What is money parenting?

Learn how to Money Parent: A guide for Asian parents

All parents know that at some point we have to start teaching our children about money. But when? How? Do we even know enough to teach them? Read on for some useful tips to teach your children the basics of money and improve your own knowledge in this area.

What kind of money parent are you? Take our 2-min quiz to find out.

Ever heard of the term money parenting? Don’t raise an eyebrow just yet, we aren’t talking about spoiling your children or making every life lesson about money! But before we explain, let me tell you a quick story.

I am a 35-year old mum of three who believes that it is extremely important to instill good money practices in children. As such, we've started them on the journey as young as three. It's really exciting watching the children learn from each other!

When I was a little girl, my father used to share with me a quote from Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield. It goes something like, “When your income is $20 and spending is $19.98, the result is happiness. When your income is $20 and spending is $20.02, the result is misery”.

He drilled this into me when I made a juvenile attempt at ‘leveraging’ the spending power of my primary school allowance. You see, there was something I really wanted from the school bookshop! Instead of caving in to my pleading, he offered me a few options.

  1. Save your money and buy it when you can afford it
  2. Give up spending your allowance on something else
  3. Receive a small top up according to how you much save every week
  4. Work for extra allowance! (meaning helping out with household chores)

And no, reaching into those festive hong baos was not even an option. Those were apparently savings for rainy days — whatever that meant. At the age of 8, I didn’t quite understand.

I wondered why it was a big deal for him to give me some extra funds when he clearly wasn’t short of them. But as I grew up, I understood. Now that I’m a full blown adult with bills to pay and children to raise, I am so thankful for those early lessons on finances!


What does money parenting mean?

Money parenting is the process of educating children on the financial and social responsibilities that come with money.

It’s a way for us parents to pass on our attitudes and beliefs about finance to our children in the hope that this will have an effect on their financial outcomes.

Why is money parenting important?

It’s important to talk to children about money. Managing money is something that everyone has to do. It starts as early as managing that recess allowance in school so there’s no running away from it.

Having money management skills will have extraordinary benefits when your child is old enough to have actual money issues to worry about. 

Talking to your children about money and instilling the right practices from a young age is one way to ensure your child knows how to manage their finances. What you really are doing is preparing them for their future.

What matters to parents?

Eastspring Investments conducted a survey among 10,000 participants in 9 Asian Countries — the Asia Money Parenting survey — and found that 95% of parents believe it is very important to teach their child to use and manage money.

However, when it comes to money parenting, the average confidence index of parents, stands at 0.65 (with 1 being completely confident). Some of their concerns include:

  • not knowing how to deliver successful money parenting
  • wanting more knowledge, insight and tools to help them provide better advice to their children
  • wanting to know what others are doing, so that they can learn and share successful teaching tips
  • wanting to improve their own financial knowledge in order to provide the right guidance for their children

As a result, they often end up not knowing how successful they are, especially when there are no real metrics to measure their money parenting efforts.

5 Tips for money parenting

Based on expert advice, here are some tips to give you a head start in money parenting.


1. Start Early

Research shows that a good age to start would be when your child turns 31. By the time they are 4 or 5, you can explain the importance of good spending habits and by 7, you can get them started on a savings account.

2. Lead by Example

You are your child’s first and best teacher so even if you are earning comfortably, don’t go overboard2 with extravagant spending. Set a healthy example about paying bills on time and keeping spending in check.

3. Start Small

Start your children off with small amounts of pocket money3 and help them appreciate the effort of obtaining more money and understanding the constraints of the amount they have. This will also teach them how to stretch that dollar.

4. Make Them Work For It

You don’t want your children growing up wondering why they suddenly have to work for something that was once free. Instead of giving them free pocket money, even a simple thing like having them set the dinner table to ‘earn’ their pocket money goes a long way. Children who work for their money value the reward4. This will also help to eradicate their fantasy that money grows on trees or falls from the sky!

5. Help Them Save & Grow Their Savings

When they are really young, start with the piggy bank and guide them to deposit something into it as often as possible. As they enter primary school, start a savings account and show them how it works.

