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Compulsory Consumer Finance Education Discussion

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


  • The value of their £ and how as consumers we can make a stand for things we believe in, eg fairtrade, not to buy fake goods, look at a companys business practices.
    Look at marketing campagins to see through the glamour and sparkle, to see the product.
    Teach them how to work out which product is best value, not always to believe the 'special offer' label.
    hope this helps thanks ;)
  • It's great that this is to be introduced at schools, but yes, another burden on teachers who aren't necessarily trained to teach financial information. It would be great if this scheme could involve the local banks and they could send someone along to deliver a pre-approved lesson (so NOT a sales pitch!). After all the public money that's been thrown at the banks, it would be good to see them re-introduce child-friendly and attractive savings accounts - remember the old NatWest piggy banks and the various folders, etc. that the banks used to give to children? Then we could encourage children to save their pocket-money, budget for things such as buying Christmas presents for their siblings, and learning to wait and save for those bigger items (i.e. the £60 trainers). At a young age, children don't need to be bamboozled by monetary policies, save that for those who decide to take up economics, but it's important to stage things correctly and appropriately to the right age, whilst remembering teachers already have very important things to teach our children - numeracy and literacy for starters, otherwise how will they ever work out their budgets or read the small-print on agreements??!
  • The biggest single thing to teach children is not to borrow money unless it's absolutely necessary - i.e. there is no other solution. By this I don't mean if you can't get the money anywhere else, but if you really need the item, as distinct from wanting it - a necessity, rather than a neccessary.
  • Tricia_Mc wrote: »
    I would like children to be taught the concept of value for money in the context of general consumer education
    1. The sort of sums proposed by Tracy above (how long you have to work to earn a pair of trainers), but in great detail, to analyse how much work / what proportion of your weekly income would be required to buy a range of goods and services
    2. Different methods of purchasing and the associated costs and charges or discounts eg internet vs shop, booking fees, card surcharges, direct debit, monthly payments
    3. Comparisons between different levels of goods and services eg bus and taxi, takeaways, ready meals and meals from scratch, comparisons between style, quality and durability of different types of clothing ranges (designer, quality, cheap) and food (eg free range chicken vs cheap non-EU factory farmed chicken).
    4. I would also talk about wages and conditions for the people who are working to produce the food, clothes, (eg designer and budget clothes may both be make by very low wage workers, but the producers of designer clothes are making a massive profit)

    In short, I would like them equipped to make informed decisions about how they spend their money, taking all factors into account.

    My son (now age 20) and his friends take the view that if you want something (takeaway, taxi home, designer top) and you have the money, you buy it, and if that means that you have no more money for the next week, that's fine. They would pay a £5 charge to cash a £30 cheque so they could spend it straightaway rather than waiting for it to clear through his bank account. This attitude applies even when they are working hard to earn their money at minimum wage levels.
    what you said about your son, its the same with my daughters' BF's it is something bred into this generation. They don't do "pack up" for college/uni or car trips and spend pounds when out on bits they mostly could get at home for free. It all stems, I agree with other posts, from parents lack of teaching about finance and honesty too. I know a number of people who "never discuss money issues with the kids around" would never let them know how much (vaguely) they earnt or didnt earn or whether they claim Working persons Tax Credits. Mine have been taught opportunity cost since young, but all kids are different. The 19yr old uni student checks accounts regularly, uses credit/store cards without paying interest. But it is difficult to make students afraid of debt as they have no choice at uni - even though she works a few hours a week and she cant work much more in the hols as she is struggling to fulfil the weeks of placement required for the professional practice certificate alongside her LLb.
    but the 17yr old daughter, spends alot of what she earns at weekends, and cant be bothered to check her account often and will buy bottled water when on a trip rather than bother to take one with her.. yet she was taught the same values as her sister.
    However, lets face it - on the site we are preaching to the converted!
    The best place for finance info for 18yr olds is facebook! and free sms service from the banks for under 21 year olds.
    Each bank should also be forced to offer a bank account for under 21 year olds that will not let them go overdrawn. The technology is available, they could do it, but wont. They will only let them have a cash account which is useless if you are a teen wanting to buy online etc.
  • I completely agree that kids should be educated at school about finance/money matters. Obviously it depends on the age of the child as to what is taught - I think it is very important that it is made 'fun' and understandable otherwise it will turn them off. Use of role-play would bring it home to them. Certainly in high school it should be about debit/credit cards, tax and NI, insurance, how to 'shop around'. How to spot a 'scam'. Ask the kids themselves - what they want explained. Look at simple budgets, the way a mortgage works, disposable income. Thelist is endless and I think once it gets going in schools, things will become more apparent as the kids start to ask questions.
    I am a qualified lecturer and would LOVE to be involved in the teaching of this subject area. Any ideas of who they will ask to deliver this ??? Any ideas on any specific training needed would be helpful too - could get into training in advance of 2011. Kep up the good work Martin.
  • Primary age children are exposed to massive amounts of advertising via television and the internet, but, they are naturally trusting and don't understand that what is being offered might not be the great deal it first appears. They need to understand about shopping around, does something include delivery, what's VAT, what interest is on their savings accounts, what credit cards do (you do have to pay it back!!!)

