Money Insider: Why financial know-how has to be kids' stuff


A basic understanding of personal finance is a must for all school leavers. We repeatedly hear calls for children to be taught more about personal finance at school, yet we still seem some way off from it being included as part of the national curriculum.

Some in Westminster may not see this as a priority; however, a quick look at the recent statistics released by Credit Action underline the scale of the financial problems consumers are currently facing in this country.

The latest numbers are scary, revealing that on average, 314 people are declared insolvent or bankrupt every day and 8,518 new debt problems are dealt with by Citizens Advice Bureau. While some of these situations will arise due to circumstances beyond the borrower's control, there are certainly cases that could have been prevented if people understood a little more when it comes to money matters.

These are challenging financial times for people of all ages, so the more our children learn about managing their money the better. Whilst some schools have taken the matter seriously, there are still too many that barely scratch the surface.

The sooner our children start learning these essential life skills the better, whether it ends up as a bolt-on to mathematics or a standalone subject, we can't afford to sit back and see more people ruin their lives due to poor financial decisions.

When the current generation leaves school, they should appreciate the dangers associated with credit cards and payday loans and enter adulthood with the knowledge and confidence to deal with their finances.

Money plays a pivotal part in our lives, whether it's buying our first car, our home, paying for our children's university education or putting enough cash aside to provide for our retirement.

Today's youngsters won't be able to rely on making huge profits out of soaring house prices or have the luxury of final-salary pension schemes. Many are likely to have to work until they are into their seventies.

Teaching children how to handle their money has never been more important, and it's vital we start sooner rather than later.

Get a broker to find the right mortgage

Brokers remain an essential part of the mortgage market.

The amount of mortgage business being written may only be a fraction of what it was before the banking crisis, but that doesn't mean the job of finding the best home loan has got any easier.

The number on offer is mind boggling, and even if you've decided whether it's a variable rate or fixed-rate product you're going for, you still need to work out which is the cheapest option for you.

It's not as simple as referring to a best-buy table on a comparison website, although some lenders still launch attention-grabbing interest rates, hoping it will be sufficient to win custom from those who don't take the time to shop around or use the services of an independent mortgage broker.

Banks and building societies continue to develop products with profit margins based on a wide range of rate and fee combinations, and whilst it may work for them, for the man on the street it can be a big headache. One of the biggest problems for consumers is working out which is the most appropriate mortgage based on the total cost, i.e. not just the interest rate but also the associated fees which can vary enormously between lenders, loan-to-values and individual products.

When you consider that your mortgage is likely to be the biggest financial transaction you'll undertake in your lifetime, it makes sense to seek advice to ensure you don't make what could be a potentially expensive mistake.

Andrew Hagger –

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

    Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator - Financial Services

    £32000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, inte...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Affiliates & Partnerships

    £20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This multi-award winning foreig...

    Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor