Budgeting today: are we suffering from bad budgeting education?

Most of the younger generation I’m coming across these days have no basic knowledge of cooking healthy, cost effective meals. The easier alternative of buying pre-packaged, readymade food is a more attractive option, it costs more but no effort is required.

Bad EducationWorking in a busy office I come across different types of people from all walks of life. One thing that does stand out is the huge, generational difference in attitudes towards budgeting income.

21% of 18-24 year olds are over-indebted, only 3% of 55-64 year olds are over-indebted.

Most of the younger generation I’m coming across these days have no basic knowledge of cooking healthy, cost-effective meals. The easier alternative of buying pre-packaged, readymade food is a more attractive option. It costs more, but no effort is required.

UK food prices have risen by 30% since 2007

As a youngster living at home, paying a bit of “keep” to your parents, it hardly affects us, but as we leave home and get real bills of our own we need to be able to budget our income.

With soaring food costs it has never been more important to be able to cook quick, healthy meals that don’t break the bank.

Do we have a greater need for the understanding of Pythagoras’s theorem or the budgeting of income?

In school we seem to learn a lot of things that later on in life we just neither need nor use. Basic life skills that each and every one of us will need further on in life remain off the curriculum. Surely now, more than ever, there is a greater need for this basic knowledge to be passed on to our next generation?

Teaching our children to cook, manage money and pay their bills must be a priority for any parent, yet if that parent never received that education themselves, how do they pass on that knowledge? Teaching it in schools is the best option. Prevention is better than cure – give them the knowledge early and let it flourish later.

The Trussell trust has seen a 51% rise in the use of their food banks

Coming from a single parent family money was tight. I watched how my mum would turn one meal into two, spreading the cost whilst making sure we ate good, healthy food. It’s a skill that is becoming ever-increasingly lost.

With the soaring use of food banks in the UK, as a matter of urgency, we need to educate our children more. You could involve the whole community. There must be thousands of our older generation, bored at home, who would love to inspire a group of kids – or adults for that matter!

Schools and food banks around the country could work in tandem with willing volunteers to learn the basics lost on a lot of us today.

Domestic fuel bills have risen by 37% in the last 3 years

Food is just one issue. We have an array of different bills we all have to pay monthly, yet children are not taught this until effectively thrown into the deep end when they first leave home.

Couldn’t we have all gained from some basic knowledge of what to expect? Surely advice and education as to the best way to budget would have been helpful?

We live in a country where 21% of 18-24 year olds are over-indebted. Unsurprisingly the figures for 55-64 year olds is far lower at 3% over-indebted, showing a significant generational difference. It’s time to take preventative measures to give our next generation the best possible chance of living a debt free life.

Could we do more?

Whether it be at home or in school we must educate our children in finance. We have a duty to them and the country to ensure our future is not lost in a sea of debt. The Scottish Book Trust released a graphic novel called Skint! to help educate young people to develop better money skills.

Shouldn’t this be nationwide rather than pockets of the UK? Do you think young people are suffering from bad budgeting education?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source: Indebted lives: the complexities of life in debt – MAS

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