Compulsory Consumer Finance Education Discussion

edited 24 November 2009 at 11:14PM in Student MoneySaving
193 replies 14K views


  • Budgeting.
    The difference between need and want.
    The desperate actions some people take when they get themselves into debt and the consequences of these actions, including the effect this has on family and friends.
    tips about how to save money and make it go further.
    And of course most important to sign up for for Martin's money tips email.
    London Road:cheesy:
  • poggle99poggle99 Forumite
    28 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Definitely how to budget and how to save. Love the trainers example - that's a really good thought.

    I know a lot of primary schools already include some elements of understanding marketing and advertising in their curriculum (a little sad, but there it is, that's society), so one thing that could fit in REALLY well is some simple looking at advertisements for financial products and for "offers", and talking about what they "really" mean.

    So for example, my kids are frequently very excited by the bright flashy "3 months' interest free credit!!" offers they see around the place (cough, Argos catalogue). It would be great to talk about fine print - looking at what buying into one of those offers would end up costing over time.

    Also, looking at BOGOFs, multibuys etc. etc. and comparing with similar products. When my mum taught remedial maths to returning adults, she noted that a common problem was not understanding the concept of unit cost when shopping for basic groceries - that a deal may look cheap, but it's often possible to get a similar thing cheaper just by buying different sizes etc.
  • aimee2525 wrote: »
    What dots_thots is saying sounds very interesting but I just felt I had to point out that (as a Secondary Teacher) the content would be far, far above the capabilities of virtually all 15 year olds. It would also be a nigthmare to teach, since the vast majority would not see it as interesting or relevant to them.

    I obviously listed a detailed set of points to draw from but one of my main points was, what use is education about money if you don't learn about what money actually is?

    Kids do plenty of stuff swapping, so you draw upon how barter developed into a system where one half of every trade is money.

    I think I could come up with a rough course that taught the basics to school kids.

    Most of the stuff I was taught at school I considered uninteresting and irrelevant. The way maths is taught is bizarre and overcomplicated when teaching the fundamentals about decimal is the key. A lot of my friends spent 12 years at school learning maths and still came out with little or no understanding. And they are intelligent people. English at secondary school hammered the joy of language from me for a good while and the history I was taught was all over the place and contentious at best.
  • Martin, I am so thrilled you are doing this. I have despaired for years about how the younger generations will ever learn to be money-savvy given that they have been brought up by the greediest, most consumer-focused generation ever. I've already passed your PDF lesson to my husband who is a teacher in the biggest boys' comp in Britain and I'm sure he'll use it.

    I think 'consumer savvy' is the key. Kids want to be savvy, to be the one that knows cool stuff, but they don't necessarily care about the wider impact on the world (they should, but that's another course that needs to be written, in moral philosophy!). But if you can get them excited about being able to decode marketing hype, credit card and bank guff, make really good decisions that get them what they want and save them money, they will jump at it.

    It will be tough though - this is the generation that throws loose change on the floor becaue they can't be bothered to carry it round. They literally have no understanding of the value of money.

    And more boring but hugely important - save it to spend it. Can't afford it? Tough. Save up. A lesson that has been hard-learnt by many of us on this site!
  • Maybe this is something that parents should take on. After all, we're all concerned to make sure our children make their way in the world successfully. If parents could continue to be educated simply by means of the tv, which most of us watch, then we could pass the info on to our children. Maybe Martin could devise something for the tots on the lines of the Mr Men perhaps. Or an educational computer game.

