When should financial education begin for kids?

Video: Maike Currie of Fidelity Personal Investing thinks children should be taught about finance from the age of seven

Simon Read
Tuesday 14 October 2014 14:19
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Should children be taught about finance from the age of seven? That’s the view of Maike Currie of Fidelity Personal Investing.

She says: “Research by Cambridge University found that by the age of seven most children have grasped how to recognise the value of money and to count it out; and by this age they will also have come to understand that money can be exchanged for goods, as well as what it means to earn money.

“Of course, each child is unique and will develop at their own pace, but as a general rule of thumb as soon as your child understands that a visit to the supermarket entails going there to buy something with money they are ready to learn about it.”

Not everyone agrees that children should be taught about the value of money from an early age. Some critics of new financial lessons which started in secondary schools this September warn children already have enough to learn at school.

Maike believes that giving children a good grasp of finances is arguably one of the most useful lessons to carry them through life.

But then she believes that all of us should be more open about finance issues. “There is the antiquated but prevailing belief that money should not be talked about,” she points out. “Some think it’s bad manners and in poor taste: if you talk too much about money or know too much about it, you’re too attached to it.

“But financial literacy is one of the most pressing issues affecting school leavers in the UK and the least we as parents can do is prepare them with a basic understanding of financial matters.”

Do you agree? In this video The Independent’s Personal Finance Editor Simon Read, father of two teenage boys, discusses the issues with Maike and challenges her views of financial education for children.

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