers a range of practical topics to get the conversation rolling. Note: Both institutions also provide material for teachers.

2. In the apps department, the choice will depend on your children. If they’re still learning how to count money, try Peter Pig’s Money Counter (ages 5 to 8). Has your child lost a tooth? The Tooth Fairy Calculator gives the going rate for a tooth in Canada over several decades. And if your child has a specific project in mind, visit Money Metropoli$ (ages 7 to 12). Through play, your little one can learn how a virtual bank account works.

3. Of course, there are board games such as The Game of Life and Pay Day. But why not try something new? Marrakech (for ages 7 and up) is a multilingual game, where each player tries to be the best carpet salesperson in the marketplace. Players take turns rolling the dice, and then move Assam, the market organizer. If Assam stops on an opponent’s rug, the player has to pay its owner before putting one of his or her own rugs on an adjacent space. Marrakech works somewhat like Monopoly: at the end of the game, the player with the most visible rugs and the most money wins.

4. An allowance is still an option. Kids can manage their allowance money virtually with apps like iAllowance or Savings Spree. And let’s not forget the good old-fashioned piggy bank. The Money Savvy Pig, with slots for different goals (Save, Spend, Donate and Invest), helps spur discussion between parents and their children.

5. Lastly, CPA Canada offers a financial literacy program—including workshops in elementary schools beginning in grade 4—with the help of member volunteers across the country. Through play, the workshops cover topics such as bartering, needs and wants, saving and bank accounts. The Pet Shop workshop recently won a 2018 Excellence in Financial Literacy Award in the Best Children’s Education Program – Financial Responsibility and Decisions Making category. It is designed to help students understand the cost, responsibility and commitment involved in owning a pet.

See also: