Children to get lessons in personal finance

Children across the UK will be learning about personal finance this week (11 to 17 June), as part of the My Money Week.

Children across the UK will be learning about personal finance this week (11 to 17 June), as part of the My Money Week, organised by Young Money (formerly the Personal Finance Education Group).

Now in it’s 10th year, My Money Week provides free resources to schools to help them teach children about personal finance. This year, primary school pupils will be learning about raising and saving money as well as charitable giving on behalf of their school councils, while secondary school students will be looking at mobile phones, insurance and risk.

My Money Week offers digital resources in addition to more comprehensive materials including lesson plans and further activities.

The initiative comes just after Moneywise revealed the winners of its Personal Finance Teacher of the Year Competition, which recognises and rewards the teachers and schools that are going the extra mile to teach their students about money.

While more children will be learning about money this week, provision across the UK is often patchy, with personal finance education still remaining on the periphery of the national curriculum.

However, even if your child is not getting lessons in personal finance there is still much parents can do at home.

Rose St Louis, savings expert at Zurich UK, shares the following tips:

  1. Start saving young: It’s never too soon to get kids saving – just because they have money, it doesn’t mean they have to spend it. Why not open an Isa for your children and allow the magic of compound interest to put their pocket money to work.
  2. Practise budgeting: Building a budget encourages your child to take a close look at their spending habits. This could be introduced lightheartedly from an early age. When you go food shopping for example, why not give them a set amount of money to see what they can buy on a budget. This will allow them to develop a better understanding of value and is good practice for when they leave home, get a job or go to university.
  3. Teach them to be credit wise: Although credit card borrowing fell earlier this year, borrowing is still high, particularly as there are so many options on the market. As such, teach your children early on about borrowing money. One way of doing this is by lending your children an amount of money and agreeing the interest rate that they need to pay back each month. You can then save the money developing them a little nest egg and give it to them once they have paid it all back.
  4. Decode financial jargon: With so many different offers on the market, it can be difficult to cut through the financial ‘jargon’ and make sense of what’s best for managing your money. Not understanding the meaning of terms such as APR on a credit card or interest repayments on an overdraft can really impact their financial futures. There are lots of resources to help from an early age, including online guides from charity Personal Finance Education Group, which runs My Money Week.
  5. Make them work for it: Letting children earn a little bit of extra pocket money by doing chores around the house has always been a good way of teaching them the value of hard work. It also has the added benefit of giving them the responsibility of earning money and saving from a young age. If children work for their money doing chores, even if it is just a few pounds here and there, they can develop a better appreciation that money is earned, not just given to them.

This article was originally written by our sister publication Moneywise.

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