Calls for boost in financial education in schools

The ability to manage money and budget is a hugely important skill to have a grip on when we’re adults but are children being let down? A new piece of research suggests that more needs to be done to help children and teenagers understand financial details that could help them later in life with many not receiving any financial education at all.

According to a report from The London Institute of Banking & Finance, 58% of pupils do not receive any form of financial education in school or college. As a result, the majority rely on their family to support their financial understanding and help them make decisions. While half of teenagers across the UK believe they have enough knowledge to manage their own money effectively, the fact that 61% say they have money worries and over half believe they will be earning above the national average salary at the age of 30 suggests that more support could be beneficial.

The report notes that technology has had a positive impact on the ability for people to keep a closer eye on their finances and while more students are learning about money in maths and citizenship, there is still a significant gap. With finances playing such an important role in life, from day to day budgeting to securing a mortgage to get on the property ladder, equipping children with the financial skills they need could give them additional support in the future.

While money skills are increasingly being taught in schools, the reliance of teenagers on their families for advice shows how important money lessons at home are too. Try these tips to help set your children on the right path:

  • Teach patience – Helping kids understand that they might have to wait to buy something they want is a great way to set children up for later in life and hopefully deter reliance on credit cards.
  • The difference between want and need – When they’re younger it’s easy for children to confuse what they want and need. Explaining to them and getting them to think about whether they want or need each item can help them make more sensible choices in the future.
  • Instil the need to save – Encouraging children to put some money aside to save for a more expensive item or a rainy day is a great way to start a lifelong habit that will serve them well as they get older.
  • Show them how to budget – As children get older you can begin teaching them how to budget and make sure they can cover everything they need to with their money.
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