It’s all happening so fast. If there are kids in your life, you’ll know exactly what I mean – you just blink and suddenly they’re tweens going on 20.

Now a new joint study in the UK from the Money Advice Service and Cambridge University shows that kids’ attitudes and approaches to money get formed earlier than previously thought – by age 7!

Those absorbing brains are taking in money matters more than we realised, and the critical role of parents and early educators is more in the spotlight than ever.

By age 7, most children grasp the value of money, understand that money can be exchanged for stuff and get what it means to earn an income. They are capable of planning ahead, delaying a decision and understanding that some choices cannot be reversed.

All of this, however, does not mean you should run your 4-year-old through the virtues of compound interest or the inner workings of the capital markets. The study points out that children set their habits through the attitudes and behaviours that we model for them.

So maybe we should be taking them grocery shopping more and explaining our everyday choices. Do not underestimate your influence, the study says.

 

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