Tuesday 12 December 2017

How to start helping my autistic son to understand money

Boy looking out of window at city

It's not unusual for the kids to be sent money in amongst their Christmas gifts from relatives (if I'm lucky, I still get some too).   But unlike our daughter Jane who thinks about what she may be able to buy, to at least one of my son's a five pound note is little more than a plasticky piece of pretty paper and the other has only just started to get an understanding of it's value.

Jane and Anthony can both count out some money if we go to a shop, but four year old Jane is just as likely to guess how much a Cadbury's Freddie Frog is than her older autistic brother.

"A lot of money" doesn't really compute for Anthony.  How am I going to help my boys learn and manage money? One thought I had was about collecting money at home in a money box.  This has it's obvious advantages. It's very visual and uses physical counting which is a great way to start for many kids.

But, I don't know how this will develop and my kids can't use piggy banks forever.  So, I looked into bank accounts for kids, and in particular what is means for boys like mine who may have difficulty managing their own money now, or in the future.

money in a jar

I had absolutely no idea about bank accounts for kids.  Turns out, most banks offer kids accounts from the age of seven.  Many can be opened by a child which is great for independence and responsibility but not something I think would necessarily work well with our kids.  Then some banks offer a First Saver type bank account which yes can be opened and managed by a child with parent permission, but can also be opened by and 'in trust' by the parent on behalf of a child.

I thought this was a great idea.  It could give Anthony the independence of his own account.  He could and save with it.  However, at no point until he was 16 could he simply, unknowingly spend his money without support from me who holds the account 'in trust' for him.  This means I could remain in control of the money but our son has the opportunity to save, see his savings grow and physically spend it.

The truth is, I'll have no idea how my boys will develop. I don't know how much support they will need after they have effectively 'grown-up'.  All I can do is think of things to help along the way, and perhaps learning about saving and how to spend any money they get this Christmas is one thing I can try and help with.

This is a collaborative post, click here for further details. As always, all my content is independent and my own opinion.


  1. In Australia children aren't able to open their accounts before they are 10 or 12 or even 18.

  2. thanks for the tips and information..i really appreciate it.. Mi Nuevo Credito

  3. Just in case you didn't know the money transfer industry is growing fast and is set to do so for the foreseeable future. Currently it increases by between ten and twelve percent per year cheap money transfer. This is mainly fueled by globalisation, worldwide migration and of course ever improving technology.


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