Teaching Kids About Money – 10 to 13 Year Olds

When children reach their teens, they begin to develop a sense of reason, transforming from emotionally-driven individuals to rationally-driven decision makers. Your children will become more independent and prefer spending time with their friends instead of you. At this age they will spend hours consuming media and peer pressure will take over, which goes hand in hand with financial pressure.

Once your child has a firm grasp of the basics, it’s time to finish the transition into the cashless world. Use this time as an opportunity to expand their financial knowledge and start to introduce concepts like credit, debt, Interest and budgeting. It is probably also a good time to discuss online fraud and scamsters as well as identity theft.

Teenages and Money
At this age Peer Pressure can lead to Financial Pressure

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When discussing credit make sure to mention that if they can’t afford to pay cash for something then they can’t afford it. Credit should only be used for big ticket items and a proper payment plan should be put in place to settle this type of credit as quickly as possible.

For those children that may be enticed by the concept of a credit card make sure to encourage the idea of paying credit card debt off in full each month.

To get your child use to credit, pay an amount into a debit card. They can use this amount but it must be paid in full at the end of each month. If they go over budget then take the additional money out of their allowance (plus a little extra for interest). This will get them used to the idea of sticking to a plan so that they are not otherwise penalised for going over budget.


If you have first hand experience with debt, don’t feel embarrassed to discuss this with your child. Your knowledge and how you got out of debt is far more valuable then just teaching your child the basic principles of getting into and out or debt.


Lessons on interest should always make mention of the fact that interest grows over time. It can be a positive growth in terms of saving or a negative growth in terms of debt. i.e. the longer you take to pay off debt, the more money you will have to pay back in interest charges.

It is important to treat your child’s money as if you are the bank manager. If they do not pay off money that they owe you on time then you should penalise them with interest charges. If they tend to spend all of their allowance instead of saving, consider guidelines and possible boundaries to bring them back in line.

As an example, if your child is consistently spending all of their allowance then make sure that you do not buy them other luxuries because they don’t have the money. They need to understand that some money must be put aside for unforseen expenses.

If your child is good at saving consider matching their savings at the end of each year.

Teaching kids about saving and budgeting
Setup a spreadsheet to help your child manage money


With extra money from chores start discussing their spending habits as well as their short and long term goals. Make use of apps or good old-fashioned programs like Excel and Google Sheets. Break their budgets up into catagories such as income, savings, goals and lastly spending.

Review this budget regularly and encourage having a profit at the end of each year. If they owe money at the end of each year, discuss the long term consequences of not having savings. Teach them these consequences by not bailing them out when they need something and don’t have the money to purchase what they want. This is an extremely important lesson and if learned in their teens will definitely change the way they manage money in the future.

Identity theft

Protecting personal information is as much a part of financial literacy as is spending and saving. It is unlikely that you will be able to control all the devices they use. It would be a 24-hour job and they will still bamboozle you.

Talk to your children about identity theft and how it can affect their lives. Keep an eye on their social media accounts. Explain how Facebook and Instagram use personal information through data mining for advertising purposes etc. Mention that criminals pretend to be children and steal information and target children for criminal and harmful purposes. Make sure that their devices geolocation is off. Inform them of the dangers of sharing personal information while on public wi-fi.

Identity Theft
Discuss Identity Theft with your Child

This is a very important financial stage of your child’s life. The best lesson you can teach your child is to be financially independent through saving and growing the money they make. It’s also a good time to allow them to make some mistakes. At this age the mistakes will be small but the lessons lifelong. You don’t want your child to make huge financial mistakes when they are adults.

Message to Parents

We are big supporters of teaching children to live within their means, pay themselves first and save 15% of what they earn. The only way to teach children these principals is if you, as a parent, practice these principal too. Your child learns by example. So be a good one.

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There is no quick fix to getting out of debt. Make sure that you partner with a Debt Counsellor that is going to assist you to get out of Debt.

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About our Author

Lauren is a registered member of the National Credit Regulator. Prior to that, she worked as a Financial and Technical consultant for McGregor-BFA (Now INET-BFA). McGregor-BFA provided Trading and Market related data as well as Investment management software to Asset Managers, University Business Schools and Investment entities. Thereafter experience was advanced to the Property Market working as a Project Manager for Propertyi. But it was her career at the IEB in Adult Education that inspired a passion of hers to educate consumers about responsible ways of managing their financial lives and the long term advantages of doing so. It is her belief that financial education should be taught from an early age. By doing so we can create a country that is economically stable, driven not only by work ethics, but by becoming Financially Independent too.