Did you know that children as young as 3-years-old can grasp money and financial concepts like saving and spending?

Did you know that what we see and hear about money when we are very young children stays with us for the rest of our life

Research suggests that our money, spending and saving habits are formed by the time we are 7. Parents, carers and family members are the number one influence on children’s financial behaviours.

Some people call this time in a young child’s life the ‘Santa Claus Stage’.

The ‘Santa Claus Stage’ is a time in life, normally up to the age of 8 years old, when children believe almost everything that their parents, carers, close family members, school teachers – and even the TV and movies – tell them.

What all this really means is that if you tell your young kids – or that they hear you say – that money is evil or that money causes arguments then your children will spend the rest of their life unconsciously thinking that money is bad and creates problems.

What thoughts and feelings about money do you remember from your parents, grandparents and TV from when you were a young child?

Money is the number one thing that most couples and families argue and fight about. Money, debt, shopping and overspending is a biggest source of tension in most modern households. Especially because 33% of Australian households are living pay-cheque to pay-cheque.

Aussies no longer have a saving money mentality, our spending is driven by the desire to live in the moment and to portray the lifestyle we ‘think we should have’ and our ‘buy now, pay later, you deserve it’ thinking, which now has millions of us trapped in debt.

  • How do you talk about money with your partner?
  • What are your children learning about saving money from you?
  • How do you talk about spending money at home?

The best solution is to explain to your kids the importance of making good choices. My parents and grandparents were all entrepreneurs who taught me the value of money and having cash savings at a very young age.

They didn’t say, “Do you think I’m made of money?’ but instead they would say “As a family we need to make choices about how much money we save and how we have available to spend”.

Here are my 5 Top Tips to help you raise your kids to learn good things about money, cash savings and spending so that your children are Underspent not overspent.

1. Don’t say

Do you think I’m made of money?

Instead, say

We need to make choices about how much we spend and save.

2. Don’t say

Money doesn’t grow on trees.

Instead, say

When we save money, our money grows.

3. Don’t say

It’s better to be happy than rich.

Instead, say

We can be happy by saving some money and spend some money.

4. Don’t say

Money is the root of all evil.

Instead, say

If we save some money we can use it for good things like a holiday.

5. Don’t say

That was a terrible mistake but we’ve made our bed, now we must lie in it.

Instead, say

We may need to think about and then wait to buy somethings we want.

What did your parents teach you about money? Share with us in the comments.

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  • So true, I learned about saving from my parents and now trying to teach my own son while young.


  • give them a piggy bank. my kids love to save money and love putting our change in there. it is a great thing to learn


  • Growing up, my parents worked hard for all that they had, and they gave my sister and I a very happy and healthy upbringing. I was lucky. They cared enough to teach me the basics of personal finance, and for that – I will always be grateful. They taught me to distinguish needs from wants, and that you can’t always get what you want when you want it, but with a little financial prowess, you will never go without!


  • I grew up with most of these says and have probably used them on my oldest children. My younger ones are learning a different way, each have a bank account that money is put into each fortnight. They know money is hard to come by and must be earnt. As for me I can still remember my big coins in my money box being replaced by little coins. Pennies for one cent pieces.


  • Think I heard all of those sayings as I grew up. I have sued some of them too. Can see the benefit in changing my language now.


  • Save and spend this the life


  • We were taught that things had to be paid for…with money. I can remember a relative’s child pleading for a particular toy in an op. shop. She was fretting, her Mum was in hospital quite ill. We relented but we made her understand that it had to be paid for. I ran ahead of the others and told the sales lady what we were going to do. The little girl wh owould have been about 4 y.o. at the time was given some of the money to give to the lady, then my Mum gave the rest of the money to the lady. It taught the 4 year old that you have to pay for things.


  • My kids go nuts when they see the sale sticker at the supermarket on their favourite biscuits and cheeses. I’ve certainly taught them to look for the best prices. All under 10 and their learning to work out price per 100g haha.


  • My parents sure taught us about saving money and spending money and I’m thankful they did.


  • I grew up with all of those phrases about money!

    • Money is about saving and spending and getting the balance right. We need to spend to keep the economy going but also save for the future. It comes down to being wise about money.


  • All great thrases to use,thanks!


  • I disagree with those sentences


  • I disagree with all of those “instead say”.
    Its a good thing for kids to hear “money doesn’t grow on trees” and “I’m not made of money”. Its gets across very clearly that money needs to be earned.


  • I grew up hearing that money doesn’t grow on trees. We didn’t have much money when I was a child, and I couldn’t really understand why other families had money and we were always struggling.
    My mother used to put money aside for us, but yes, it’s not just about saving, but also about spending money and live a nice life. That’s something my mother never understood. Thinking about the future is important, but if there is no present, you will never reach the future!!


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