Budgeting difficulties prompt calls for children to learn money skills at school

The difficulties many parents are having with planning an effective budget are creating a feeling that money skills ought to be taught at school.

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The difficulties many parents are having with planning an effective budget are creating a feeling that money skills ought to be taught at school.

A new report from Thinkmoney has indicated that three-quarters of UK parents now believe that budgeting skills should be part of the primary curriculum, compared to only a fifth who believe this knowledge would be best delayed until secondary school.

Secondary schools introduced compulsory financial education into the new maths and citizenship curriculum in September 2014, but teaching basic financial skills remains optional for primary schools.

Only four per cent of the 2,000 adults polled said they do not believe children should be taught about money at school at all, with 90 per cent saying they take a proactive stance in educating their own children on how to manage their finances.

For example, more than half encourage their children to save for things they want, such as toys or comics, while one-fifth adopt a policy of providing their young ones with special loans from time to time, on condition that they are paid back with future pocket money.

However, the study also indicated that in many cases parents are finding it difficult to set their own budgets, with 30 per cent struggling to stick to the plans they devise and 11 per cent finding it hard to even to create a budget for their bills and living costs each month.

In many cases, this difficulty extends to the way they are teaching their children, with only seven per cent of parents encouraging their offspring to save for the long term instead of buying things immediately.

Moreover, ten per cent of respondents said they disagree with offering financial education at home, because they do not like to have money conversations with their children.

Ian Williams, a spokesperson for Thinkmoney, said: "We know it's crucial to teach children how to develop good habits with money early in life. Secondary schools have placed financial education on the curriculum and the research shows that an overwhelming majority of parents feel this still doesn't go far enough."

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