Growing up, did you ever know that one kid who would always nudge their friend sitting next to them during sex education class. You look at them and their head looked like it was on fire and every bit of organ in their body felt like it was going to explode, because of how bad they wanted to burst out laughing. I was that kid! And my friends were those kids too. Heck, nearly my whole class were those kids. Sex education was something that we would regularly learn about (and laugh about) especially when we hit year 10 and year 11 and everyone’s hormones reached sky high and all the boys felt like they needed to experiment. However, as I grew older I realised that we missed out on learning something that was just as important…
Through school, we learn a lot about intercourse, STD’s and using contraception and you know – the general birds and bees. In contrast, we never knew about interest rates, credit cards, savings, investment and how to properly manage our finances. We never knew about it because we are never taught. While sex education is mandatory in schools all over the world, why isn’t financial education? Nevertheless, from a tender young age, many of us seem to mirror the way our parents or those closest to us handle money because that is all we ever know – and because we don’t know any better we adopt the same poor habits that many people have.
The truth is, young people are under intense pressure from the moment they finish education. For many who go on to university and leave with a £45,000 student loan debt before they have even found a job is extremely daunting. When they do find a job, many don’t find it hard to splash the cash and wonder why two weeks later they are saying the famous phase that everyone uses per month… “I just cannot wait until pay day”. That’s because this was all we ever heard growing up right?
For me, I was forced to find out more and educate myself on finances and how money works, mainly because I wanted to earn a lot of money, so I needed to study it. It felt like I was in school all over again and honestly, I loved it. That was because I was learning important life skills like personal finances and I knew that educating myself will benefit me for the long run. I was reading dozens of books on how to manage finances, watching videos on investing and different ways you can make your money grow and ultimately work for you.
The problem for many of us young people is that after we finish education, we go into the workplace and haven’t a clue about how to manage our money. A study carried out by MyBnk found that parents in the UK felt that schools were not providing their child or children with personal finance skills. Data showed that 54% of parents agreed that schools should spend more time teaching personal finance. While 55% would cut time from the national curriculum to ensure their child received more education on money management, which included things like budgeting, and avoiding unnecessary debt.
Overall, it is estimated that the UK population owes nearly £1.6 trillion. TRILLION?! Please, let that figure sink in….
As our population continues to increase the mounting debt will also intensify, mainly because we are following the footsteps of our parents and those around us by being financially illiterate. Before the age of 13, schools are teaching our young children how to properly put a condom on rather than teaching them about the importance of money management. There has been questions surrounding this subject, but there has been no talks on whether financial education will be included in schools yet. Let’s start educating ourselves and young people around us. I mean, do you really want to keep crying that you only have £1.90 in your bank account and our counting the days until pay day? I didn’t think so!