Compulsory Consumer Finance Education Discussion

edited 24 November 2009 at 11:14PM in Student MoneySaving
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  • I think teaching kids how to budget would be very useful. Often they don't take everything into consideration. My daughters friend came on holiday with us and was upset as her friend had been given £300 by her parents to spend and wanted to know why she couldn't have the same. When we totted up the cost of getting into places, over the 2 weeks it meant she had £20 per day, which is the end she agreed wasn't that much after all.
    Also I work in the financial services and when first time buyers ask about mortgages - when given the amount they have to pay each month they are chuffed they can afford it. When you add up all the costs associated with home ownership they are shocked that they will have to tighten their belts. Trouble is not many do and still think that they can go on spending the same way as previously and hence the debt that then follows.
  • museumworkermuseumworker Forumite
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    I think it is a very important lesson to teach kids. I'm not a teacher, but can share my examples as a parent to a now 7 year old.

    I think you can start teaching kids things from a very early age. At the age of 2-3, when DD liked to watch channel 5 in the morning for noddy, I taught her the difference between an advert and a tv programme. My short version was 'an advert is trying to sell you things', and she did grasp this even at a young age.

    I've started giving her pocket money, a small amount, and if she wants to buy a sweets or something she doesn't really need she has to use this. Also, she keeps losing her school jumpers so I've said she has to use some of her pocket money towards a replacement so she appreciates that these things cost money and it is important to take care of your things.

    I think it is also important that kids know how much things cost, like the example of the trainers. DD asked for a ds a few months ago, I asked her how much she thought it cost - she thought probably £10. When she found out it was nearer £100 she was distraught :eek: and said 'no wonder you won't buy me one'. She is currently saving birthday and xmas money towards one.

    We've also talked about the tactics shops use, she loves Monsoon clothes, but now thinks they are greedy as they make clothes so pretty and expensive that you just have to buy them:rolleyes:.

    She is also used to shopping at jumble sales and charity shops, I explain the difference in price between a new skirt at £40 and one for £3. We went to a jumble together recently and she chose a whole pile of clothes she loves for £3 (including some Monsoon tops!). :D
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  • When I was at school (just over 7 years ago now) I left not knowing a lot of stuff, like how to write a cheque, how to pay in money, anything about credit, the difference between debit and credit, how credit cards work and why they can be dangerous etc. PSHCE (Personal Social Health Citizenship Education) as it was when I left high school in 2002 focussed so much on sexual health and not much else. We had one lesson when I was about 13 where the bank staff from the local Nat West came in and signed everyone up to a bank account! That was it! The other ideas about budgetting and PAYE and NI would be great to learn too - I still ask Mum questions about money matters!
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  • Hi Martin,

    Yes, it's an excellent idea to teach children how to handle finances in school. I was not taught at school but my parents taught me from an early age and it has served me well in both my private life and in business.
    I started with 3d pocket money a week and was presented with a small cash book so that I could keep a record of both income and spending. An added incentive to save was provided by a "bonus" 3d for each half crown saved by the end of each page!
    When I started a paper round I was expected to save so that I could choose what clothes I wanted rather than being "presented" with Mum and Dad's choice.
    The real lesson in all this is forward planning;). This is a skill that banks do not have and the main reason why they get into financial poo periodically.
    Think about next year - and then five years, ten etc. Where do you want to be? wealthy or still paying off debts? If we taught children to plan ahead and think of the consequences of what they are doing now rather than "I wannit now" then all would benefit - and that applies to all things, not just money.
    Thanks for a great site - very useful.:D
  • I spent time in the supermarket showing my daughter the way the supermarkets 'add value' in order to charge more for essentially the same product. We looked at carrots, with the cheapest being those you buy loose, then bagged carrots, then Chanteray carrots, then baby carrots, then washed and prepared carrots. I showed her how to compare the price per kilo rather than looking at the headline price. It's amazing how much these differences add up across a shopping bill.
  • Great idea. You should get it into a glossy film, with you as the star, of course, which can be shown in all schools (several times).

    However, I am not sure the government will like the idea......it is very sane, sensible, and helpful to all these adults-to-be, but.........well, if they all get savvy on spending it could delay the recovery period by a few years, or even scuttle it completely. They are planning on we all spending like there's no tomorrow as a part of their recovery plan.

    And not to forget the vested interest: if they loose the next election, they become fair game for prosecution of allowances/expenses fraud. There is no way they will want anything jeopardising their chances of re-election, especially something like this.
  • I would like to see something on consumerism and its effect on the enviroment added please - for example I am incensed when I see ads for recycling mobile phones touted as good for the environment when the best thing for the environment is not to update your phone! And don't get me started on ready diluted cleaning products which are selling mostly water and unnecessary sprays :mad: to people who are so idle they can't be bothered to dilute cleaning products.
  • I, like others, had no idea about income tax or national insurance or any outgoings related to living outside the comforts of my parents home, i.e. insurance or utility bills.
    I had to learn the hard way, it would be nice if future generations were better informed.
  • Martin
    At West Yorkshire Trading Standards we are running a financial literacy programme, Money Skills, spanning the whole of the North of England, with the support of Barclays. The fun:rolleyes:, innovative and interactive resources cover issues such as budgeting and banking, affordable credit, safe saving and borrowing, illegal money lending and issues such as identify fraud and phishing scams. We are currently working with the 16-25 age group, engaging young people from all backgrounds including schools, colleges, young parents and young carers, young tenants, prisons and YOIs. Using characters with stereotypical lifestyles - Arnie the Army Guy, Tania the Single Mum, Maya the university graduate, Steve the Apprentice, Finley the student and Taran the business woman, we teach participants not only about money management but life skills such as teamworking, communication and leadership. Have a look at our website (I cant post the link as a new user - google West Yorkshire Trading Standards - and come and see it in action! Works brilliantly with primary and secondary schools and all social groups involving young people. In 8 months we have reached over 5000 young people, trained over 700 community volunteers and 280 Barclays staff to deliver and have worked with over 250 organisations supporting financial inclusion for young people. The initiative was launched at the House of Commons in March by Ed Balls, so he is familiar with it. We would like to see it built into the curriculum and schools trained to deliver. You can help this!:j:j:j:j:money:
  • When my son was about three he asked me to buy him something and I said I had no money at that point and coudn't afford it. His reply "just go to the hole in the wall and get some". I tried to explain that to get the money from the hole in the wall I or his Dad had to earn it first but he had difficulty understanding this concept - what should I have said?
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