Should we learn about ISAs at the same time as our ABCs?

By Nikhita Alex on Monday, 10 October 2022

With the cost-of-living crisis biting every business and household in Britain, isn’t increased financial literacy the need of the hour? Would pressure be eased a little if we had been taught the essentials about debt, interest rates, pensions and even the joys of tax? Raising our financial wellbeing? I think so.

As a privileged child growing up in one of the busy, bustling metropolis cities in India, the education system was unsurprisingly unsatisfactory. I say this only because of the lack of practical financial knowledge we received that would have potentially shaped us into efficient, well-educated adults. Wouldn’t we all want to be prepped when it comes to budgeting, investing, saving, etc. as we enter the never-ending cycle of adulting?

As I belong to the Gen Z cohort, I for one don’t mind splurging £3.59 on a cup of coffee 365 days of the year, in stark contrast to my predecessors (oh, I can feel my mother’s disapproving eyes piercing through me). Well, I wouldn’t do this mindlessly if I was introduced to the financial culture during adolescence. One survey gathered that a meagre number of 32% of teenagers were familiar with how credit card fees and interest work, and an alarmingly low number of 42% wished for their parents to introduce finance into their lives.

Full marks, therefore, to Redington’s financial education charity which has just kicked off a seven-year project to study links between education and social mobility. ‘Redstart’ is to work with over 40 primary schools in underprivileged areas of the country to examine whether giving children formal lessons about managing money can benefit them later in life. Its aim is to improve the financial knowledge of 4.7 million children by 2030 by providing a blueprint for a national financial education policy.

This could be the beginning of something important…

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