This is the beginning of a new series of writings for children about money. My intention is to turn them into animations. The simplicity makes it a valuable reminder for us as adults of what money really is.
Let’s have a look at some money. Here’s a note. And here’s a coin. And here are some numbers. They all represent something called money.
But what is money really?
Is it something you can eat?
Is it a toy?
Is it something you can wear?
Is it a machine?
No, of course not.
Does it do anything? Not really.
So what is it?
Why do people care about it so much?
Why is it so important in the world?
Why do people collect it whenever they can?
Let’s have a look at what happens in a shop.
You choose something you want. It has a number written on it which is the price. You give some notes, coins or your bank card to the shop, to match the price. You leave the shop with the items you chose.
What just happened there?
How come those little bits of metal, paper or plastic can be swapped for food or clothes or something else you want?
Let’s take a look at the shop owner now. She counted all the money that came in during the day and then she can use it, just like you did, to buy the things she wants from other people.
And then those other people can go and buy what they want with the money they received.
That little bit of money you spent in the shop is now travelling from one person to the next, and each one of them gets the things they want in return.
How far do you think that money could go? How many people might spend it? How many things will it buy for people?
But how did you get that money in the first place?
Did you sell something to someone else, so they gave it to you in return?
Did you do something valuable for someone else so they paid you?
Did someone give it to you?
And where did they get it from? Someone must have passed it to them.
Can you see how this little thing called money, that looks so ordinary – just pieces of metal and paper and plastic – is helping people all over the world to sell and buy, to pay and be paid, to get what they want and pass things on to other people.
Can you see how money is travelling all the time from one person to the next?
Can you see what happens when money sits on the shelf or in a jar?
So what is money really?
Money is energy. Energy is a power you can’t see that moves things. Money is a beautiful energy because it helps people get what they want.
The coins, notes and cards represent the energy of money because you can’t see it. They make it real for us so it is easy to pass some of the energy called money on to someone else.
You also have energy. As long as you’re alive there is an invisible power that makes you grow and move and do things.
If you use your energy to make something that someone else wants, they will give you some energy in return. That is money.
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