The government recently announced that from September 2014 children in secondary schools in England would be taught about financial matters. Although personal finance lessons are already given in schools in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, this is the first time that ‘money lessons’ have been officially introduced to the English school system curriculum. Although the lessons will deal with all types of financial considerations, including how the government raises and spends its money, it is also hoped that children and teenagers will be given a better start in life when it comes to learning financial lessons which will help them avoid personal debt.
The personal debt problem
One of the biggest reasons for people developing personal debt is the inability and sometimes unwillingness to look to the future. Many people have found themselves in serious personal debt situations because they have taken out short term loans from such companies as payday lenders, without truly thinking of the future and whether or not that debt will become even more difficult to manage. One aspect of the new financial lessons being added to the curriculum is teaching children how to manage their money and plan for the future, and will include such things as loans, overdrafts and mortgages.
What should be included in the lessons?
Ask anybody with a knowledge of personal debt and how it can get out of control, and there will be certain financial products and services which they believe should certainly be taught to all children and young adults. However, perhaps the very first lesson should deal with how to budget one’s own money, with a fundamental understanding of income, expenditure and your bottom line. Ultimately, people tend to get into debt when they have more going out then they have coming in, and therefore have to rely on loans and overdrafts to get them by. It certainly makes sense to teach children how to avoid these pitfalls.
Aside from that, a thorough understanding of how loans work; how to sensibly manage a credit card, and also how to manage everyday bills such as rent and utilities would certainly not go amiss.
Only half of schools will be teaching the lessons
Because the new financial lessons will be introduced to government funded or maintained schools, only approximately half of English secondary schools will be using that curriculum. Although free schools and academies do not officially have to follow the government curriculum, it is hoped that they will also introduce some kind of education regarding personal finances which will help their students in the future.
Never too late to learn
Of course, many people received no kind of financial education in school and so have had to learn the hard way. However, it is never too late to learn how to manage your finances better and to avoid personal debt. If, however, you already have personal debt problems which you are struggling to deal with, help is at hand. By contacting personal debt advisers such as ourselves at Dissolve Debt you will be taking the first step to getting your finances back in order.