A report on attitudes to money among 7-11 year olds.

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Dr Elizabeth Kilbey blog



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What do kids really think about money?

When we surveyed 1,000 schoolchildren aged between 7 and 11, we found out things we didn’t expect!

Video Duration: 1:14

“This survey demonstrates that children of this age have a keen awareness of money and whether parents like it or not, it’s a subject about which we need to engage with them.

The findings reveal that children see the value in saving and waiting for their money to grow. It is clear that they have the basic skills to become good money managers, but this appears to have changed by the time they reach adulthood. We cannot continue to have such a cavalier attitude to money and our children need to be educated to recognise the benefits of saving and how investing can help them, their families and, ultimately, the country.”

Dr Elizabeth Kilbey is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in the NHS. You may have seen her as one of the experts featured on the Channel 4 series “The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 Year Olds”.

Tips for parents

Dr Kilbey shares some advice and practical examples for parents wanting to educate their children about money

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Get your children to watch when you buy things

See how you use a card or real money and what the steps are. Children learn through doing and so they need to see you in action to understand how it works when it’s their turn.

Give them the task of buying lunch with a small budget

They’ve got to feed everyone for a set amount. This is great for teaching budgeting, decision making and prioritising. You can also plan a day out with them and work out how much it will cost.

Begin to tune them in to the real life costs

Start with stuff that interests them, such as toys, games and then everyday items like milk and bread.

Write a savings list

Find out what items your child would like to save for and then get them to work out how long they would need to save up to get it, and how they might earn money to buy it.

Teach older children how to use a cash point

Parents should show them the stages of doing this and the importance of financial security when using the cash point and shielding your PIN.


When asked what they would do with a £1,000 windfall, the kids gave responses that made us smile, including…

We also filmed a few kids answering the following questions:

  • What would you do with £1000?
  • How much do you think these people earn in a year? (Teacher / Prime Minister / Queen)
  • What do you want to be when you’re older?
  • How much do you think you’ll earn when you’re grown up?

As ever, their responses will surprise.

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About Orbis Access

This report is brought to you by Orbis Access – making long-term investing simple. Find out more about our Junior ISA to help give your child a financial head start. You can save a bundle on fees with our special fee-free offer!

The value of your investments may go down as well as up, so you may not get back the amount you originally invested.