How did you understand money when you were younger? Was this something you talked about with your parents? If you have children now, do you talk to them about money? What would you say to them?
This week is Financial Capability Week, so it’s a good week to consider those questions. This year Financial Capability Week is looking at #TalkMoney, considering how we talk about money and when. In England we are quite happy to talk about a lot of things, but we very rarely talk about money, even within the privacy of our homes.
We recently surveyed children who are taking part in our LifeSavers programme. The survey covers pupils from Keystages 1 & 2 and shows us that less than a third of students talk about money at home at all. Only 21% of Keystage 2 pupils talk about money at home a lot
As #TalkMoney is looking to demonstrate, one of the greatest problems for adults facing debt and money problems is that they don’t talk about the problem. Because of high cost loans and the constant tide of demands on a person’s money, a small money problem can rapidly become a big one if you don’t seek help. This week is about encouraging all of us to be more open about how we talk about money.
Through our LifeSavers programme we look to educate primary school pupils on how to handle money well. This has a lot to do with teaching them about money and numeracy, but it also means encouraging healthy habits like saving and talking openly about money.
A KS2 teacher said: ‘We’ve always covered money in maths, but now we’re able to have wider and more informed discussions. We’re also talking about money during PSHE and circle times.’
One parent said: ‘It’s really important that children learn about money, especially with all the debt problems. I’m really glad that my children are learning and talking about money at school.’
So, if we can encourage primary school pupils to talk about money openly, then we should probably expect as much from ourselves! Starting this week, try to talk more openly about money in your own home. If you feel brave enough, you could even start by joining in the conversation through #TalkMoney. If we are going to make finance fair for all, we have to start by talking about money.