Digital age kids don't understand the value of money


OUR modern cashless society is impacting children's understanding of the value of money.    

A recent survey by the Commonwealth Bank shows one in 10 parents feel their child fully understands the value of digital money while one third of parents agreed digital purchases are making it harder to teach their kids the value of money.  

The bank also surveyed children, and the results were shocking.   


  • Proving we still have a way to go in teaching children the value of digital money, the research found 40 per cent of five year olds believe you can use a plastic card to get free money from a machine in the wall. Other common digital money misconceptions include:
  • You don't have to pay money to watch movies on your parents' tablets or smartphone (61 per cent of six year olds);
  • There's someone behind a wall who gives your parents money when they put their plastic card in a cash machine (33 per cent of five year olds); and
  • You don't have to pay money when you buy something like a toy or computer game on a computer (18 per cent of seven year olds).


Chris McCormack/cm160019


The way parents pay pocket money to their children is also evolving, with 14% being paid by online transfers.   

The amount of pocket money given per week has also gone up, with the average child receiving $10.36, compared to $10.17 the previous year.   

Head of School Banking & Youth at Commonwealth Bank Veronica Howarth says its critical to start teaching children the value of money in both digital and traditional forms.   

"Although the way we make payments has changed, the same principles of teaching children about responsible spending and the need to save for bigger purchases remain crucial to developing a child's understanding of money and giving children lifelong money management skills," said Ms Howarth.  

The Bank has announced it will invest $50 million over the next three years on financial education programs such as their StartSmart workshops.   

Here are CommBank's top five ways to help your kids learn about the value of digital money:  

Purchase and download an app or game with them

Show them the value of an item at an online store 

Open an online bank or savings account with them

Give them a pre-paid card so they can make digital purchases

Allow them to spend all their pocket money on one digital purchase   

Topics:  banking business lifestyle money parenting

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