Money Matters: Financial Literacy for Children

Lesson #1: The Observation Phase

4 min readJun 14, 2021


My husband and I have very different habits with money: it’s somewhat polarizing. We recognize our differences and aspire to raise our children with a healthy balance and a clear understanding of the value of a dollar.

The reality that housing prices have skyrocketed and intergenerational housing is likely the most practical option, in the long run, is certainly a consideration. Meanwhile, my eleven-year-old saves paper route money with the plan to buy a house and shares that he doesn’t need a car — he intends to ride a bike.

His eight-year-old brother, on the other hand, aspires to be the next Mr. Beast. What happened to children wanting to be a firefighter, teacher or doctor? The influencer world has made its mark on this generation.

Money is a very open topic of conversation in our home. My kids sit with me as bills are paid, and graphs highlighting daily hydro usage have been shared.

There is a balance between what to share with children and what not to. I imagine many would feel we share too much. We don’t operate in a stressful state with the kids; however, we keep them informed.

My husband and I endeavour to teach our kids the difference between wants and needs. This reflects our own behaviours: what my husband suggests are needs will filter into my want column. We continue to navigate our differences: it’s a process and one we agree that we want our children to be much more familiar with.

Most kids have a great concept of what they want — my youngest certainly does. Needs, on the other hand, I think these are things they tend to take for granted which is where sharing the breakdown on the hydro bill came in. They now know, lights cost money, just as water from the faucet also costs money. These are facts, and they don’t need to be emotional — I think this transparency is healthy.

Children can understand transactions at a store, but in the world on online payments and debit and credit cards where accessing funds seems so easy and far less tangible, understanding where the money comes from just might be a far more challenging conversation than the “birds and the bees” until they experience it themselves.




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