Teaching children about money - aged 11 to 13 years old

Starting secondary school is a significant step. Children will be experiencing new freedoms and pressures and becoming more interested in money.

Children aged eleven to thirteen

Helping children aged 11 to 13 understand how money works

 

Developing good money habits for 11-13 year olds

Sameera Parpia - Mum to Aisha and Lloyds Bank colleague shares ways you can help 11–13-year-olds develop good money habits.

Here are three National Curriculum topics for 11-to 13-year-olds, along with practical tips on what you can do to help them build their understanding. Information correct as of February 2023.

1. Working and earning 

Planning ahead can empower young people to think about where their money comes from now, and where it may come from in the future, like:

  • Preparing for part-time work by earning money for jobs around the house such as washing the car, mowing the lawn or walking the dog. 
  • Starting to think about their financial future and considering what to do when they leave school.  
  • Weighing up between further study or starting work, and the differences between having a boss and being self-employed.
  • Learning about how digital tools can help them stay in control of their money.

Learning together: Funding their future

Ask what they might want to do in later life and chat about what different jobs might pay. Later, they’ll need to select their options at school, and continuing certain subjects or dropping others may make a difference. 

Help them understand that passing key subjects like English and Maths can be important whatever they choose. Making the link between qualifications and potential earnings might even give extra motivation with their schoolwork.

2. Debt and borrowing

Getting to grips with the reality of borrowing and managing debt, could help them better manage their money in the future. At this age they can start to understand: 

  • Why borrowing might be necessary in future, and potential consequences.
  • Borrowing comes at a cost, so they’ll need to consider whether they can afford it. 
  • The difference between planned borrowing such as student loans or mortgages vs unplanned borrowing like a credit card or overdraft.

Learning together: Turn off the cash

If children ask for extra money, consider suggesting other ways to raise the cash:

  • Earn money by doing jobs around the house? 
  • Use any savings or wait until they have saved up? 
  • Borrow money - with the understanding they’ll need to pay it back. 

Weighing up the options can help children understand the differences between wants and needs. Suddenly that item might not seem so essential after all. 

3. Financial products and how they work 

At this age they will start to learn about financial products and what they can mean for them, including: 

  • The benefits and risks that come with them.
  • Being able to assess simple financial products against their needs.
  • Understand the pros and cons of financial products needed in later life, such as insurance, credit cards, bank accounts and guarantees.
  • Know that a current account, mortgage or car insurance, for example, are products, purchased from a bank or an insurer.

It can help to give young people the opportunity to talk about what they’d like to do with their money.

   

Learning together: Open an account

After turning 11, children typically have a lot more choice of bank accounts. If they are pushing for a current account, suggest they research the options. Get them checking out the small print: 

  • Will they earn any interest on their money? 
  • Will they get a debit card? 
  • Are there any charges? 
  • Is there an app? 
  • Do their friends have an account? 

That way, they can learn first-hand that all accounts aren’t the same.

Learn more about choosing a bank account for your child.

Related information

Three-to-six years old

It’s never too early to start teaching children about money. As children start school, they will be picking up financial habits from their parents.

3 to 6 years

Seven-to-eight years old

At this age, children want to make more of their own decisions about saving and spending.

7 to 8 years

Nine-to-10 years old

As children progress through primary school, they will start picking up on popular trends and advertising designed to affect spending.

9 to 10 years

14-to-16 years old

Teenagers are often keen to become more independent and learn to manage their own money.

14 to 16 years

Further support

Money management

Our tips and tools can help you manage your bills and credit, while helping you save and feel better about your finances. 

Money worries

If you are struggling with your finances, or are worried about the increased cost of living, you are not alone. We are here to help you get back on track.