This paragraph is the most recent example of the Monetary Literacy and Inclusion Marketing campaign that the Financial Times is doing. To what extent have you ever given your children the opportunity to discuss the cost of living through a disaster? As parents, it is our natural instinct to shield our children from the financial challenges that they will face in the adult world, yet this is becoming more difficult to do.
Even when your loved ones have been able to absorb the impact of growing expenditures, children are picking up on information evaluations about wages that are always fluctuating, strikes over salary, and political unrest. While younger children are likely to be blissfully ignorant of the situation, older children may have overheard their parents worrying about the costs of the mortgage, the monthly grocery shop, or how the family budget would need to be reduced.
At what level of participation should they be involved in these discussions? This is something that parents do not want their children to be concerned about; nevertheless, as mortgage rates continue to rise, even relatively wealthy families are having to cut down on their spending. Parents do not want their children to believe that this is in any way their responsibility. An FT FLIC You may make a contribution to the marketing effort for monetary literacy and inclusion right here.
In spite of the fact that my daughter Maddie, who is ten years old and overhears us talking, can be extremely aware of what is going on, I still want her to remain a kid, says Katie Handsley, who works as a clerical assistant in Aberdeen. According to the current climate, it is just not possible for us to give her all that the world has to offer, despite the fact that we would truly want to do so. On the other hand, I want her to understand that we are not being cruel when we decline an offer; there is a reason for our refusal.
The monetary pressures that older children face extend beyond the realm of pocket money. The ability of Bomad, also known as the financial institution of Mom and Dad, to provide property deposits for adult children may be impacted, according to wealth managers, by the combination of dropping investment values and pressures related to the cost of living. Additionally, because of the high cost of daycare, Nomad, whom she refers to as “the nursery of mom and dad,” is increasingly being depended upon to take care of the grandkids at no cost. Takeaways are not an option for Maddie Handsley and her mother at this time.
Cash in one’s pocket
As a result of the cost of living crisis, the financial lives of hundreds of thousands of families have been negatively impacted, and children have been compelled to ask a lot of questions about money. The co-founder of Gohenry, an app for kids’ financial savings, Louise Hill, believes that “cash touches every single part of our lives” and that “for those who cover it or shelter your youngsters from it, you are not going to be serving them in the future.”
According to information obtained from more than 435,000 children in the United Kingdom who use Gohenry’s Pay as You Go contactless playing cards, there have been discernible shifts in the amount of money individuals spend with their pocket money. There was a significant decrease in the amount of money spent on “non-essentials” by almost all individuals aged 6 to 18 years old during the first half of 2022 compared to the previous year. The amount of money that children spent on playthings decreased by 32%, while the amount that they spent on fashion and clothing decreased by 14%, and the amount that they spent on online gaming decreased by 11%.
A 32 percent share of children who spent much less money on toys during the first half of 2022, among the 435 thousand customers of Gohenry. On the other hand, the number of children who use their credit cards to make purchases at “important” stores like supermarkets increased by seventeen percent, which indicates that more children are using their pocket money to buy food and other items that they use on a daily basis. In addition, the amount of money that children are putting away has increased by slightly more than fourteen percent over the same time period, which indicates that a larger number of them are focused on making larger purchases.
Michelle Dickson, a community authority administrator from Weston-super-Mare, teaches her two kids, Liam, 10, and Benjamin, 7, how to budget by using Gohenry playing cards. Liam is ten years old, and Benjamin is seven years old. Despite the fact that her own finances have been under a lot of strain, she has not had any direct chats with her boys about the conflict in Ukraine or the reasons why inflation is lurking. “They hear a lot about the cost of living in the information and a little bit at college, but I don’t want to scare them,” she adds. “I don’t want to scare them.”
According to Liam, “Mum is always reminding me to turn off the heating or the lights,” and he doesn’t forget to do any of those things. Benjamin, who was seven years old at the time, had not purchased a pair of rollerblades for many months. Despite the fact that he was pleased with the purchase, he “felt unhappy” when he discovered that all of the money had been taken out of his account.
