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