Milk costs £4, while teachers earn £1.1m: the world according to children

A child saves into a piggybank

A pint of milk costs £4.38 on average, while teachers earn £1.1million a year, according to a study of 1,000 seven- to 11-year-olds.

Kids also expect to earn an average of £178,000 a year, which is more than six times the current national average salary of £27,600, according to the latest Office for National Statistics data.

But while these views of the world can be seen as endearing, online investment firm Orbis Access, which commissioned the research, warns that the findings are further evidence of the need to educate young children about finance.


However, while the findings show that children do not have a clear understanding of the value of money, they do indicate that children have an acute awareness of the importance of it.

Nearly half (47%) think that money can buy happiness, while a quarter (25%) worry about it. Furthermore, over two thirds of children asked (68%) think that their parents worry about money and almost a third (32%) are aware that their parents argue about it.

The vast majority (95%) also understand the importance of saving money, and if given £1,000, over a fifth (22%) say they would rather save the cash than spend it straight away.

‘Empower your children’

Dr Elizabeth Kilbey, a consultant clinical psychologist who analysed the findings, says: “While many parents may want to protect their children from being exposed to money at too young an age, this research tells us that despite our best efforts to shield them from financial troubles, they are actually acutely aware of them.

“So what’s the answer for a generation of children who are starting to worry about money? Teach them about it. Empower them.”

Dr Kilbey outlines some of the activities parents could do to encourage and educate their children:

  • Get physical – teach children about what actual money is, from coins to banknotes.
  • Be practical – explain how to use money and its value in the real world. The practicalities of how to buy things and how the cost of items compare.
  • Explain what you can do with money -– earn it, save it, spend it. Children need to learn all three of these skills because they are going to need them all in adulthood.
  • Don’t be afraid – money can sometimes be a ‘scary’ subject to talk to your children about, but if you avoid it they will have the same psychological relationship with it. 
  • Be open – allow your child to see you dealing with money, making sure that they pick up good habits from a young age. 



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