You can even introduce the concept of ‘investment’ by topping up a certain amount for every, say, $50 that they save. You can further build on this by introducing them to compound interest as they enter their pre-teen years.

As always, it’s important to lead by example so have your own savings jar and let them watch you deposit money into it. When out shopping, teach them to make wise choices and discern between various prices5.

Expert help

These are some tips to get started but there is no one-size-fits-all approach to money parenting. If you’d like to know more about money parenting, take our 2-min quiz to see what kind of parent you are, and receive advice that best suits your personality.

You can also improve your own financial management knowledge by visiting the Eastspring Money Parenting site or contact them for a partner financial advisor.

It’s never too early to start your money parenting journey. You play an important role in shaping the financial knowledge and skills your children need to be successful and happy in life!

Get #MoneyParenting insights in your inbox

Insider access to the latest content, tools and events

This document is produced by Eastspring Investments (Singapore) Limited and issued in:

Singapore and Australia (for wholesale clients only) by Eastspring Investments (Singapore) Limited (UEN: 199407631H), which is incorporated in Singapore, is exempt from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services licence and is licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore under Singapore laws which differ from Australian laws.

Hong Kong by Eastspring Investments (Hong Kong) Limited and has not been reviewed by the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong.

Indonesia by PT Eastspring Investments Indonesia, an investment manager that is licensed, registered and supervised by the Indonesia Financial Services Authority (OJK).

Malaysia by Eastspring Investments Berhad (531241-U).

This document is produced by Eastspring Investments (Singapore) Limited and issued in Thailand by TMB Asset Management Co., Ltd. Investment contains certain risks; investors are advised to carefully study the related information before investing. The past performance of any the fund is not indicative of future performance.

United States of America (for institutional clients only) by Eastspring Investments (Singapore) Limited (UEN: 199407631H), which is incorporated in Singapore and is registered with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission as a registered investment adviser.

European Economic Area (for professional clients only) and Switzerland (for qualified investors only) by Eastspring Investments (Luxembourg) S.A., 26, Boulevard Royal, 2449 Luxembourg, Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, registered with the Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés (Luxembourg), Register No B 173737.

United Kingdom (for professional clients only) by Eastspring Investments (Luxembourg) S.A. - UK Branch, 10 Lower Thames Street, London EC3R 6AF.

Chile (for institutional clients only) by Eastspring Investments (Singapore) Limited (UEN: 199407631H), which is incorporated in Singapore and is licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore under Singapore laws which differ from Chilean laws.

The afore-mentioned entities are hereinafter collectively referred to as Eastspring Investments.

The views and opinions contained herein are those of the author on this page, and may not necessarily represent views expressed or reflected in other Eastspring Investments’ communications. This document is solely for information purposes and does not have any regard to the specific investment objective, financial situation and/or particular needs of any specific persons who may receive this document. This document is not intended as an offer, a solicitation of offer or a recommendation, to deal in shares of securities or any financial instruments. It may not be published, circulated, reproduced or distributed without the prior written consent of Eastspring Investments. Reliance upon information in this posting is at the sole discretion of the reader. Please consult your own professional adviser before investing.

Investment involves risk. Past performance and the predictions, projections, or forecasts on the economy, securities markets or the economic trends of the markets are not necessarily indicative of the future or likely performance of Eastspring Investments or any of the funds managed by Eastspring Investments.

Information herein is believed to be reliable at time of publication. Data from third party sources may have been used in the preparation of this material and Eastspring Investments has not independently verified, validated or audited such data. Where lawfully permitted, Eastspring Investments does not warrant its completeness or accuracy and is not responsible for error of facts or opinion nor shall be liable for damages arising out of any person’s reliance upon this information. Any opinion or estimate contained in this document may subject to change without notice.

Eastspring Investments (excluding JV companies) companies are ultimately wholly-owned/indirect subsidiaries/associate of Prudential plc of the United Kingdom. Eastspring Investments companies (including JV’s) and Prudential plc are not affiliated in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc., a company whose principal place of business is in the United States of America or with the Prudential Assurance Company, a subsidiary of M&G plc (a company incorporated in the United Kingdom).