Regardless of whether or not we discuss the cost of living with our children, they are determining the level of involvement that we have in their lives. This is a truth that cannot be denied. Nearly three-quarters of the two thousand children and adolescents who were polled by the government said that they were concerned about the cost of living catastrophe, which includes increasing costs for both food and electricity. 71% is the percentage of children and young people who are concerned about the cost of living amid a catastrophe. Ghenry conducted a survey with two thousand youngsters.
According to the United Kingdom’s monetary regulator, around 8 million people in the country are finding it a “heavy burden” to keep up with their payments. This number represents an increase from 5 million in the year 2020. Over four million people have failed to pay their bills or make their bank card payments in more than three of the last six months, and charitable organizations estimate that the number of people who are experiencing hardship will increase throughout the winter season. Even when more affluent homes have been able to withstand growing costs, children are aware that their friends and classmates are also being impacted by the financial situation.
Michelle has said that the primary change that will be implemented in the Dickson home is not adding more foreign holidays. “Are you concerned that the children will inquire as to why [our friends] are able to go to Disneyland or purchase a brand new PlayStation while we are unable to do either of those things?” At the same time that Katie has informed her daughter that the expectations for Christmas gifts “should be completely different this year,” the family has also reduced the amount of time that they spend eating out.
“We used to get a takeaway every Saturday, but the price for the three of us has increased from £23 to £36,” she adds. “We used to get pizza every Saturday.” As an alternative, she and her daughter, who is ten years old, have been exploring recipes for “Fakeways” on TikTok. Maddie is quite pleased with the fact that she and her mother made egg fried rice together, and she says, “It was so enjoyable.”
One in three of the two thousand children and adolescents who were polled said that they would be willing to forego all of their favorite sweets and brand-new toys for a period of one month if it meant that their families would be able to afford the essentials. In the real world, there are hundreds of thousands of children who do not have that option available to them. There was a recent conversation that took place between a colleague and his son. The conversation took place after the colleague spotted his son sitting in the middle of the night playing video games on his computer while he was “trying to save money.”
Because they do not want their children to have nightmares about power outages, recession, or the possibility of nuclear war, several parents who contacted me on social media said that they do not watch the news because they do not want their children to have such experiences. A second individual expressed their displeasure with the statement that “the 0.01% of privileged children are literally having to have it defined to them what the cost of living disaster is,” adding, “The fight is real!” There have been a number of mothers and fathers who have been frantically trying to comfort their children, but they also wanted their children to comprehend the extent of their luxury.
“I spend time reassuring my children about how we are coping by providing them with a budget that they will determine how they can spend on their very own treats,” explains one mother. “During the evening of Halloween, I observed that they were extremely generous with the sweets and satsumas that they distributed. This was due to the fact that they were concerned that some of the children would not have had any treats for a considerable amount of time.” Benjamin, on the left, and Liam Dickson, together with their mother Michelle, shut out the lights.
Classes of money
When it comes to learning about money, children are more eager than they have ever been in school. “What we see, particularly with younger children, is that they are asking questions on issues that they are seeing and listening to within the information,” says Rebekah Younger, senior fundraising supervisor at MyBnk, a charity that focuses on financial education. The question “What is inflation?” is one that she hears quite often, but, thanks to “mini” Finances, even children as young as seven years old have been asking her questions about taxes and national insurance coverage.
She argues that children are trying to make connections between what they are seeing in the material and what it really means for them. “Kids are trying to attract connections between what they are seeing.” As you make your way around the grocery shop, it is essential to engage in talks about the many options available to you, as well as the ways in which you may differentiate between a need and a requirement.
