Last Updated: Thursday, June 09, 2022

Money Talks - Family finances - an interdisciplinary learning approach to financial education


What is this?

Money Talks: Family Finances is a financial education resource which uses one document - a bank statement - as the 'hook' for a range of inter-connected, progressive activities which develop financial capability. It has been designed to be as versatile as possible, offering the option of delivery in a linear or non-linear way; by individual teachers, teams of teachers and business partners as part of an inter-disciplinary programme, as the basis for a money week, or it could even be used as a transition resource involving both primary staff, secondary staff and other partners. The suggested activities will not only support numeracy, literacy and health and wellbeing, but will also contribute towards experiences and outcomes in other curriculum areas. The following activities are suggestions of how the resource may be used. It is expected that practitioners will develop their own activities around the resource to meet the needs of their learners.

A detailed bank statement and personal profile is provided for each family member, including qualifications, skills and characteristics, allow children to analyse how the family spends its money, whether any savings are made and how the members of the family and their finances are interconnected.

The case of the financially excluded Barbara (who is described as ‘unemployed, finds life difficult’) enables the introduction of issues around debt, benefits and financial dependency.

All financial statements are available below in the Zip file: Financial statements.

Who is this for?

​This supports practitioners in a range of contexts who are looking to develop a programme for financial education. This could be upper primary, secondary or as a tool for professional learning.


PDF file: Money Talks: Family finance (full resource) (225 KB)

Zip file: Financial Statements (43 KB)

Zip file: Wild Cards (516 KB)

PDF file: Hints and tips (355 KB )

Zip file: Additional materials (2 MB)


This resource supports the development of ‘economic wellbeing’ which underpins every aspect of health and wellbeing. Being able to manage your money is a necessary life skill. It impacts on daily life and, besides contributing to social, emotional and mental health, it is linked to employability and the ability to achieve the goals that we set ourselves.

Financial education experiences prepare children and young people with skills for life and work. Integrating financial experiences into the young person's broad general education develops the attitudes and behaviour necessary to make them financially capable and provides a relevance and depth to the curriculum. These learning experiences will help children and young people to develop confidence and competence in using money, allowing them to make informed choices, function responsibly in everyday life and contribute effectively to society. The financial experiences give increased opportunities within the world of work and lay down foundations which can be built upon through lifelong learning.

Financial education develops the four capacities of Curriculum for Excellence, particularly the areas of responsible citizens and effective contributors to society.

How to use this learning and assessment resource to improve practice

The resource addresses the numeracy across learning experiences and outcomes from the money organiser and the skills development in Building the Curriculum 4. It provides support for all those involved in the financial education of children and young people working at second, third and fourth levels of Curriculum for Excellence.

Interdisciplinary learning

Money Talks: Family Finances addresses many experiences and outcomes across Curriculum for Excellence, not only within numeracy, but also health and wellbeing, social studies and literacy. It provides a relevant context to develop the necessary attitudes and behaviour for financial capability in an enjoyable and challenging way. This versatile resource can be adapted and used across various disciplines.

IT and research skills are developed when using the Excel account statements. The spreadsheets are interactive and can be adapted by young people/practitioners to reflect the changing financial situations of each member of the Christie family. Teachers can use these spreadsheets as a 'jumping off point' to construct their own approach and statements which are relevant to a particular group of young people. The spreadsheets also provide the technology to help young learners budget effectively, manage their own money and plan for future expenses. The resource offers the opportunity to explore and use data handling software which allows the young person to search, sort, calculate, interpret, retrieve and display information. This IT connection across learning can facilitate the transfer of skills between the classroom and the world of work. (Building the Curriculum 4).

Skills for learning, life and work

Money Talks: Family Finances helps children and young people develop the skills and attributes they need to be successful as lifelong learners in their adult, social and working lives. Although the focus of the skills development in this resource is mainly within numeracy, health and wellbeing, literacy and social studies experiences and outcomes, the resource also provides an opportunity to develop learners' understanding of how interpersonal skills can be used in their lives inside and outside the classroom.

The learning activities within this resource provide experiences that support higher levels of social and economic advantage, placing learning within a practical and relevant context and involving the development of specific technical and professional skills for certain types of jobs.

Building the Curriculum 4 pages 10 (numeracy across learning), 11 (higher order thinking) and 18 (enterprise and employability) are particularly pertinent to the teaching of financial education.

See the Job Seekers Skills PowerPoint presentation for character traits and skills for all family members. See Zip file: Additional materials.


The Money Talks: Family Finances characters can be replaced by a photo/drawing of the individual learner. Learners will research their ideal job and note what they have to achieve/attain to qualify for an interview and get the job. Work ethic, aspirations and achievement can be addressed with this activity.