How To Teach Financial Literacy In Primary School

Written by Dan

Last updated

As teachers, giving our primary school students an understanding of basic financial literacy skills is increasingly becoming necessary.

With economic uncertainty and rapid technological advancement changing how we manage our money, young people need to know about subjects like budgeting, saving, and investing.

By teaching essential money management principles early in their learning journey, you can give your pupils the knowledge they need to make better decisions now and throughout their lives.

In this blog post, we will look at some tips on how you can teach financial literacy to primary school children engagingly.

Related: For more, check out our article on The Importance Of Teaching About Decimals  here.

Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is an essential life skill that involves understanding the basics of finance and money management. Being financially literate can give individuals control over their economic well-being and help them make responsible, informed spending, saving, and investing decisions.

It provides a greater understanding of interest rates, income and expenses, taxation, assets and liabilities. Financial literacy covers budgeting, retirement planning, debt repayment strategies, and insurance.

This knowledge is incredibly beneficial, as it provides the groundwork to reach economic stability; by accurately evaluating your finances, you can take practical steps towards achieving both short-term and long-term goals — like clearing debt or buying a house.

It’s no wonder that having a good grasp of financial literacy is essential in today’s world!

Students’ Cognitive Development

Primary school students often experience an incredible period of cognitive development as they gain the skills and knowledge to become successful adults. Understanding the basics of this transformation is essential for teaching professionals.

Different stages of growth can be seen in a child’s physical, social, and emotional capacities and their increasing ability to use higher-order thinking skills like complicated problem-solving and reasoned decision-making.

An insight into these developmental aspects helps professionals tailor learning experiences to match the complexity of a student’s current understanding and support them through their educational journey.

Choose Appropriate Teaching Strategies

Teaching financial literacy can be challenging – especially when considering the varying developmental level of students, which should be considered when selecting teaching strategies.

The most effective techniques are tailored to each student’s age and ability, so teachers should take some time to research and understand the different learning capabilities of each child.

Strategies such as role-playing, hands-on activities and skill training can positively affect student development in this area.

Carefully choosing systems that reflect the lesson’s educational goals and the student’s capabilities will result in higher engagement levels during class time, making for a more successful overall teaching experience.

Implement Activities To Teach Counting Money

Learning how to count money and make change is a fundamental skill everyone needs to know. But it can be challenging for some students, incredibly visual learners.

To help these students succeed, implementing activities that involve counting money and making changes can be a very effective teaching method.

These activities can be played as a group or individual task, and they also allow students to practice in a real-life setting that’s both fun and educational.

If you’re looking for an engaging way to help your students learn the critical skill of counting money and making change, activities may be the solution you need!

What Should Be Taught For Financial Literacy In School

  1. Needs vs Wants: Understanding the difference between things we need (like food, shelter, and clothing) and things we want (like toys or candy).
  2. Budgeting: Learning how to make a budget and stick to it.
  3. Saving: Understanding why saving money is essential and how to set savings goals.
  4. Earning Money: Learning about different ways to make money, such as through allowance or chores.
  5. Spending Wisely: Learning how to make wise spending decisions by comparing prices and avoiding impulse buys.
  6. Banking Basics: Understanding what banks do, how to open a bank account, and how to use essential banking services like depositing checks or withdrawing cash.
  7. Credit Cards: Introducing the concept of credit cards and explaining how they work.
  8. Giving Back: Discuss the importance of donating to the community through charitable donations or volunteering time.
  9. Entrepreneurship: Introducing entrepreneurship as a way of earning money by starting a business or selling goods/services.
  10. Financial Responsibility: Emphasising the importance of being financially responsible by paying bills on time, avoiding debt, and making sound financial decisions.

These topics can be taught through interactive activities like games, simulations, and real-life examples that engage students in learning about personal finance management skills from an early age.

Evaluate Your Student’s Progress and Understanding

Keeping an eye on student progress can be challenging and an exemplary process for a teacher. Evaluating student understanding allows us to have insight into their learning and make adjustments accordingly.

This ensures that students get the most out of our teaching style, allowing them to reap the full benefits of their education. By evaluating our students’ progress, we can identify those who might need extra attention while celebrating those who excel.

By assessing our students’ knowledge base and understanding of the material being taught, we are actively working to ensure that each individual is reaching their potential.

Five Articles that discuss financial literacy for children in the classroom:

“Teaching Financial Literacy in Elementary School” by Forbes Link

This article explores the importance of teaching financial literacy to children early and provides tips for incorporating financial education into elementary school curriculums.

“Why Teaching Kids About Money is More Important Than Ever” by CNBC Link

CNBC discusses why it’s crucial to teach kids money management skills, including budgeting and saving, and shares ways parents and educators can help children develop financial literacy.

“The Importance of Financial Education for Kids” by The Balance Link

The Balance highlights the benefits of teaching financial education to children, such as fostering a sense of responsibility and preparing them for future financial decisions. The article also provides resources for parents and teachers interested in promoting financial literacy.

“How to Teach Children About Money” by NerdWallet Link

NerdWallet offers practical advice for parents on teaching their children basic financial concepts, including earning money, saving, and spending wisely.

“Financial Literacy 101: What Kids Need to Learn in School” by Kiplinger Link

Kiplinger explains why schools must prioritise teaching students financial literacy skills and provides examples of what should be included in a comprehensive financial education curriculum.

Financial literacy is an important life skill that all students should learn. By understanding the basics of cognitive development, teachers can choose appropriate teaching strategies and activities for their students.

By providing opportunities for students to practice counting money and making changes, as well as introducing concepts such as credit, savings, and budgeting, teachers can help their students develop a foundation for financial success later in life.


Q: Why is it important to teach financial literacy in primary school?

A: Financial literacy is an essential life skill that can benefit individuals. By teaching children the basics of personal finance management from an early age, we can help them develop good habits and make informed decisions about money as they grow up.

Q: What topics should a primary school financial literacy curriculum cover?

A: A primary school financial literacy curriculum should cover basic concepts like budgeting, saving, spending wisely, earning money, and banking basics. Other topics that could be included are needs vs wants, credit cards, giving back to the community, entrepreneurship, and financial responsibility.

Q: How can teachers make financial literacy engaging for young students?

A: Teachers can make financial literacy engaging by using interactive activities like games, simulations or real-life examples that engage students in learning about personal finance management skills from an early age. They can also use stories or role plays to teach complex concepts in a fun way.

Q: Can parents help reinforce financial literacy concepts at home?

A: Absolutely! Parents play a crucial role in reinforcing the concepts taught at school by involving their children in household budgeting and savings goals. They can also encourage their children to earn money through allowance or doing chores and help them understand how banks work by opening a bank account.

Q: What are some long-term benefits of teaching financial literacy to primary school students?

A: Teaching financial literacy to primary school students has many long-term benefits, such as helping them become financially responsible adults better equipped to manage their finances effectively. It also helps them avoid debt traps and make intelligent investment decisions which contribute towards the overall economic growth of the society.

Q: Are any resources available for educators interested in incorporating financial literacy into their curriculum?

A: Yes! Many online resources offer lesson plans and activities on various aspects of personal finance management. Some examples include (a national coalition of organisations dedicated to advancing K-12 education), Practical Money Skills (a free program offered by Visa) and The Mint (an educational website sponsored by Northwestern Mutual).

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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