Teaching the young to manage money

It seems like most people don't know how to manage their money nowadays, or to budget responsibly. It is accepted that we can take out a loan if we want something expensive. We might use our 'flexible friend' the credit card without considering whether we can pay it off when the bill comes in. We may live 'from hand to mouth' by using our pay packet just to keep the overdraft limit at bay. If the young people of today are learning by example, there's little hope for their future financial security!

If the parents of a young household don't manage their finances carefully, giving the impression that spending money you don't have is okay, it's very likely that their children will adopt the same bad habits. It's a vicious cycle of bad money management exacerbating through the generations.

The solution to this is obvious: get personal finance into schools. I'm ignorant when it comes to the priorities and pressures of the high school curriculum, but I think it's essential that we find time to teach our young adults how to live within their means, try to plan ahead, and save for the future. You never know, maybe some of the lessons learnt may find their way back to the home; parents may find themselves being lectured to about their lack of financial acumen!

The teaching of personal finance doesn't need to be exhaustive; there are a handful of golden tips that simply need to be drilled into youngsters by presenting various scenarios. Thinking about how to be prepared for these scenarios (whether they are self-inflicted or unexpected) will help our future workers and home-owners to avoid the mistakes and worries of their parents.


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