Survey findings published by the Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg) tell us quite a lot about the monetary habits of children in England. The pfeg was set up in 2000 by a group of individuals, primarily from the finance sector trade associations, concerned that financial education was not being taught coherently in schools. Since then the charity has acted as a lead organisation advising the Government and the teaching profession about financial education in schools.
One of the survey findings is that 93 percent of parents and teachers surveyed, believe that personal finance education should be part of the school curriculum. However, it is the survey findings about the monetary experiences of children that might make interesting reading for parents, seeking to cope with managing their children’s financial activities and futures.
Seven years is the average age when children begin to receive pocket money, this coincides with the commonly accepted age, when a child is deemed to be capable of making responsible judgements! The average weekly pocket money received by children is reported to be almost £6.50 per week.
According to the survey, one year later on average, at age eight, UK children get their first mobile phone and by age ten they will have begun making online purchases (furthermore, the survey found that one in five children have used their parents or older siblings’ bank card to purchase those items!).
We are also told that over 75 percent of 7 – 11 year olds are already saving for the future, with 42 percent of them preferring to store their money in a money box.
By the time our children become teenagers, the pfeg findings tell us that 90 percent say they worry about money on a daily basis, whilst 50 percent of England’s teenagers will have been in debt by the time they are 17. A redeeming feature is that 54 percent of teenagers appear to be interested in learning about saving and 51 percent would like to learn how to control their spending.
Personal finance education seems to be needed when the survey of teenagers identifies that 26 percent think that overdrafts are for overspending, whilst almost at the same level, 23 percent think that overdrafts are easy ways of spending more than you earn! Surely these latter figures don’t all come from children who have watched and learned from adult behaviour? Although interestingly, the pfeg website also tells us that 66 percent of adults, when asked about the wisdom of having personal finance education on the school timetable, said they would have been helped if they’d had finance lessons at school!
If you want to find out more, or need advice about financial planning for children and family, contact one of the team who will be happy to help.