    They don't see their parents using cash in the same way anymore so it's difficult for them to relate a credit card/store card to real money.

    By Year 6 they are also old enough to understand about basic budgeting, what sort of bills an average family has to pay and allow for, work out what's left at the end of the month, choices involved with what that money could be used for: savings, holiday, a meal out.

    The actual value of money should be taught within the home: earning pocket money, having their own savings account, taking their own pocket money on a day out and considering whether to spend it in the museum shop that you have to go through to go out the exit.
  • I haven't time to read the entire thread just now so may be repeating what others have said.

    I have 2 children - Y9 and Y3. I guess this is the sort of thing that I would like them to learn.

    Primary Level spans a very broad knowledge level starting from Reception where children can't count, up to Y6 where children are on the verge of being young adults. You need a graduated programme starting from understanding what money is and where it comes from (ie Daddy earns it and it doesn't just come from a hole in the wall) through to elementary budgetting (shopping around for best prices and not spending more than you have) and basic understanding of supermarket aims (ie: to make money/pester power including why there are adverts on TV). I think many Y6 children could probably begin to grasp the concept of debt.

    In secondary schools, children need to understand
    • that money doesn't grow on trees
    • the problems of getting into debt
    • it isn't their divine right to own a Wii, DVD player, latest mega function telephone, go on every school trip, have a car on their 18th birthday etc,
    • the bank of Mum and Dad isn't a bottomless pit and that parents aren't always going to be there to bale them out.

    They need to learn
    • to budget their own money and live within their means
    • about credit and how to make the system work, the pitfalls
    • maybe about the benefit system and how little they would have to live on if they aren't working - including taxation and national insurance
    • more about advertising and understanding how many of the messages are misleading (debt consolidation for example)
    • about insurance - sorting the good from the bad and why they can't leave pension provision until they reach their 30s
    • value for money
    • putting a bit aside for emergencies
    • the cost of being at Uni and why banks give incentives to get their custom
    It might be a good idea to get parents involved too!

    Hope that helps
    7 Angel Bears for LovingHands Autumn Challenge. 10 KYSTGYSES. 3 and 3/4 (ran out of wool) small blanket/large square, 2 premie blankets, 2 Angel Claire Bodywarmers
  • olly300olly300 Forumite
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    hoorah wrote: »
    I think it would be good to incorporate pensions into careers advice.
    The difference between the types of pensions available and to consider this when looking for employment as it is actually a significant part of your earnings over your working life which is blended into the back ground and not really considered by many till they settle down and have a family/future to worry about.
    Also discuss different careers with different pension periods i.e. police can (or certainly could) retire after 30 years service with full pension, which could be around age 50 whereas other schemes require 40 or more years and will not pay out till age 65.
    If I had known about these things at a younger age then the police would have seemed like a good career based on the retirement age, although I probably would not have understood this concept at a younger age!?

    That is far too complicated to teach teenagers.

    Not all children are capable of understanding tracey2412's example at 9. So other methods have to be used to explain why something is expensive.
    I'm not cynical I'm realistic :p

    (If a link I give opens pop ups I won't know I don't use windows)
  • This is a fundamentally important topic and has been on my mind for years. We should all get behind it.

    The key is to keep it simple, fun and interesting unlike one of the posts on this thread!

    What is a debit card?
    What is a credit card?
    Why banks and finance companies are designed to empty your pockets and how they do it.

    I run a business but would give my time free for this one. If anyone's leading the army....I'm signed up!!
  • olly300olly300 Forumite
    14.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Alison59 wrote: »
    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:

    Good debt or bad debt?

    I've been busy teaching one of my nephew's the difference between good debt and bad debt for when he goes off to university.

    So for example him getting a student loan out to pay tuition fees and living costs i.e, accommodation, food is good debt but him going and blowing money on a credit card on say a games console is bad debt.

    If you don't teach young people the difference they won't be clear on their priorities and run up debts on everything indiscriminately.
    I'm not cynical I'm realistic :p

    (If a link I give opens pop ups I won't know I don't use windows)
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