Financial literacy

Next week is Global Money Week. Before we had money, people used a system called “bartering” to get the things they needed. Bartering meant swapping something you had for something you didn’t have. You might swap some spare eggs for material to make into clothes. You might swap five chickens for a cow, or a cow for some magic beans. (Just kidding – that was just in a fairy tale.)

Bartering worked for a while, but it had a lot of problems. As the world got more complicated, a new system was needed: money.

Money allows us to exchange coins or notes for the things we need. You can also spend it using a debit card or your phone.

When you get older, you will earn your own money to spend as you please. It is important to know how to look after it, so that you can afford everything you need – as well as some of the things you want!

Here are some tips for looking after money:

1. Learn to save. Put 10% of your money into savings, so that you can afford more expensive things later.

2. Shop around. If you want to buy something, look in a few different shops to find the cheapest price.

3. Make a budget. Keep a record of how much money you have and how much the things you want will cost.

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Get more financial literacy tips from economist Beth Kobliner and US comedian Kate McKinnon in this fun video.


  1. Without looking them up in a dictionary, write definitions for the following words: money, debt, loan.
  2. Make a budget for your pocket money. (If you do not get pocket money, imagine you have £10 per month.) Your budget should show how much money you have and how much you want to spend on certain things. If something is expensive, work out how much you need to save, and for how long, until you can afford it.