Charity Or Children?

in Money Saving Polls
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Former_MSE_AndreaFormer_MSE_Andrea Former MSE
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From Martin

Poll started 31 May. Over the last year, this site's donated £40k+ to charities selected by users (see About Us for details). I'm considering ending this to instead fund a 'MoneySaving Kids: A childrens money education fund' as scarily most financial education is funded by the banks. What do you think?

A. All the money to MoneySaving kids
B. Split the money half and half
C. Stick with the charity fund, it helps many

As for what the fund will do. Good question. The first step would be to research whats out there, and how best to distribute it to children. The likely first step would be a guide (like the remortgaging guide) available for free, for parents to work through with their kids, followed by a teaching pack for schools. Yet this is supposition, the first thing I would do is fund a feasibility study into the best way to do this.

Vote Here or click reply to discuss.
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  • BoltonMinxBoltonMinx Forumite
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    Children definitely need educating on how to manage their money to avoid saddling themselves with excrutiating debt. I think a 50-50 split would be brilliant and hope this goes some way to reducing the number of young people who are living beyond their means.
    "There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children; one of these is roots, the other wings" - Hodding Carter

    :A ~~~ S
    pread some good Karma ~~~ :A
  • Children are bombarded with advertising and we are all "marketed" to within an inch of our lives. A neutral body that would teach kids to be money savvy could only be a good thing. My 7 yr old son recognises many of the football team sponsors on the high street as a result of the advertising on the shirts and wants branded kit (at a premium price) as a result.....
  • IvanOpinionIvanOpinion Forumite
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    Children need educated about financial matters but that should come naturally from their parents, through the media itself or through the education system (get rid of some of the useless subjects taught these days for nothing more than romantic and/or historical reasons and start teaching modern day subjects). I don't see the need or benefit of a separate fund that can fritter the majority of donations on administration.

    On the other hand money going to deserving charitable causes can save lives and give people in genuine need the necessities in life. Maybe educating the children on what poverty actually means and how they can help would be better.

    At the minute I think there are far too many childrens charities all pushig in different directions. Everytime you look someone seems to find another reason for creating another childrens charity - too many people jumping on a 'cause' bandwagon. I just wish that the charities would get their acts together and start working as coherent synergetic units with a single set of goals, admin costs and overheads co-ordinating in a much more controlled manner - it just seems that so little seems to get to the people that actually need it.


    Ivan
    Board sex symbol
  • Eliza252Eliza252 Forumite
    449 Posts
    Educating children about money could cover quite alot of very important angles -
    Making sure our kid are money savvy would be a main focus -
    Including educating children about the poverty that others less fortunate than themselves have to cope with.
    Encouraging children to become money aware - could not only help to develop an interest in mathematics (how to double your pocket money could be quite popular! :D ) and encourage kids to be a bit more enterprising.
    Also, educating children about the importance of not wasting what they buy - how environmentally friendly is often money saving too and exactly how and who makes their designer clothes before they wear them - how many kids stop to consider that.
    - see now I'm getting all over-excited about the possiblities - I think its a great idea!
    I've made my debts bite-size too depressing to look at all at once so am handling them one at a time - first up Graduate Loan £1720 paid off! only £280 to go!!!
    Money to raise for tuition fees: £3000
    When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!!
  • larochelleuklarochelleuk Forumite
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    At the minute I think there are far too many childrens charities all pushig in different directions. Everytime you look someone seems to find another reason for creating another childrens charity - too many people jumping on a 'cause' bandwagon. I just wish that the charities would get their acts together and start working as coherent synergetic units with a single set of goals, admin costs and overheads co-ordinating in a much more controlled manner - it just seems that so little seems to get to the people that actually need it.

    Ivan

    Martin mentions that the first step would be to fund a feasibility study. This study would undertake the kind of scoping you mention - scoping what services are already provided by other organisations, whether there is a real need for this service, what funding is available etc. It could return the findings that there IS a definite need for such a service, equally it could return the findings that there isn't.

    So, it really seems we are voting on whether or not to fund a feasibility study, and I agree that it would absolutely be a worthwhile cause. Discussions about the merits of the idea per se, and whether or not to transfer the site's funding to such a scheme, could really come later. So the first issue really is to find estimates on how much such a feasibility study would cost. It could amount to the £40,000 that Martin has mentioned, ie one year of the site's revenue, rather than a permanent long-term transfer.

