Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mum and Dad Can Give Youngsters a Lesson in Managing Their Money; It's Never Too Soon to Start as Schools Plan Savings Clubs for Four-Year-Olds and Children Get Debit Cards

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mum and Dad Can Give Youngsters a Lesson in Managing Their Money; It's Never Too Soon to Start as Schools Plan Savings Clubs for Four-Year-Olds and Children Get Debit Cards

Article excerpt

Byline: Lucy Tobin

CHILDREN aged as young as four may be offered the chance to join savings clubs to learn about cash and allay the risk of them relying on payday lenders and falling into debt when they're older.

That's under plans from the Church of England, which aims to set up a network of primary school clubs, run by credit unions, to help kids learn to put aside small, regular deposits to learn about being financially savvy. It comes as research reveals more than half of 10- to 17-year-olds see advertising for loans often or all the time. But while it sounds like a good idea for children to learn about money, the plans may be some way off coming to fruition. If approved, they would be piloted in Church of England primary schools in three areas before being rolled out nationwide. So parents might want to act independently to help their children to pick up some early money know-how.

Financial education is now part of the national curriculum for secondary schools. But since research by the Government-backed Money Advice Service found that adult money habits are set by the age of seven, it's a good idea to start at-home financial lessons earlier. There are lots of practical ways to do it children can pay and count change in shops; learn to budget with small amounts of pocket money; get talks about saving versus splurging if they receive Christmas or birthday cash; and parents can explain rejections of requests for expensive toys or games by showing how long it would take someone to work to earn that amount of money.

Pfeg, the personal finance charity now integrated into Young Enterprise, offers a free guide for parents to help children learn about money, at pfeg.org/MMPrimaryParents. The Money Advice Service has free videos and kids' money-related activities at moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/youyour-kids-and-money. …

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