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Money Month - 1 - 31 August 2024

Sorted Money Month logo.

Money Month is the annual public awareness and engagement campaign coordinated by Te Ara Ahunga Ora in partnership with the financial capability community. This campaign previously ran for a week, but we will be extending it to a month in 2023 to ensure New Zealanders have the chance to learn more about financial capability.

The ideas and resources on this page support schools to consider ways to weave financial capability into their local curriculum and empower students to manage money responsibly. 

About Money Month

Piggy bank.

Money is deeply personal, but with high levels of uncertainty, people are looking for reassurance and help. Whether they don't have much of it, or they've got savings, the commonality between both groups is they may lack the financial knowledge and confidence in how to maximise their money.

This campaign is aligned with the National Strategy for Financial Capability’s purpose - working together to help demystify money.

We encourage all National Strategy partners, workplaces, schools and kura to take part to help New Zealanders better understand money and improve their financial well-being.

Curriculum connections

NZC Curriculum icon.

Financial capability is highlighted in The New Zealand Curriculum as an example of the type of theme that schools could use for effective cross-curricular teaching and learning programmes. Financial capability is a relevant context for strengthening literacy and numeracy skills, developing the key competencies, and exploring values. 

How can you get involved?

Some ideas for classroom programmes or school-wide activities:

Money and seedlings.

Plan a school-wide fundraising initiative
Run a fundraising initiative to raise money for a need in your school or community. Each class can plan and run different fundraising activities, for example, puppet shows, baking sales, games and competitions, craft stalls, a car wash, etc. Encourage students to keep a record of expenses and sales revenue so that they can calculate their profits.

Involve students in budgeting for school events
Involve students in budgeting for school events to help them improve their financial capability. Students could help to plan the school disco, a whānau hui, school excursion or camp, or leavers' dinner. 

Supermarket shopping homework
Encourage students to plan the family supermarket shopping for a week with a set budget that is appropriate for their family context. Students can discuss essential and non-essential items with their families and use supermarket websites and flyers to create their shopping lists. 

Examine New Zealand currency
Investigate the different coins and notes of New Zealand. What images are on the money? Why were these chosen? Encourage students to understand that money can represent the cultural identity, history, and geographical features of a country. Students could come up with their own designs for New Zealand currency based on what they think is important to New Zealanders today. You could read Making Money with your students to learn where our money comes from and how and why the notes and coins have changed over time. Take Note provides information about the images on New Zealand banknotes, using the $5 note as an example. 

Explore values and perspectives
Ask students to consider what their own financial goals are. What values and perspectives have influenced these goals? Write the statement "people's financial decisions are influenced by their identity and values." Encourage students to discuss this statement. Do they agree or disagree and can they give reasons why? Investigate the concept of wealth. Does wealth mean the same thing in different cultures? Support students to understand that in some cultures there is a correlation between monetary wealth and status. In other cultures, the overall wealth of a community is valued more than individual wealth, and status is determined by other factors like wisdom or service. 

Money words 
Take time to explore the words and terms that are used to talk about money. Include money vocabulary in students' spelling lists and word study activities. Create a money vocabulary wall display. Students could explore practices such as koha, inati (Tokelau), and fa'alavelave (Samoa) and understand how, when, and why they are used. 

Word 2007 icon. Financial capability vocabulary list (Word 2007, 52 KB)

Instructional Series

Another great way to get your students involved in Money Month is to incorporate it into your reading and writing programme. The Instructional Series on Tāhūrangi offers a range of texts about money, financial capability, and enterprise.

Kele's car, Junior Journal 49, Level 2, 2014 
This humorous play, set in a Pasifika market, has a message about financial literacy – we need to think carefully about how we spend money. 

The Ski Trip, School Journal Level 3, September 2014
The Ski Trip relates how Anthony raises money for a class ski trip by working on odd jobs without the company of his best friend, who chooses to make the most of the end of summer by going to the beach and playing on his new bike.

Backyard Chooks, School Journal Level 2, August 2013
Jean loves eating eggs for breakfast, but one morning, there are no eggs left. This engaging article describes how Jean asks her family about getting their own chickens to ensure a constant supply of eggs. The family discussions about the costs and benefits of keeping chickens bring out financial literacy concepts that will be familiar to many students.

A Sweet Business, School Journal Level 3, November 2016
This report explains why and how children at Te Aro School in Wellington set up a money-making honey business. The text has a focus on financial literacy, providing insights into the decisions the students made and the steps they took to make their business a success.

Useful resources

Money Month
This official Money Month website features events, advice, and school resources. 

Financial capability in The New Zealand Curriculum
This section on NZC Online supports schools to design teaching and learning programmes that use financial capability as a relevant context for meeting the objectives and requirements of the national curriculum.

Financial capability progressions
The financial capability progressions, aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum levels 1-8, set out suggested curriculum-based learning outcomes across a range of learning areas.

Consumer protection – School resources 
The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have developed a set of teaching resources to support students to become informed and confident consumers. Resources are available for students in Years 4 to 12. 

Sorted in Schools, Te whai hua – kia ora!
This website is New Zealand’s first free national financial capability programme for secondary schools that is fully aligned to the National Curriculum. It’s built by teachers for teachers and provides teaching and learning resources that are fun and interactive. 

GetWise is a free and innovative financial literacy programme, brought to New Zealand schools by ASB.

MoneyTime is an online programme that teaches financial literacy to students in years 7 & 8. It incorporates 30 self-taught lessons and automatically marked quizzes, covering the full spectrum of financial literacy. It is highly interactive, with students having to input data regularly throughout the lessons. They are rewarded with money for each correct answer to spend on avatars and investments within the program. This spending component enables them to learn by having to make their own financial decisions. There is a strong emphasis on budgeting and having to make decisions between spending, saving, donating and investing. This programme is free of charge to all schools by virtue of sponsorship!

A wealth of opportunity: Leveraging the curriculum to build financial capability
This Education Gazette article (August 2016) provides guidance for talking to your students about money. Links to further resources are also included.

School stories

Stories that show different approaches to teaching financial capability.

Developing a financial literacy programme for year 9 and 10
Mary Kerrigan, HOD Business at Aorere College, discusses their financial literacy programme which is being created in consultation with the Commission for Financial Capability to provide students with information about income, spending, budgeting, and wise financial management for the future.

Developing financial capability - A student perspective
Aorere College year 13 students from the Lunches for Less team talk about the programme’s origins, processes, and the learning gained on their year-long enterprise project, which teaches primary school students how to make a healthy lunch for under $2 a day.

Financial capability - Approaches to teaching and learning
Aorere College teacher Meriane Brown facilitates her year 13 students’ learning about financial capability within the context of setting up and running their own business over a year. Her approach involves identifying what motivates students, recognising the impact of students’ values and culture on learning, and providing an authentic learning context. 

Teaching financial capability in an enterprise context
Aorere College teacher Meriane Brown talks about the financial capabilities her year 13 students develop as part of Lunches for Less, the year-long enterprise project they are working on.

Updated on: 16 Jul 2020