IFEC launches interactive digital toolkits on money learning for children

Study finds only a quarter of Hong Kong parents set aside time to talk with children about money; around one in eight have never brought up money matters

4 August 2021

The Investor and Financial Education Council (IFEC) continues its digital educational transformation by introducing a new series of digital money learning toolkits for children during the summer holidays.

Toolkits consisting of interactive e-stories, mini-games and worksheets have been designed for children between the ages of 4 and 11 to impart money knowledge and skills, covering the allocation of money for saving, sharing and spending, and achieving financial goals through saving, disciplined spending and expenses tracking habits. With the interactive e-stories using everyday moments, children can select different scenarios in the stories and discuss with their parents the outcomes and learnings.

IFEC Chairman Mr Lester Huang said, “Financial literacy is a ‘must-have’ future skill. These new toolkits aim to provide an immersive money learning experience for families with young children to support them in the development of financial literacy skills which will be valuable for later life. The IFEC is also accelerating its digital transformation to cater to the investor and financial education needs of various segments of the community under the ‘new normal’.”

Parents are encouraged to open up conversations and expose their children to various situations where they can acquire the much-needed money knowledge and skills.

A thematic study about how parent-child money matters

The IFEC conducted the Parenting and Money Study 2021 by interviewing a total of 1,203 Hong Kong parents with children from kindergarten to tertiary level in March and April 2021, to understand how they interact with their children around money and finances.

Receiving pocket money is a practical first step for children in their financial learning journey. The study found that 81% of the surveyed parents give pocket money to their children. Primary students receive an average of $449 pocket money per month, while secondary and tertiary students on average receive $1,134 and $2,228 per month respectively. Pocket money was given mostly out of practical needs (77%). Just about half (53%) used pocket money as a means to cultivate their children’s saving habits, and a smaller proportion (28%) hold a holistic view that pocket money can be a means for children to begin to manage their money.

Pocket money creates a natural opportunity for parents to start meaningful money-related conversations with their children. However, the study revealed that only slightly over a quarter (28%) of the surveyed parents have set aside time to have money talks with their children. Around one in eight (12%) said that they have never brought up money matters, claiming that their children are too young to understand.

The study also examined the concerns of parents with respect to their children’s money management attitudes and behaviour. Lack of frugality was found to be the number one concern with nearly half (44%) who reported that their children failed to appreciate that money comes from hard work, and 24% cited a lack of saving discipline as another key concern.

IFEC helps parents address challenges in teaching children about money

Parents also shared the issues that they encountered when teaching children about money. The top three challenges cited include giving in to children’s material requests easily (63%); inconsistent teaching approach with other family members (58%); and peer pressure that their children face which often proves greater than parental influence, especially for older children(45%).

IFEC General Manager Ms Dora Li said, “Financial education should start as early as possible. As parents play a pivotal role in passing on financial knowledge and skills to their children, the IFEC is committed to working with families and providing them with various edutainment resources, to create a stronger home-learning environment to help teach our next generation how to make wise and informed decisions regarding their finances.”

The IFEC one-stop Parenting and Money portal offers age-appropriate initiatives to turn day-to-day activities into valuable money learning experiences for schoolchildren. The newly-launched interactive digital money learning toolkits are available here.


1. Highlights of the Parenting and Money Study 2021

Photo and caption:

1. An image of the interactive digital money learning toolkits for children.