New Ways To Teach Money! | School’s Financial Literacy Will Not Work

Our government has been supporting money related concepts to be taught in schools.

Central Provident Fund (CPF) organised a session where students from Guangyang Secondary School attended a game-show assembly and played interactive board games that taught financial literacy concepts.


All Year 1 polytechnic and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students will be taught financial literacy from year 2020. They include budgeting, goal-setting and financial basics such as the effect of compound interest on debt and saving

But really, is school's financial literacy programs going to help you teach your child on money?

Schools is responsible for teaching money?

Quick story: I did an elective on "communications" during my BAcc days and my module presentation topic was actually on "Schools should teach on managing money!".


It could have been influence from Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad book.

I'm dead serious. And I ended an A+ module grade!

Truth be told, my financial perspective had changed in that period alsobecause I had a family situation that made me work and get an income then.

But today, I've a different perspective.

When I see people grudging school systems for not teaching on money (in many ways like I had felt many years back), I kind of disagree. This saying below explains it best.

That is why this post!

Schools (or teachers) in my opinion can do ONLY SO LITTLE.

They can show the mathematics of what is right but they cannot enforce mindset and habits.

Circumstances and family define beliefs

It's your circumstance and your family beliefs that really taught you about money and mostly everything.

Circumstance such as the RESPONSIBILITY of supporting family financially for a poor kid.

Or circumstance such as WASTEFULNESS due to lack of appreciation for a rich kid.

Negative beliefs such as only "rich people can afford this"

and "it's the government's fault that standards of living are so expensive"

are almost always taught by parents. Think about it...

Have you ever shouted "COCKROACH" to your child before?

If you have, you've most certainly instilled a fear of cockroaches to your little one.

Your little one now believes cockroaches are threatening to them.

NO amount of text book information on cockroaches will reshape that belief easily.

Financial literacy is MERELY knowing what is right

Knowing the right thing may help BUT NOT BY MUCH.

Smoking is not good. Schools can teach (and have communicated) that before I'm sure.

But many children pick up smoking and think its ok because their parents smoke.

It's either that or the friends they decided to associate with (circumstance) feels it is ok to smoke.

I am concerned that Financial literacy courses help only to bring awareness.

It is "forced" delivery of information.

To an eager ear, it is of help! But to a deaf ear, nothing goes in.

But if parents are COMMITTED to teaching it already, that information is already freely available.

And the best way is quite simply to teach using stories, create experiences and LEAD BY EXAMPLE!


Money is NOT a fruit.

It is NOT the fruits of your labour.

It is NOT to be celebrated and consumed at first asking.

Instead, MONEY IS A SEED. It is NOT to be consumed now.

It is only the seed and only the beginning.

It should be laid to grow more future fruits.

The real satisfaction is when you see things growing.

And it is far more rewarding then the momentary joy when you consume a fruit.

Plant for the future and you will never run out.

Click here to join the Facebook Group Millionaire Kids by TheAstuteParent

You'd find ideas on how to teach your children on money the right way...

Stop pushing money teaching to the school

This is the upbringing of billionaire Carlos Slim

He is a businessman today not by schools training but by his dad's teaching.

Slim always knew he wanted to be a businessman and began to develop his business and investment acumen at a young age. He received business lessons from his father Julián, who taught him finance, management and accounting.

He thought him how to read financial statements as well as the importance of keeping accurate financial records, a practice that Slim carries on to this day.

At the age of 11, Carlos invested in a government savings bond that taught him about the concept of compound interest.

This is back in the 1950s and is exactly the budgeting, goal-setting and financial basics such as the effect of compound interest on debt and saving concepts.


it is not the same as text book information or any one-off board game.


Consider pushing your child to work early in life.

Did you know Obama's sent their daughter to work in an F&B? This post below should help.

Legal age to work in Singapore By TheAstuteParent

I believe the schools efforts to teach on financial literacy will not mean much to students from the circumstance and family background that we all want to help.

It is not that poor family backgrounds will definitely yield poor next generation.

Quite the opposite, many are hardened by hardship such as Opray Winfrey, Celine Dion, Ed Sheeran here. Check out their rags to riches story.

But in Singapore, there's too many in this limbo space of "NOT full yet NOT hungry enough", agree?

Click here to join the Facebook Group Millionaire Kids by TheAstuteParent

You'd find ideas on how to teach your children on money the right way...

Josh Tan Jian Liang (CHFC) Principal Author

REVIEWS: https://theastuteparent.com/josh-tan Practising financial planner with Promiseland Independent Pte Ltd. EXPERIENCE: More than 13years. Josh Tan is a young parent, speaker, author and founder of TheAstuteParent.

2 responses to “New Ways To Teach Money! | School’s Financial Literacy Will Not Work”

  1. FinLit in schools mainly helps the bottomlines of trainers & suppliers, and in ticking some of the KPIs of the policymakers & administrators in MOE and the IHLs. 🙂

    Actually the same can be said of 90% of the SkillsFuture and adult-training scene too.

    The financially literate ones are the ones coming up with services & products that cater to this govt-supported movement. 😉

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