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A little girl and her parents are smiling happily; image used for HSBC Malaysia financial education for kids article page.

How to talk to your kids about money

Tips to help you start the conversation so you can teach your children financial literacy from a young age.

It is never too early to teach your child about money and finances. Building good habits and a healthy relationship with money from a young age will help with your child's overall financial wellbeing when they are older.

Many of the habits we have as adults are developed early in life, at home and from our parents.1 So take advantage of this and start the conversation while you still have such a large influence over your child’s learning development. You can start introducing and guiding your child on simple lessons from as young as three years old.2

Your home and family provide a safe environment for them to learn and experience financial pitfalls like over-spending, not saving, and not having enough money. This will help them understand the importance of being financially prepared in adulthood.1

Make financial education fun

Financial concepts can be boring to children so traditional classroom methods may not be the best way. Instead, make financial learning fun with activities and games to get your child interested. Be creative and make use of online learning tools available like educational money-related apps and games.

To help you get started, here are three ideas of financial lessons you can teach your child suitable for their age group.

Exploring the world of work and earning money

Working and earning money

  • Bring fairy tale characters into the real world to talk about work and earning money.
  • Ask your child what they would like to be when they grow up.
  • Explain to them that adults work because they need to earn money.
  • Earning money lets us buy the things we need and (sometimes) the things we want.

Needs and wants

  • Explain the difference between needs and wants.
  • Needs are the things we can’t live without – clothes, food, water.
  • Wants are the fun extras or treats – ice cream, games console, soft toys.

Saving your money

  • Explain to them that if you save the money you earn in a bank, it will grow over time.
  • Savings allow you to buy things for yourself and do things you like.
  • Teach them how to count money so they learn the concept of how much they are saving.
  • Explain to them that money isn't just for spending: you can use it to buy property and invest to earn more money.


This fun video will tell you more about this topic. Watch it with your child!

How to spend money wisely

Budgeting for a trip

  • Plan an adventure-themed trip with your child to discuss how to budget and spend money wisely.
  • For example: If you are planning a trip to the South Pole, what do you need for the trip?
  • Discuss how to choose wisely when buying the things you need for the trip.
  • Do you need a winter jacket? Or is a book about penguins more important?

Exploring needs vs wants

  • Discuss how do you decide between the things you need and things you want.
  • Explain why it’s important to spend on things you need first before the things you want.
  • Explain that not everyone has the same needs and wants.
  • Talk about budgeting and how it’s important to make smart choices to live within your means.


This fun video will tell you more about this topic. Watch it with your child!

How to spot the signs of fraud

Explain what fraud is

  1. Pretend you are detectives and discuss what signs you should look for to detect fraud.
  2. Explain that fraud can happen:
    1. - when someone pretends to be you to steal your money
    2. - or persuades you to give them your money by lying to you about who they are
  3. Once you know what fraud is, you can spot the signs.
  4. Explain to your child the best place to keep your money safe is in a bank account

Ways fraudsters try to scam you

  • Explain even though your money is safe in a bank, fraudsters will try to steal it from you by tricking you.
  • Fraudsters can pretend to be your bank to fish for information from you by using email, SMS text or phoning you.

Simple ways to spot a scam

  • Use the example of an email and see if your child can spot suspicious things in the email.
  • Do they know your name?
  • Are there spelling mistakes & bad grammar?
  • Are there unusual fonts?
  • Check sender’s email address.
  • Don’t click on any link in the email.

How to protect yourself

  1. It is always important to keep personal details private.
  2. Banks will never ask you to:
    1. - give your PIN code
    2. - give them access to your card details or bank account info
    3. - share your banking code and password
    4. - transfer money to a different account
  3. Don’t give your personal information like date of birth, favourite colour or other information you may use in your password.


This fun video will tell you more about this topic. Watch it with your child!

HSBC Premier Junior Savers Account4

Start your child on the journey to financial independence and success early on with the HSBC Premier Junior Savers Account.

  • A comprehensive savings account.
  • Develop personal money management and good spending habits early with an HSBC Junior Savers Debit Card.
  • Tools that let you easily monitor account activities to give you peace-of-mind.


  1., Financial literacy begins at home, 4 November 2019.
  2., Teaching your children lessons about money, 4 August 2018.
  3. Malaysian Financial Planning Council, Financial capability & utilization of financial advisory services in Malaysia, 2018.
  4. Protected by PIDM up to RM250,000 for each depositor.
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