Money management – attitudes start at home

In the wake of the economic situation, Credit agency Equifax believes that it is more important than ever that future generations are taught financial skills. This belief is reinforced by the findings of recent research* conducted by Equifax amongst parents, where 35% said they don’t think their children have a good understanding of the value of money and 94% believe financial education should be part of the national curriculum.

“Young people now live in a world where debt is a fact of life and research has found that student debt has topped £5,000 for each year of study” says Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director for Equifax. “This makes it absolutely imperative that, as early as possible, young people understand how best to manage their finances. It is therefore very encouraging to see the work of My Money Week, which aims to help schools teach children more about managing money in a way that is practical and relevant to them.”

More than a third of parents who responded to the recent Equifax research on finances amongst young people, believe that their children have a good understanding of the value of money. But almost the same number think this is not the case. When it comes to children’s understanding of money management, 73% of parents said they felt their own parents’ attitude to money and finances had influenced how they now manage their finances.

“Clearly the right attitude about money management starts at home” continued Neil Munroe. “But we believe the school curriculum can play a very important role in preparing young people for the challenges of the 21st century. And that includes being in control of their finances and managing debts more effectively than the generation before them.”

Financial Education – a paradigm shift?

In a recent radio interview I was asked whether Financial Education was present in many classrooms.

In my view the school curriculum in many cases is based on preparing children and young people for a working life which no longer exists.

In the old industrial economy, many did have jobs for life and a good education could bring a safe career. In the information age things have changed.

Communications and information technology mean that you are not just in competition with local kids for a job but with people worldwide. Many of whom, dare I say it, are willing to work harder, for longer, for less pay.

The answer in my opinion is to provide the skills and attitudes to enable our young people to not merely survive but thrive in the new economy. Self reliance, positivity, financial sense and enterprise awareness will all be highly valuable regardless of whether they enter a corporate path, self employment, or quite likely a mix of career and employment over their working lives.

Listen to the interview here

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World Cup Money Lessons

Cashing in on World Cup Fever

Love it or loathe it—The World Cup is going to be hard to avoid over the next couple of months. So if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em and use it as an opportunity to get your kids interested in learning about money.

Financial Soccer is a free financial literacy resource supported by Visa.Financial Soccer Logo

It build upon the success of Financial Football, which apparently is a different game in the US, Australia and a few other places. 🙂


The essence of the game is to answer questions which give you an opportunity to move down the pitch and hopefully score a goal. What makes it fun are the great graphics and animation plus the opportunity to decide whether to go for a short pass (easy) or a more complex move (harder).

The game has several playing levels based upon age and ability ranging from 11 to 18+. You can decide your country or region which gives some more rele-vant questions.

Strangely there is not any coverage for European countries. The game is however very popular in North and South America plus the far East and Australia.

There is enough going on to keep your kids amused for hours, plus the opportunity to use the game as a starting point for discussions about for example savings or interest rates.

If you can drag yourself away from the game there are also downloadable work-sheets and information guides.

Unquestionably credit card companies have to shoulder some of the responsibility for the current economic turmoil. Whether this can be viewed as positive PR or a genuine attempt at financial literacy is a matter of choice. As an educational game however, it gets my recommendation.