In Part 1 of our quick guide to teaching kids about money, we focused on young children and pre-teens. While this is a great age group to start discussions about money, it may feel surreal to your children because they won’t necessarily have anything to relate it to. As your children get older and get their first jobs, head off to university and even move out, the conversations about money will carry a little extra weight. Money management and financial wellbeing is all the more important as your children, now young adults, become more independent.

Adolescents, age 16-18

As teens become adolescents, they will probably start wondering about bank accounts. Perhaps they want a job which won’t pay in cash, or maybe they just want to feel a bit more mature. In any case, your child asking about bank accounts is a good opportunity to suggest they open a savings account as well. Even if they’re not earning a lot of money, being conscious that they have a separate facility to save money can be all the motivation they need to put some cash in there.

If they have a job or earn money, look at setting up a standing order from their current account to their savings each month. You don’t need do it for them but show them how, if they don’t already know, so they get used to operating mobile or online banking services themselves. Younger generations will be more attuned to using technology and they will grasp new functions and services much more quickly than older generations will. They may even end up teaching you a few things!

Young Adults and University, age 18+

At this age, your child is going to want to demonstrate their independence and you may find they rebuff or shut down any conversations you try to have with them about money. It’s not a personal thing, they just think they know everything already (we’ve all been there). Instead of trying to ‘teach’ your kids financial awareness at this age, consider just making casual comments or suggestions. Lend an ear and ask questions so they can tell you how they are managing their money and they’ll know you are there if they need advice. Sometimes, getting someone to talk through something can be enough to help them realise whether it’s a good idea or not. This way, they should appreciate that you are showing an interest in them without trying to control them.

If they’re heading off to university, they’ll need to set up student finance and a student bank account. They will probably get guidance about this from school, but it doesn’t hurt to show your support if they’re trying to do it on their own.

Father and daughter discussing finances

As your kids turn into adults and start working full time and looking at renting or mortgages, all you need to do is demonstrate that you are there to support them. You may not be completely financially savvy, in fact, you may be looking to increase your own financial literacy, but you will have a few years’ experience to hand and they’ll appreciate any little snippets of wisdom you can impart – even if they don’t show their appreciation at the time!

It's important you don’t stress your children out about money. Often, stress and negative emotions can make it much harder to deal with your finances. As a nation, we are very private about our financial affairs which can lead to people feeling alone or isolated if they’re facing financial difficulty. Teaching your kids about money from a young age not only helps prepare them for life’s financial challenges, but also helps show that money is not a taboo or scary subject, and that just discussing delicate matters can often halve the pressure they might feel.

We’ve got loads of great articles in our blog if you want to learn more about money or different financial products. You can never be too old or too wise to learn something new!