by Mark Johnston
Children to get Financial Education.
One of the keys to a prosperous adulthood and the most important and practical skills throughout life is the ability to manage money.
A recent survey has suggested that British children are more financially aware than their parents were at their age.
The survey also found that the average weekly pocket money is now around £6.32 compared with £3.77 a week their parents received and the £2.38 a week their grandparents received.
Recent research has shown that around 43 per cent of young people aged between 7 and 16 are already worried about personal finance.
While children are often aware of the importance of saving the majority lack any detailed knowledge of the implications of credit cards, annual percentage rates (APR), overdrafts and mortgages.
Therefore given the current ‘have it now’ consumerist culture, high personal debt and the lack of savings and pension provision it appears that something somewhere is going wrong. So it seems then that personal finance education has never been more important.
Young people in the current climate are now entering an increasingly complex financial world of store cards, mobile phone tariffs, credit agreements and financial decisions.
Financial providers are very savvy about their marketing and they already try to target teens and students, however many teens do not know enough about borrowing to use a credit card but issuers know a lot about them and they want their business.
Debt charities suggest that the lack of financial capability can devastate peoples lives.
Martin Lewis, founder of moneysavingexpert.com, says “it is a national disgrace that for over 20 years we have educated our youth in to debt when then go to university, but never about debt”.
A current report from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has suggested that financial education should be taught in schools.
Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of the personal finance education group, said “financial education is crucial in providing long term financial security for families and increased economic well being”.
A spokesperson for the department of education, added “it is vital that we help young people understand the world of work and how to manage their money”.
The government has recently announced that from September 2014 financial education will form part of the compulsory national curriculum in schools in England.
Meaning that children who are aged between 11 and 14 are to be taught about the functions and uses of money.
It has been proposed that secondary school teaching will be split between maths lessons were students will be taught about basic money skills such as how interest rates work and personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education which will teach students about budgeting amongst other things.
The government has said it wants students to be “equipped with the financial skills to enable them to manage their money on a day to day basis as well as to plan for future financial needs”.
Experts believe that it is vital that we equip our children with the skills they need to be informed consumers. So if they can leave school financially skilled it will help them make informed financial decisions.
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