Everyone agrees that teaching children about money is important, but opinions differ about what exactly to teach them! The results of thinkmoney’s survey of British families are in, and some of them make surprising reading.
Many people (37%) agree the most important money lesson is simply “if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it”. But the lessons deemed important by different age groups really vary – and sometimes in unexpected ways.
Here’s the full list of money lessons, in order of importance (according to our respondents):
- If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it (37%)
- Always live within your means (23%)
- Try to save at least something every month (16%)
- Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves (9%)
- Money can’t buy you happiness (8%)
- Always try to avoid borrowing money (7%)
Looking closely at the responses, we found that “try to save something every month” is classed as an important lesson by younger people. 25% of 18-to-24 year-olds rated it highly, while only 9% of people aged 55 to 64 (and just 7% of people over 65) agreed.
The lesson thought most important by people over 65 was “always live within your means”, with 31% of them rating it highly. In contrast, only 13% of people between 18 and 24 agreed.
Opinions about which lessons are the most important may vary across age groups, but we all agree that kids do need guidance when it comes to financial matters. thinkmoney’s “Kids and Money” video highlights this need, with children’s estimates for the cost of a house ranging between £1 and £2,000 – and Mummy’s and Daddy’s earnings coming in at between 1p and £5!
It also seems kids don’t agree that “money doesn’t buy you happiness” though. With all the money in the world, they’d buy loads of fun stuff like Transformers, chocolate and water pistols. And who’d blame them? To watch the video, click here.
Ian Williams of thinkmoney said: “It’s funny to see all the ideas that kids come up with about money. It’s important to try and show them the value and importance of money from an early age though – for example, by giving them a money box and a small amount of pocket money each week. How you encourage them to use that money is up to you.”
If you’re looking for an account that makes it easier to budget each month, you could find out more about opening a basic bank account alternative with thinkmoney, who provided the article you’ve just finished reading.