Sunday People

Give a schooling kids can bank on

It’s vital for young to learn how to manage money Thousands of young people across the country picked up their GCSE results on Thursday.


I’ve always thought it seems unfair that, after years spent in school, children are judged purely on their exam results – and for some subjects they never actually need in real life.

I would love to see the curriculum updated to take the modern world into account, especially when it comes to money.

We’re all able to buy shares in companies at a click of a button and make peer-to-peer lending investment­s via ISAS without a word of financial advice or education.

So I am really keen to see finance taught as a regular subject in our schools.

Indeed, my grandma Shute would always say: “It’s not how much you earn that counts, it’s what you do with it that’s important.”

Good financial habits are like manners and a balanced diet – you either use them and benefit from them, or you ignore them completely.

According to the OECD/

INFE 2016 Survey of Adult

Financial Literacy, which compared 30 countries around the world, the UK came 15th out of 30 – just above Thailand and Albania but well below France, Norway and Austria.

And in 2019, a financial capability survey of young people and their parents found that, overall, children had a reasonable grounding in knowledge and understand­ing about money.

It found the youngsters recognised some financial products and knew the value of money.

But it also found that only 63% had a bank account of their own and just 37% of children aged between seven and 17 were saving money on a monthly basis. And, worryingly, research shows that children who never save are the least likely to be confident in managing their money.

These days, our financial world is more complex than ever, yet we’re still not teaching our children how to handle it.

It is not unreasonab­le for a young adult venturing into the workplace to save and retire with a pension of over £1million – but if they are never shown how to do this, how do we expect them to achieve it?

This lack of knowledge isn’t just affecting retirement plans, though.

Research from the bank N26 found that about 9.5 million UK adults have suffered from mental health issues as a result of financial anxiety.

Almost a third (32%) say they struggle to sleep at night because of money worries, which is quite a frightenin­g number.

Managing your money is both a logical process of knowing what to do and a behavioura­l habit you need to learn.

That is why I wrote The Money Plan, my Student Survival Guide and why I share my easy-to-follow tips here and at warrenshut­

Control your money: don’t let money control you.

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