    I would also mention though that the idea of a project that provides an independent education service to children, with an objective of reducing poverty, would be extremely appealing to many charitable funders. If this vote returns the finding that users of the site support the idea, the first step could be to fund someone's time to meet charitable funders to request that they share the cost of the feasibility study 50/50. Off the top of my head the Big Lottery Fund could be a good one, but there would be many more.

    Charities that already receive funding for similar work (raising education about finances among adults - debt services?; children's organisations aimed at reducing poverty in the UK; others?) may be willing to hold a meeting and perhaps divert some of their fundraising resources to this also.

    Essentially this is a great idea, and there is money out there for it - it could be worth looking at how to capitalise on that even before the feasibility study :) (If you're looking for funding for a feasibility study, you aren't expected to know the ins and outs of the subject matter beforehand)
  • IvanOpinionIvanOpinion Forumite
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    All very interesting but you are missing the point I am trying to make. We are talking about a relatively small amount of money £40K (no offense intended) - any feasibility study would probably eat that sort of money up just trying to organise itself not to worry doing any investigation or coming to any conclusions.

    I can see no reason why parents should not be able to educate their own children in money matters (after all it is 90% common sense and 10% knowledge); or something could be added to the existing school curriculum; or children can find out by surfing the web. I just believe attempting to set up something new is going to divert funds into yet another 'pure administration fritter' .... funds that are desperately needed by others (for life saving operations or simply just food). I agree with the sentiment but I believe there are people in this world in much more serious need of money and help other than those (in a privileged country) where the parent and education system should already be capable of resolving.

    Ivan
    Board sex symbol
  • stardomanstardoman Forumite
    233 Posts
    Ivan said:

    "I can see no reason why parents should not be able to educate their own children in money matters (after all it is 90% common sense and 10% knowledge); or something could be added to the existing school curriculum; or children can find out by surfing the web."

    I can see a very big reason why parents are not able to educate their own children - too many adults are hopeless with money. Too many adults have been caught out by the finance industry thinking that the nice IFA was helping them, not realising that he was on comission (thinking endowments and pensions here). Too many adults are massively in debt.

    And who would go into schools to teach schoolchildren how to deal with money? I could imagine the finance industry supporting this to get at the children young.

    Cynical Mandy.
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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    Ivan - don't worry yourself about the feasibility study. I ain't a moneysaving expert for nothing! I will ensure (providing the site stays successful so keep recommending it) there is money to meet the requirements. Most of what i want to do isn't that expensive. It's about getting the right information across in the right format.

    Many of the costs associated with this project are off-set by

    1. The expertise exists and is free
    2. There is already funding there, no need to go fundraising
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
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  • Bogof_BabeBogof_Babe Forumite
    10.8K Posts
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    I'm all for anything that disabuses kids of the idea that if they don't feel like making their own way in the world then they need not bother and someone else will pay for them.

    I don't know how you would be able to target the families most in need of such guidance via this site. Everyone I've ever seen post on here is financially savvy enough to bring up their kids to be fully aware of the basics of budgeting, economising, and managing their finances efficiently.

    If there is any way of reducing the burden on the taxpayer caused by the feckless, then go for it. I think this would stretch the team's imagination beyond £40K though - we would be getting into the Jamie Oliver realms.
    :D I haven't bogged off yet, and I ain't no babe :D

  • IvanOpinionIvanOpinion Forumite
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    MSE_Martin wrote:
    Ivan - don't worry yourself about the feasibility study. I ain't a moneysaving expert for nothing! I will ensure (providing the site stays successful so keep recommending it) there is money to meet the requirements. Most of what i want to do isn't that expensive. It's about getting the right information across in the right format.

    Many of the costs associated with this project are off-set by

    1. The expertise exists and is free
    2. There is already funding there, no need to go fundraising
    My brain is starting to hurt .... are you talking about a secondary web site specifically for Money Saving Kids with associated packs etc. or a new charity type organisation that somehow targets kids. Maybe I had misunderstood but up until your repsonse I had been thinking you had meant the latter of these two which would be very expensive to set up. If however you mean the former, which is what I now think you mean, then that could be a great idea which would not only educate the next generation but might filter through into the current generation (because after all it will be the parents doing some/much of the teaching or, at least, listening to their kids). A quick flick of a few stylesheets and away you go.

    I still think that the education bosses should dump some of the old subjects that are effectively out dated and useless and replace them with modern subjects that are more akin to this day and age (including money management, mortgages, pensions etc.).

    We really need something to get debt in this country (and others) down .. its not just money saving but living within a budget that is important ... far too much of a 'today' society which could mean that we will all lose in the end.

    Ivan
    Board sex symbol
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