The Smart way to teach your child money savviness
22 Oct 2021

The smart way to teach your child money savviness

Whether it be letting toddlers learn the names of different coin denominations or challenging primary-schoolers to save up as much as their weekly allowance as possible, parents are making increasing efforts to teach young ones about money matters.

That's because they recognise the importance of giving kids a head-start in building strong money habits to meet financial challenges later in life.

According to research by Dr David Whitebread and Dr Sue Bingham of the University of Cambridge, several basic concepts relating broadly to later 'finance' behaviours will typically have developed by the age of seven years.

How can we impart the concepts of money savviness in our young ones? Methods vary depending on each child’s age, - competencies and inclinations.

A well-documented theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI) by Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner proposes that every person possesses eight different kinds of intelligences, each in varying degrees:

__ Linguistic (Word Smart)

__ Logical/Math (Logic Smart)

__ Musical (Music Smart)

__ Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

__ Interpersonal (People Smart)

__ Intrapersonal (Self Smart)

__ Spatial (Picture Smart)

__ Naturalist (Nature Smart)

Knowing what makes your child tick – their smarts – can help you better nurture their potential, and even gain financial literacy more effectively.

Smiley's World of Smarts

Not sure which of the above smarts apply to your child? Discover their unique MI profile with Smiley's World of Smarts – an assessment tool launched by POSB in collaboration with Flying Cape. Unlike other MI tools that take on a conventional question and answer format, Smiley’s World of Smarts allows your child to be directly assessed by playing eight fun and interactive mini-games. Upon completion, you’ll receive an assessment report on your child’s unique competencies and learning styles, as well as personalised recommendations on how to get your child started on their financial literacy journey.

Such a gamified mode of assessment is especially relevant in an age of digital games. Suited for 4- to 12-year-olds, the key is that the game is designed to keep the child engaged as much as possible so that their performance can be closely tracked in each game segment and used to map out their unique MI profile. Indeed, fun is the keyword, especially when a study by Cheryl Olson showed this as a top reason why children will play games anyway.

Discoveryour child’s top smart with Smiley's World of Smarts

Nurture your child's top smarts

The games will be able to uncover your child’s top smarts, thereby helping you nurture them to reach their potential in the areas where they are strong at. Be it music appreciation classes for the Music Smart, bake-at-home kits for Body Smart kids, or Math tuition to develop their Logic Smarts, the POSB Education Marketplace offers a plethora of academic & enrichment classes by Flying Cape and other vendors.

Browsefeatured partner deals from education vendors.

Knowing your child’s top smarts can also help you come up with better and fun ideas to teach them financial literacy – based on your child's age and level of understanding, of course. Here are some examples using simple everyday activities:

Body Smart (Kinesthetic) - If you child is more of a doer, rather than a listener, he or she may be interested in role-playing games that inculcates money concepts. For example, set up a mock store using play money for transactions to teach a pre-schooler how to give and receive the correct change. For older kids, you could organise a family flea market to sell their pre-loved items and calculate profits at the end of the day.

Word Smart (Linguistic) – If your child is good with words, perhaps they can learn topics about money from age-appropriate books. Check out these book recommendations by the National Library Board for children of varying ages, which include 'The Everything Kids' Money Book’, which teaches kids how to spend and save wisely, and 'The Young Investor', which aims to give kids an early start in making their money grow.

Nature Smart (Naturalist) – For your future-conservationist, sustainability will naturally be a pet subject. Teach school-going children ways to minimise wastage by upcycling household items or plant their own veggies to promote a more self-sustaining lifestyle, thereby saving money.

Financial tools to help your child become money smart

Banking tools also offer practical ways to inculcate money savviness.

  • My Account is the perfect bank account for your child, not just for depositing their CNY red packet money but also to inculcate a lifelong virtue of saving.
  • POSB Smart Buddy is a wearable/card that allows your child to pay for purchases in their school canteens while managing their given allowances, and put savings tips into daily action.
  • PayLah! for teens helps prepare for an increasingly cashless society, offering benefits from instant allowance transfers to cashbacks and deals at their favourite stores.

For more parenting tips, visit POSB's parenting portal.

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