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Work with us Kids & money

Teaching children the importance of good money habits

Research published by Cambridge University explains the importance of teaching children about money, as whatever you learn by the age of seven, you take with you into adulthood.

The key findings from the research reveals the core behaviours and habits are formed in young children, for example:
  • By the age of seven, most children have grasped how to recognise the value of money and to count it out; and by this age they will also have come to understand that money can be exchanged for goods, as well a,s what it means to earn money and what income is;
  • By the age of seven, most children in the UK are capable of complex functions such as planning ahead, delaying a decision until later and understanding that some choices are irreversible; but children under eight years old have not developed an understanding of the difference between ‘luxuries’ and ‘necessities’.
Commenting on the publication of the study, Caroline Rookes, CEO of the Money Advice Service, said: “This study really demonstrates the power of parental influences, and illustrates how much of what you learn and absorb when you are young, both consciously and subconsciously, affects the choices you make throughout the rest of your life.....more can be done to shape the money habits of young children, by including money education in the primary school curriculum in England."

Co-author of the study, Dr David Whitebread, of Cambridge University said: “In today's world there are many pressures on young children and their families which make financial education increasingly important. The 'habits of mind' which influence the ways children approach complex problems and decisions, including financial ones, are largely determined in the first few years of life. Simply imparting information is now recognised as being ineffective in this area. By contrast, early experiences provided by parents, caregivers and teachers which support children in learning how to plan ahead, in being reflective in their thinking and in being able to regulate their emotions can make a huge difference in promoting beneficial financial behaviour”.

Due to the proved importance of teaching children about good money skills the East Sussex Credit Union have made themselves available to go into schools and deliver fun, educational and informative sessions on managing money.

If you know of any schools that would be interested in this then please email Nikki Plummer, Business & Development Officer at

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