    Yeah, of course, but there are parents out there who can't even be bothered to teach their children basic life skills, and it's those kids who are most vulnerable and need to be taught properly. The teachers are the key to this whole thing.
  • Teaching kids 'about money' should not be done in isolation, but as part of social education. The present financial crisis owes a lot to a culture that is driven by greed. Kids need to learn that it might be to theirs and every one else's long term benefit to conduct their affairs ethically.
  • I have a 5 year old and 2 year old. Both play with toy money, playing shops and cafes etc. We speak to the older one about "having to pay" but it's diffiuclt to know hoe deeply kids this age understand the concept even if they are in a real shop. I believe it's important that they learn that people (mum/dad etc) go to"work" (what is "work"? is their next question) where they undertake tasks that "earn" them real money. This money is valuable, ie, important, because it means mum and dad can then afford to pay for food, nappies, the clothes they wear etc. Once money is "spent", is has disappeared until dad or mum get some more through working and so the cycle goes on. Childnre must understand that money really doesnt grow on trees. We live in a very material world, childnre receive things (gifts) free from family and friends and need to Aunderstand that it wasnt free, whatever it is costs money. Thye need to be taught the consequences of spending, ofnot saving for the longer term (if they have a goal, ie, want to buy something, they could be asked to save their pocket money until a future date). It's about RESPECT for money and less regard for material things which fade in importance to children over a short time if we, as adults, are honest. I mean, how many unused toys or games do kids have?! Respect for money is the key.
  • edited 25 November 2009 at 10:45AM
    King_Drax_IKing_Drax_I Forumite
    74 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 25 November 2009 at 10:45AM
    Great points everybody.

    My priorities would be:

    • Budgeting
    • A cynical eye for advertisements
    • An even more cynical eye for all 'attractive' credit deals
    • How to save money online, but remembering that just because it's on the Internet doesn't necessarily mean it's cheap!
    • Shop around and don't give in to pushy sales oiks. In fact, a supplementary course on basic selling techniques would be useful so as to learn the tricks these people employ!
    • Don't feel you need to be loyal to companies; they will not be loyal to you!
    • Think all things through properly and certainly don't believe everything you are told.
    • Get everything in writing and read the small print before signing. Don't worry that you are 'wasting' others' time; that's what they are paid for. It was very refreshing to see my 20-yr-old son signing his tenancy agreement recently, but only after reading it all through and asking questions while the letting agent sat twiddling various body parts :D
    • Credit card management:
    There's nothing necessarily wrong with Credit cards - they can be useful if used correctly - but they are like having a powerful, big dog: great when handled correctly, dangerous if not. So for example you could spend your normal everyday budgeted shopping, petrol or whatever on the Card as long as you either pay it back every month - which is why you use it for budgeted things only - or you get an interest free one and stooz the money. But the most important thing is to pay it all back, and only spend what you have planned to spend; what you would have spent anyway! Plus it's better if you have a month's wages in hand and budget retrospectively in this case, although I appreciate not everyone will be able to do this.
  • Totally agree.
    We've always made our children live within their and our means. Unfortunately, now my youngest is at uni she has a mountain of debt!! :confused:
  • ben80 wrote: »
    I'm a Primary School teacher and we can barely get anything done as it is - SNIP -

    there isn't limitless time in a Primary classroom an that eventually something will have to give!

    I agree, but as so many parents don't feel it is there job to teach these things, it is difficult for the kids in the long run. Fair enough teaching sex-education, but some parents think it is the teachers job to get their kids to use a knife and fork etc etc !!!!
    DaftMule wrote: »
    Education starts at fact, I go so far as to say that THE most important education should be happening at home. There is a very real danger here of instilling a mentality in generations of future parents that they don't really have to bother teaching their kids social responsibility. - SNIP -

    Just my view. For me, the root cause of this country's ills is not a lack of education in school but a lack of education in the home. The government seems hell-bent on excusing parents their responsibility. If you are teaching kids these things for the first time in school...the horse has well and truly bolted.

    Here here - a ditto to the post above (ben80)
    LODYLORDY wrote: »
    My 8 year old has just started getting pocket money - performance related! He gets 10 spellings a week to learn. He gets £3 if all spellings are correct, 25p knocked off for each one he gets wrong. 1st lesson - you have to work for your money!

    The only problem with this, is if your child doesn't have that ability, they will suffer (finantially of course), but if they tried really hard, well that is different.

    I have a degree, yet I earn less than my BIL who is a carpenter, (excuse the snobbery) but I am academically more inteligent, but he is more skilled than me. I am not bitter, but my point is, he gets paid more than me, yet I "got more spellings right than him" at school.

    Your post Lodylordy reminds me of another relative who promised their daughter if she got straight As in her GCSEs they would buy her a car. Problem with this is she now has a skewed value of money. I know of many postgraduate students with qualifications coming out of their ears yet they earn nothing as they can't get a job !! (brains aren't everything) I have done some very low skilled jobs when I was a student to earn money, but I feel I value money more as I know every pound you earn is sacred.
    There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those who understand binary, and those who don't.
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