Five top tips: teaching kids about digital money

Five top tips: teaching kids about digital money

When many of us were kids, our parents told us “money doesn’t grow on trees”. These days, when so many of our purchases are done without notes or coins changing hands, it can be even harder for our kids to learn about the value of money. So, how can we start to give kids an understanding of how money works, if it’s almost invisible? Here are five tips you can try at home.

Digital pocket money

If your kids have their own bank account, rather than giving them their pocket money in notes or coins, try transferring it directly to their bank account with a direct credit through Internet banking. You can even let them watch you do this online, so they can see your account balance go down, and their balance go up.

Plastic pocket money

If your kids are old enough, try giving them their pocket money as a pre-paid cash card. They can spend this as they would cash, but see the balance reduce as they go. This can also help them to understand that when they see you go shopping with a debit or credit card that you’re actually using real money too.

All apps are free, right?

If your phone or tablet is often hijacked by your kids wanting to play with their favourite apps, do they understand that not all apps are free? Take the time to sit together while you download apps from your app store, so they can see the difference between free and paid apps.

Also make your kids aware of in-app purchases, which are those prompts to unlock new levels or features of a game (for a price!) while they’re playing. Teach them what this means and what they should do when they see a button like this. Should they push it? What happens if they do?

Online shopping time

One week a month, sit down with your kids and let them spend their pocket money online for that week. This might be on smaller things, like some music from the iTunes store, or a toy they’ve been wanting for a while. Walk through the purchase with them, from searching for what they want to adding it to a cart. Explain that the online checkout is just like a checkout at a store, but the money changes hands online.

Birthday cash transfer

Instead of presents, many kids would rather have cash to spend on the things they’ve been eyeing off in catalogues in those pre-birthday months. If family or friends would like to give money when the birthday does roll around, share the bank account details of your child with them, so that they can do a direct transfer into the birthday boy or girl’s account. As they slowly (or quickly!) spend their birthday bounty, they can watch their account balance decrease in real time through their Internet banking.

This information is general in nature. It does not take into account your personal needs and financial situation and you should consider what is appropriate for you. Please consider our Products and Services Conditions of Use and Financial Services Guide in deciding whether to acquire any Defence Bank product or service. These documents together with current interest rates and terms are available at
Call 1800 033 139