Lucy Roche, who is sixteen years old and is from Dublin, has gained a lot of knowledge about inflation at school since she is studying business. However, she is aware that the majority of her friends are completely ignorant about the topic. She adds, “When we first found out about it, it didn’t really feel like it was that relevant; however, from this point forward, it’s proving to be quite helpful.” In spite of the fact that she and her friends have seen the rapid increase in the cost of clothing, they are making use of applications such as Etsy and Depop in order to buy and sell clothing. She argues that it is no longer the case that reckless purchases are being made.
A number of parents have said that they are encouraging their children to look at the material and are using it as a springboard to start talking about money. According to Dija Ayodele, a reader of the Financial Times, “My daughter, who is nine years old, has actually been concerned with the information, and she understands the results the battle in Ukraine is having.” “I am the owner of a business, and it really touched home for her when I had to lay off staff; at that time, she saw a clear connection between the two. Due to the fact that my spouse has educated her on the electrical energy bill, he or she is now the responsible meter monitor.
The fact that Michelle’s two kids are also enthusiastic football players also means that soccer boots are an expensive need. However, once the price of Match of the Day magazine increased, they decided to discontinue their membership in the publication. “We use Vinted and eBay to purchase used soccer boots, and the boys also promote their old ones,” she adds. “We also use Vinted to sell our own pair of soccer boots.” Liam has informed me that he has been searching the internet for deals and discounts. “I just recently bought a magnet pen for five pounds, but the first one I noticed was fifteen pounds,” he adds.
What is the difference between a “need” and a “want”? Does he understand the difference?
“It is essential to spend money on things like electrical energy, broadband, and clothing; however, you should avoid purchasing expensive, branded clothing,” he argues. What exactly is a luxury item? It is he who says, “Espresso pods.” Without a doubt, they are an absolute must, as his mother puts it. Despite this, she is able to achieve financial savings by purchasing pods from the Odd Espresso Firm that are damaged or otherwise less than ideal.
It’s just giving.
Every single mother and father who contributed to this text is aware of the fact that, although they are on the verge of chopping again, a great number of other people are in a far more difficult situation. Donations to charitable organizations by Gohenry consumers have increased by 256%. When they make contributions to food banks, many parents are actively incorporating their children in the process. The following is a quote from one of my fans on social media: “My nine-year-old will not be introduced to the world in a bubble.” Donations to charitable organizations represent a significant change in children’s purchasing habits. During the first half of 2022, the amount of money donated to charitable organizations by children who used Gohenry accounts increased by an astounding 265 percent.
More than 435 thousand pounds were donated to charitable organizations, which is a significant increase from the previous year’s total of 120 thousand pounds. Hill adds, “When I first became aware of this information, my immediate reaction was that it might not be appropriate, but it is.” He goes on to mention that the figure includes direct contributions to charitable organizations in addition to online donations via websites such as JustGiving.com and Change.org. “It simply demonstrates to you that children are not only aware of the cost of living disasters, but they also need to do something about it,” she adds. “It is a reality that they need to take action.”
During the early stages of the pandemic, such contributions also increased, although to a considerably lesser extent. According to her, “Prospects informed us that their children have become aware that there have been a great number of people on the market who are in worse conditions than they have been.” I get the impression that we are seeing the same emotion right now, but on a far larger scale than we have seen in the past. For every family that is prepared to discuss the topic of budgeting with their children, there are others who are frantically trying to conceal the fact that they will not be able to afford to make payments. During a faculty session, a young person from MyBnk came across a child who said, “My mother has stated that she is currently $500 into her overdraft; what does that imply?”
Parents are of the opinion that it should not be solely their responsibility to explain and persuade that classroom instruction on financial matters needs to be included in the curriculum of primary and secondary schools. At the same time as they are coping with the financial burden of living in a disaster, they wish that they had been taught more in school. The importance of having a solid understanding of the value of currency cannot be overstated, according to Younger. These are sophisticated skills, and the fact that they are being acquired at such an early age will prove to be of tremendous assistance in the years to come. However, there is also a worry that arises due to the fact that not every child is able to have that opportunity.