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Call for money lessons in schools

Justin Lees, May 23, 2021 2:00PM News Corp Australia

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Scott Pape believes too many kids leave school with holes in their knowledge about money. Picture: Jay Town media_cameraScott Pape believes too many kids leave school with holes in their knowledge about money. Picture: Jay Town


Reading level: green

Hey kids, here’s the good news: Australia’s best-known money expert reckons your parents should be giving you pocket money.

He also thinks you should be doing three things to earn it.

You might have heard of Scott Pape — he’s also known as ”The Barefoot Investor” — or perhaps your parents read his books and newspaper articles.

He is currently on a mission to help young people learn about money — and do better at earning, saving and spending it — in a new way by having it taught in school lessons.

He is talking to politicians about making that happen and is even creating a TV series about it called Scott Pape’s Money Movement.

Darren James and family media_cameraKalan and Lyla do chores to earn their pocket money while dad Darren, mum Linda and dog Oakley watch on. Picture: Naomi Jellicoe

We’d love to know what real Aussie students like you think about money. Take our quick money survey below.

Currently, many kids get most of their money knowledge from their parents, which means not everyone is learning the same.

Mr Pape believes too many young people leave school not understanding money properly, which can really hurt their chances of being smart with money in the future.

“What I am really passionate* about is lifting the confidence of young people so that they leave home and can say that they’re actually really good with money,” he said.

Mr Pape, who has broken records with his books about being money-smart, also believes there are a few vital things parents should teach their children about money and help them do before they grow up.

Do any of these sound familiar to you — or have you tried any?

barefoot investor - kids money media_cameraGeorgia May and Olivia divide their pocket money into Splurge, Smile and Give jars. Picture: Tony Gough

For younger children starting to learn about money, Mr Pape recommends parents give a certain amount of pocket money each week which the kids divide between three jars: the Splurge jar for spending, the Smile jar for saving for special things and the Give jar, which is all about putting some money aside to help other people.

Mr Pape said kids should do three tasks around the house each week to earn their pocket money.

“Put them to work!” Mr Pape joked.

And he recommended a weekly “Money Meal”, which is when the pocket money is paid out and everyone chats over dinner about what they have learned.

He details how to do all this in his book, The Barefoot Investor For Families.

For older teens, Mr Pape has a challenge called the “Barefoot Ten” — 10 things to master* before they leave home, with their parents’ support. Here they are:

  • Open a zero-fee, high-interest* savings account
  • Buy and sell something second-hand
  • Learn to cook at least two low-cost, delicious, nutritious meals from scratch
  • Volunteer in their local community
  • Help save at least $100 on household bills by finding a cheaper deal (and the kids get to keep half of the saved money!)
  • Promise to never, ever get a credit card
  • Get a part-time job from age 15
  • Earn at least one glowing reference from a boss
  • Open up an ultra-low-cost, high-growth superannuation* fund
  • Set up a savings account for a home deposit
Cooking for a Cause media_cameraTeens Marika and Harvey learn how to cook meals that are then provided to disadvantaged people in their community. Picture: AAP



  • passionate: have strong feelings or beliefs
  • master: become an expert at
  • interest: the percentage added to the money in your bank account
  • superannuation: the money your employer pays into an account for when you retire


Kids should work for pocket money

Kids need money, not tap and go

How long do Aussie banknotes last?


  1. What is Scott Pape also known as?
  2. What is he on a mission to do?
  3. Where does Scott Pape believe children should learn about money?
  4. What three jars does Scott Pape suggest kids put their pocket money into?
  5. Name two things Scott Pape believes older kids should master before they leave home?


1. Money Plan
Write out a money proposal to give your parents detailing how much pocket money you think you should get, what jobs you could do to earn it and how you plan to spend and save it. Complete the proposal details below so you can take home and discuss with your parents.

Pocket Money Proposal for …………..

I think I should receive $… pocket money per week.

I think this is a fair amount because …

These are the jobs I will do each week to earn the pocket money:

  1. …………………………
  2. …………………………
  3. …………………………
  4. …………………………

I would like to be paid on …

I plan to save $… each week.

I plan to spend $… each week.

I plan to give away $… each week.

Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and social, Critical and creative thinking

2. Extension
From Scott Pape’s 10 things to master before you leave home list, choose one you could do at your age and aim to do it. Which ones do you think are most important?

Do you like saving your money or spending it? Do you like the idea of the three jars system?

Time: allow 10 minutes to complete this activity 
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and creative thinking

Opener Up-Level It
Make a list of all the openers in the article. Pick three that repeat and see if you can replace them with another word, or shuffle the order of the sentence to bring a new opener to the front.

Don’t forget to re-read the sentence to make sure it still makes sense, and that it actually sounds better.

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