Young Britons are Keen to Save – But Don’t Trust Their Parents With Their Cash

Written by admin on December 7th, 2010

The overwhelming majority of young children in Britain are saving money, it has been found. The Personal Finance Education Group (Pfeg), in conjunction with a major high street bank, conducted a survey in an attempt to find out how money is viewed by young people in Britain today, and it was discovered that even the very young are conscious of the need to have money and that the majority are saving as a result.

In all, 76 per cent of seven to 11 year olds opt to keep their money in a safe place rather than spend it as soon as they get it, the study found. However, it was also noted that many children said borrowing was a good way of funding a purchase, even when they didn’t fully understand how such a transaction works. It therefore comes as less of a shock that the Pfeg has previously reported on the fact that half of all 17-year-olds have been in debt in the past. Wendy van den Hende, Pfeg chief executive, has consequently announced the launch of What Money Means, a national initiative to improve financial education in primary schools.

“Our research demonstrates that, even by the age of seven, children are aware of the impact of money in their lives,” commented Ms van den Hende. “Learning how to respect and manage money in their early years will give them the confidence to make responsible financial decisions as adults – and they look to their teachers to answer their questions.

“The What Money Means project will allow teachers to work together, with help from their Local Authority and bank volunteers to understand finance better and give it relevance and meaning for their pupils.”

The extent to which youngsters would trust family members when it comes to money matters was also highlighted in the survey. While parents topped the children’s list of money experts, one in five would treat the advice given by their brothers and sister with scepticism.

Meanwhile, the input of shopkeepers, teachers and famous people on financial matters would be highly valued. Who can be trusted to store money for children is a different matter altogether, though – with only one in five parents trusted to keep their money safe for them. As a result, 42 per cent of children would prefer to keep their money hidden away in a piggy bank or money box. The question remains, then – if parents can’t be trusted to save money for their children, how can they be trusted to save money for themselves?

The obvious solution would be to open a savings account, not least because it has considerable more benefits than the average piggy bank.

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