Teaching children about money - aged seven to eight years

At this age, children want to make more of their own decisions about saving and spending – and can start learning from their own mistakes.

Children aged seven to eight

Helping children aged seven to eight understand how money works

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

1. Ways to pay

Cash can be easier for children to understand. By handing over coins and notes to buy things and getting change, they can see how money is spent. 

Chatting about the pros and cons of these different types of payment, can help children to gain an understanding of money and the most suitable way to pay.

Learning together: Deal out your cards

You could start a conversation about ways to pay by showing your purse or wallet. Point out the different cards and when you might use them. Explain the differences between debit cards, which take money out of your bank account straight away, and credit cards, which you pay back every month. 

Talk about any loyalty cards, which can also be ways to pay through earning and then swapping points. Ask children if they can think of any ways to pay that don’t involve cash or cards, such as Direct Debits for bills.

2. Earning money

Introducing the idea that money needs to be earned, rather than being handed out for free, is an important life lesson. Different jobs get paid different amounts, so it’s good to start thinking about the job they might want in the future, and talking about what this could mean for their finances. 

Learning together: Cash for chores

Draw up a chore chart to help children learn about earning money. Discuss any jobs they might be able to do around the house, and how much they might get paid. Try to include a range of tasks, with some that pay more than others. Anything from unloading the dishwasher to sweeping up leaves in the garden.

3. Using money: Lending and borrowing

Although children can’t take out loans, they can understand that it is possible to borrow money if they do not have enough. It’s important to help them understand that: 

  • Borrowing isn’t free money. It needs to be paid back, and in later life they’ll normally have to pay extra as interest.
  • It could have an emotional impact too, if the borrower is concerned about paying back their debts.

Learning together: Become a bank

When children don’t have enough money to buy something they want, you could offer to lend them the extra cash. Explain that the money needs to be paid back. To show the drawbacks to debt, you might even charge some interest on top. 

Agree the regular payments, and check they happen. You could link repayments to jobs around the house. Saving up for stuff may become more appealing when they need to repay any borrowing. 

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

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

11-to-13 years old

Starting secondary school is a big step. Children will be getting more interested in money and making decisions that could affect their future choices.

11 to 13 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.