I don’t think that schools do enough to educate our children about money or if they do, they don’t start it young enough in my eyes because neither of my children have been taught much about money at school so far and they’re eleven and eight.
We’ve had the numeracy based questions for homework that ask thing like ‘If I bought 3 apples for 10p each how much change would I have from 50p’ but they haven’t learned anything about money in the real world which I would have hoped (but not expected) would have been covered at some point – at least for Miss Frugal’s year six class.
Children need to know how much things cost, how to value money and more importantly, how to manage their own money and the earlier they learn these things, the easier it is to understand them. Without an understanding of these fundamental things, how are they going to be able to make sensible financial decisions when the time comes?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting them to tell me how the Bank of England base rate is calculated or anything like that but I do think that they should be starting the basics of a financial education at this age and seeing as they’re not doing anything at school, I’m going to be doing it at home with them.
To start with, I thought I’d get a bit of an idea about what they already know about finance by asking them a few questions and I must say, I’m a bit surprised with some of their answers:
How much money do Mam and Dad earn each month?
Miss Frugal – £3000 (I wish!).
Master Frugal – £100 between you.
What’s a mortgage and how much is ours a month?
Miss Frugal – Where you pay for a house but no idea what ours costs.
Master Frugal – Is it something you pay for to do with the house?
What’s a credit card?
Miss Frugal -The card you pay for things with – I don’t know if it’s real money though.
Master Frugal – A thing that has money on it.
What do banks do?
Miss Frugal – They store money.
Master Frugal – You pay them money to get a loan out.
Name five things that we pay for each month out of our wages?
Miss Frugal -Days out, water, electricity, house, car insurance.
Master Frugal – Electric, heating, water, TV and the car.
Do you know what insurance is?
Miss Frugal – Where you pay for things in case something happens.
Master Frugal – *blank look*
Give me one moneysaving tip?
Miss Frugal – Don’t waste money.
Master Frugal -Don’t buy much stuff.
What would you do if I gave you £100?
Miss Frugal – Spend it on a nice day out for us all.
Master Frugal – I’d go to Toys R Us.
Starting next Friday, I’ll be posting ideas every week on how to teach your children the value of money and I hope you’ll follow along with me.