Youngsters ‘need financial education’ to avoid debt worries

Financial education has to start at a young age if Britons are going to be able to manage their own monetary situation.

This is the opinion of Trac…

Financial education has to start at a young age if Britons are going to be able to manage their own monetary situation.

This is the opinion of Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of the Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg). Speaking to the Chelmsford Weekly News, she said financial education should be introduced at every school in the UK.

Not only would this help youngsters look after their own money, but it should also prevent them from falling into debt when they are older. It means individuals would be better prepared if they had to react to the economy taking another turn for the worse.

"Too many young people … are still struggling to find work and the truth is that in many cases we are making their problems worse by allowing them to leave school without the skills they need to manage their money well.

"We need to give every young person the skills they need to survive and thrive in our economy," she added.

If individuals do find they can no longer control their arrears, then a debt management plan should be considered. This measure will consolidate all debts into one affordable monthly payment. In order to qualify, people need to have debts above £1,500 and owe money to more than one creditor.

It comes after a project funded by Santander and carried out by Citizens Advice and the University of Bristol found that financial training can help people.

Social housing residents were given one-on-one sessions in an effort to improve their financial acumen and 78 per cent of participants changed their spending behaviour after completing the process.

Some 12 per cent started to save money, while a further ten per cent increased the amount of money they were setting aside. Jaime Graham, director at Santander, said the scheme shows how financial education can make a big difference to the lives of Britons, especially those on lower incomes.

By Amy White

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