Money, Money, Money, Must be funny, In a rich man’s world…
I grew up listening to Abba and given their recent popularity again, I often have these words in my head.
Many of us would say that we would like to live in a rich man’s world, but would we be equipped to do so? Would we know how to cope with the responsibility of the money or would we be like many lottery winners who within quite a short time find themselves falling back out of that world with a bump?
Financial education is vitally important to us all, whether we have very little money or a great deal.
But how do we obtain that information? Most of us probably get a great deal of what we know about money and our attitudes towards it from our parents, but given the way that the world has changed so rapidly is this always the best form of education?
I have been reading a report from September 2004 by the Financial Services Authority entitled Young people (18-24) and their financial information needs. Now I know that this might not sound the most riveting of reports to read, but I have found some really eye-opening snippets of information like although the majority of people did not like the idea of debt, many did not consider 0% credit cards and balance transfers or student loans to be debt, especially if they were able to keep up with the payments!
Thankfully when I asked my own son this question, he was able to see that this was still debt, whether you were paying interest on it or not.
In their general attitudes to money, all respondents felt that money was an essential part of life, and as a necessity to be able to do the things they wanted to do. Most saw money in terms of spending power and the empowerment it gave them, with the ability to display material wealth.
As many of you know I work with young people age 16+ and have spoken to many of them about their attitudes towards money. In addition to having a somewhat negative attitude towards what information about money is available, most of them are not interested in it, except in how they can get more money now.
I also have two teenagers of my own and I want to be able to help them to grow into financially educated young people who are able to make and manage their own money responsibly.
Over the past few months, this has become my passion, to be able to get this information out to young people in a way which is meaningful, relevant and will keep their attention so that they can learn now, instead of the hard way later in their lives.
I have spent a great deal of my available time reading lots of information from classic literature about wealth to up to date sites with information for children and young people.
From my research so far I can see that there are some excellent resources available for the younger children to begin teaching them young about money and I will add them to a new resources page as soon as I have the time. I have also found some useful information aimed at students going to university, but I feel that there is something lacking in between and for those who are perhaps working as an apprentice, earning a lower wage than their friends who are working in the local burger place.
My aim is to bring together a collection of resources to reach these young people, which can be used interactively both on the internet, individually or with others or can be used in an educational environment. In this way I can combine my skills and experience as a teacher and a mother with my ever growing experience in the Internet world.
In the near future I will begin work on transforming my blog into the valuable resource I would like it to become. Please bear with me whilst this happens.
In the meantime so that I can make it as relevant as possible, I would like your help and that of any young people you know.
I already have several ideas from earlier posts both on this blog and elsewhere, but I would really like your comments about:
What is the most important thing you (or a young person) would like to know about money?
What sort of resources would you like to see? Would you like links to other resources all in one place?
Are there any areas that you are struggling to understand or to get information about?
What is your attitude towards money? Is this typical of that of your friends? Do you feel peer pressure to conform where money is concerned?
How do you think this information could best be presented – on the internet, in the home, in the classroom?
Would you like to see the information available through interactive workshops with others, or access the infomation alone?
Would you like the information to all be freely accessible, or do you think some could be presented through a members’ area?
Would you be prepared to pay to access that information?
If so, how much? For a one-off set of information? For a monthly site?
Would you like a physical product? Videos, games, worksheets etc or would you be happy to download it all?
And any other information that you think would be useful?
Although I am aiming at the age group of probably 14 to 20, this is not restrictive. Please ask any young people you know what they think about this and either ask them to leave the information themselves or leave a comment for me yourself.
I really do want to provide a growing resource that will adapt to various situations and circumstances and provide at least some young people with the information that they so desperately need to grow into financially aware adults.
I look forward to all of your comments and thanks for your help with this.