The culture of money – different traditions around the world

Money makes the world go around, or so the saying goes. Almost as old as time itself, money is the lifeblood of modern society and, with as many as 180 different currencies being exchanged at any one time around the globe, learning how to manage it is a skill all of our children will have to master at some point in their lives.

But how much do we know about attitudes, traditions, and superstitions towards money outside of the UK? Money is a key part of culture, and a country’s cultural attitudes are very often reflected in how they think about their cash.

Whilst we may all be familiar with the Tooth Fairy; we’ve heard a number of wonderful stories from other countries around the world and wanted to share a handful of examples for those naturally curious and inquisitive parents and children.

Lucky Money and Red Envelopes – China   

At Lunar New Year, it’s tradition in China to gift children a vibrant red envelope filled with coins. However, this tradition is about a lot more than just money as each coin symbolizes good wishes and luck for the New Year ahead. In many cases – it’s actually the beautifully decorated envelope that steals the show, rather than the nominal quantity of cash stashed inside. In today’s digital world, some families have started exchanging digital red envelopes instead of the traditional paper ones, bringing this endearing tradition in line with our tech-focused reality.

Golden dreams – Turkey

Traditional Turkish folklore teaches that holding gold in your hand whilst you sleep helps you to be financially successful in real life. While most of us aren’t likely to keep a stash of gold under our beds or on our bedside table, it’s nice for young kids to imagine that even whilst sleeping they can dream up a financially prosperous future for themselves!

Keeping your pockets lined – Greece

Many people in Greece share the superstition that emptying your purse, wallet or bank account will bring you financial misfortune later in life. So when it comes to giving your child their very first piggy bank in Greece – be it real or virtual – parents are always sure to fill it with a few pennies before handing it over to make sure that their child’s financial life gets off to the best start possible.

Do you have any money traditions that are unique to either your family or culture? Please do get in touch if so – we’d love to hear from you!

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