Personal finance for young people is a tricky topic. Although improving slowly, it doesn’t really feature heavily in the school curriculum. So how can we help our children adopt good financial behaviours in preparation for earning money?
Research has shown that most of our beliefs and attitudes around money are formed by age 7. So it’s never too early (or too late) to learn about personal finance. Here are 4 suggested actions that you could take to boost the financial success of your young people.
Encourage your local school
Some good news in this area is that, increasingly, the financial services industry is taking an active part. Calls to include financial education in schools are growing. And more practical initiatives like My Personal Finance Skills from the Personal Finance Society (PFS) are gaining traction.
The PFS has created a network of experienced and specially trained ‘Education Champions’ who offer free sessions to secondary schools. There are an awful lot of classes to get around, though. It can also be a challenge for schools to allocate time and arrange the logistics.
Perhaps you could encourage your local school to team up with the PFS and arrange free financial education workshops.
If you work in a secondary school in East Lothian and would like sessions on personal finance for young people in your school, why not get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Encourage learning as a parent or carer
More and more educational resources are becoming available to learn about money. Topics include avoiding financial scams, budgeting and generally preparing for a more secure future.
The government’s Money Advice Service has some great pointers. Hints and tips are broken down by age, from 3 year old, right up to young adults.
For a more structured and comprehensive learning programme, Moneyready is worth a look. Founder, Helen Driver, developed this service to enable teachers and parents to provide fun and interactive learning for 7 to 18 year-olds.
I caught up with Helen, AKA Miss Moneyready, to ask what inspired her to put so much effort into creating this service. She told me:
It was many years after starting work that I really started to understand money. Even though my first job was in a bank from age 17! Only now do I realise the financial errors I made, and the opportunities I missed.
Moneyready allows you to track your kids’ progress through gamified modules. They range from the basics of money, savings, budgeting and borrowing, through to pensions, business, fraud and the “gift of giving”.
At £18 for a year’s subscription for the family, this could be a valuable investment for your kids’ future.
Invest on behalf of your children
This year has seen the first maturities of Child Trust Funds. You may remember these were introduced by the government 18 years ago. Vouchers were provided for children born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011.
Young people turning 18 this year will gain access to this money on their birthday, so it’s a good time to discuss options. The amount of money available depends on the parents’ choice of investment fund and how much they added above the government’s initial contribution.
For children born after 2nd January 2011, Junior ISAs are available now, albeit without a boost from the government. This can be a good option to build up a tax free lump sum for your kids reaching age 18. Read more about Junior ISAs in my article here.
You’ll find more information about Child Trusts Funds from the government’s Money Helper service. This also includes guidance on whether you should consider switching to a Junior ISA.
Consider Financial coaching
The options available can be confusing and the thought of investing in the stock market daunting. There’s plenty of information available for free on the internet, but you may not have the time or inclination to wade through it all.
Financial coaching can help you tackle personal finance for young people in your family. Gaining knowledge about financial options can be part of it. Just as important, though, can be the development of good financial behaviours and emotions around money.
An expanding community of financial coaches throughout the UK is helping to fill this gap. If you would like help to understand your options and build confidence around money, it’s worth looking into.
Subscribe to my weekly newsletter or book a free chat to learn more about how financial coaching can help you and your family.