FI­NANCE Banks in schools not on

Sunday Territorian - - FINANCE - SCOTT PAPE

THE other day my son came home and an­nounced he’d re­ceived a ‘present’ … from a stranger at the local park.

“A pig gave me a fridge mag­net!” he squealed (as only a five-year-old can).

His younger brother picked up on the ex­cite­ment and lunged for the prize. And then it was on for young and … slightly younger. All over a freak­ing fridge mag­net. (Then again, that’s all part of the bro code.) As I sep­a­rated the two hay-balers, I saw that this was no or­di­nary fridge mag­net.

The pig was ac­tu­ally … a local bank em­ployee dressed up in a cos­tume. Which bank? No, not that one. This swine came from Bendigo Bank, and he was ap­par­ently the star at­trac­tion at the local com­mu­nity event … get­ting self­ies with the kids. Now I’m sure there were some par­ents who were tak­ing pho­tos with the pig and hav­ing a lovely family time. But, as my kids would soon un­der­stand, I’m not like other par­ents I get a lit­tle in­tense when it comes to school bank­ing.

For me it was like my son com­ing home with a packet of Marl­boros: “The cool cow­boy gave it to me, Daddy … and a lighter!” And wouldn’t you know it, the Bendigo Bank boar turned up at my son’s school with bank-branded bags, colour­ing books and pen­cils. At this point I’m breath­ing into a pa­per bag: if I see that cor­po­rate clown around town, I’ll put a skewer up his clacker and an ap­ple in his mouth! Okay, so I’m jok­ing … but the fridge mag­net went in the bin, thus re­unit­ing the boys against a new en­emy their old man: “So un­fair, Dad!”

Here’s the deal: for the past 15 years, I’ve just been car­ry­ing on like a pork chop about this is­sue. And, thank­fully, other peo­ple are start­ing to get their snouts out of shape about it.

Ear­lier this year the Aus­tralian Ed­u­ca­tion Union (AEU) wrote a let­ter to the fed­eral Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter, Dan Te­han, de­mand­ing that banks be banned from class­rooms. As The Bare­foot In­vestor for Fam­i­lies: The Only Kids’ Money Guide You’ll Ever Need (HarperColl­ins) RRP $29.99

On sale now from Dy­mocks and all good book shops.

The Bare­foot In­vestor holds an Aus­tralian Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Li­cence (302081). This is gen­eral advice only. It should not re­place in­di­vid­ual, in­de­pen­dent, per­sonal fi­nan­cial advice. AEU pres­i­dent Cor­rena Haythorpe put it: “There’s no place for pri­vate cor­po­ra­tions to go into schools and try and trap chil­dren into bank­ing with them for the long-term fu­ture.” You know what? We need a fi­nan­cial revolution in this coun­try, and it needs to start with our kids. Oink! Oink! Tread Your Own Path! Q&A REV. STEPHEN BLOOR ASKS: Hi Scott, I’m just fol­low­ing up on your ques­tion last week, ‘Does Je­sus De­spise the Bare­foot In­vestor?’

As an Angli­can priest I love your books — they are against debt, they are about liv­ing within your means, and they are about be­ing gen­er­ous.

Yes, per­haps I would add a few Bi­ble quotes to back up your prin­ci­ples, but it has been a book I’m happy to rec­om­mend. And, yes, there is a dan­ger in mak­ing an idol out of money, but in this age our cul­ture makes a big­ger idol out of keep­ing up Instagram pho­tos of so- called success.

Bless­ings, Bloor Rev. Stephen BARE­FOOT REPLIES: Thank you, Rev­erend I’ve ac­tu­ally had a lot of Chris­tians write to me echo­ing your sen­ti­ments this week.

(Okay, and the odd re­li­gious nut who said I was go­ing to hell. Se­ri­ously they did, claim­ing I run a cult!)

Thanks for rec­om­mend­ing my book, I love hear­ing from peo­ple who’ve used it to get them­selves out of debt and back on their feet.

Picture: iS­tock

Piggy banks might be a good idea but not when they are handed out by pri­vate cor­po­ra­tions in the school­yard

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