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To be good with money, you need to learn the three Ss — save, spend and share

Toni Hetherington, October 15, 2018 11:46AM Kids News

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A young boy is excited about saving money for the future. media_cameraA young boy is excited about saving money for the future.


Reading level: green

When you learn to read, you learn your ABCs. When you learn about money, you need to learn your three Ss.

They stand for Save, Spend and Share.

Jen Melhuish, a Westpac spokesperson, and also a mother of twin girls, explained that knowing the three Ss can help children grow up to understand and manage their money more easily.

“This format helps children become more financially literate, meaning they understand money.

Using the three Ss also means they will probably not be as impulsive* when it comes to buying things,” she said.

Ms Melhuish explains the three Ss as:

1. SPEND: Buying things that we need and want right now. We all do this, but it’s important to balance this with the other two Ss.

2. SAVE: Setting aside money to buy things in the future or bigger items. For example, saving for something you want for your birthday or that video game you’ve had your eye on. Saving also gives you time to think about it and make sure you still want it in three weeks’ time or more.

3. SHARE: Donate money to help people, animals and the environment. Think about what you are really passionate about — say animals — and find an organisation you can donate to or get involved in activities that help animals in need. There are so many ways to help — from the homeless, schoolchildren that can’t pay for lunch at school or animal shelters. But it should be something you are passionate about.

Saving money media_cameraSaving for now and also for later will see your money grow.

Ms Melhuish said while there was no right or wrong way on how you should split your money between the three Ss, she offered the guide of 40 per cent Spend, 50 per cent Save and 10 per cent to Share.

Ms Melhuish said it was important to learn positive money habits early on, because life in Australia today has made it much easier to spend more frequently.

“Research by Westpac shows Australian smartphone users predict we will be cash free by 2022, highlighting the need to help kids understand the value of money as it increasingly becomes invisible and payments are made at the touch of a fingertip. Fundamentally*, good money management will always require goal setting and budgeting. There are also many educational online tools for kids to learn about budgeting and saving in the digital world,” she said.

Ms Melhuish said her own twin girls were a good example of how children could develop different attitudes* to money.

“They are very, very different with their money habits. One says, ‘Mum, things just wow me’, and she wants to buy. The other saves her money so tightly and loves to see it grow over time.

“But I have made sure they understand where money comes from and that doing chores can earn them more money. They know you have to work to earn money.”


impulsive: acting without thinking about it

fundamentally: basically

attitudes: a way of thinking or feeling



1. What do the 3 Ss stand for?

2. What does being financially literate mean?

3. What is the recommended split for sharing, saving and spending?

4. When do smartphone users think Australia will be cash free?

5. Is there a right or wrong way to split your money?


1. The Three Ss

Save, Spend and Share is a method recommended for kids to help them manage their money.

Using the guide suggested in the article on how to split the three Ss, divide Jack’s money below.

Jack’s weekly pocket money for doing chores: $10 x 4 weeks = $40

Jack’s money for putting out the neighbours bins each week: $5 x 4 weeks = $20

Jack’s birthday money: $20

Jack’s money for the month of October: $80

According to the guide in the Kids News article Jack should:

Save $

Spend $

Share $

Do you think this is a good way to learn to manage your money?

2. Extension: Do you agree with the percentage split up of the three Ss in the article? Try some different combinations of percentages divided by spend, share and save using Jack’s money as your example. What percentage splits suits your style of spending, saving and sharing?

Time: Allow 25 minutes

Curriculum links: Mathematics


After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many pieces of punctuation as you can find in green. Discuss how these are being used, where and how often. What level of the punctuation pyramid is the journalist using in this article?

HAVE YOUR SAY: When you start working, will you donate at least 10 per cent of your wage to people or animals in need? Why or why not?

No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking.

Extra Reading in money