A Journey of Financial Literacy: Empowering Parents and Children

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Ernestina Saarrah-Mensah
Scottish Widows

Hello there! I’m Ernestina, and welcome to this month's blog!

Did you know that only 48% of 7 to 17 year-olds in the UK receive any form of financial education in school? (Money and Pensions service)

Yet, studies show that children as young as 7 begin to form lifelong money habits. Understanding financial matters from an early age is crucial for building a secure and prosperous future. We need to make financial education fun and accessible, helping young people develop the skills they need to manage money wisely. 

In this month’s blog, we look into why financial education is essential for young people and children, highlighting key topics and concepts to foster their interest. From budgeting basics to the importance of saving, we cover fundamental principles that can set the foundation for financial literacy. Additionally, we explore the importance of addressing different learning styles to ensure every child can effectively engage with and benefit from financial education. 

Tracey Myers

I had the privilege of speaking to Tracey Myers, Community Engagement Officer at Lloyds Banking Group, who speaks passionately on how we navigate the vital steps towards financial literacy for the next generation to ensure they are well-equipped to make informed financial decisions throughout their lives. 

What inspired you to get involved in financial education, particularly for children and young people? 

I have worked for Lloyds Banking Group for over 22 years, in a diverse range of roles. I have always been involved in initiatives that support Lloyds Banking Group’s ethos to Help Britian Prosper. My current role in the community engagement team has opened my eyes to the lack of financial education that young people receive and the important role that we play as a company in supporting this societal need. We have an amazing programme of resources set up which I am so proud of in terms of their impact on young people. 

In your opinion, why is it important for children and young people to learn about financial matters from an early age?

There is a pressing need for more to be done when it comes educating young people on financial literacy, and various research studies highlight this need.  

Research from National Numeracy found that around half of working age adults have the financial literacy levels of those expected of a primary school child.  

And the Money and Pensions Service Children and Young People’s Financial Wellbeing survey tells us that only 33% of children recall learning about money at school and 24% at home. The findings indicate that children who have received a meaningful financial education are more likely to; 

  • feel more confident about managing their money, 
  • disagree with the statement ‘I feel anxious when thinking about my money’, 
  • save money more regularly, 
  • have a bank account that they use, 
  • have positive attitudes towards money, 
  • talk about money, 
  • demonstrate positive day-to-day money management skills, such as shopping around to compare prices and planning ahead for how they will buy the things they need. 

What are some of the key topics or concepts that you focus on during your sessions in schools and how can parents adopt these?

When we go into schools, we offer a suite of Quality Marked resources tailored for young people aged 3-16 and 16+. Our content is grounded in the digital age and emphasises the importance of developing a healthy relationship with money.  

For parents looking for tips, we find that age-appropriate topics designed to be inclusive work really well. Topics such as how to keep money safe and how to stay safe online are very relevant in today’s world. And focusing on narratives such as how financial independence comes from earning your own money, can have more of an impact on younger individuals. Additionally, using informative videos on subjects like fraud has been useful in engaging young people. 

Could you share any success stories or memorable moments from your experiences delivering financial education to students?

I’ve had the privilege to attend many schools and colleges to support in delivering our resources alongside my amazing colleagues. I particularly enjoy delivering our ‘Banking on it’ resource for 9–11 year olds. This session introduces children to the services banks can offer. They learn about the difference between goods and services, and how we might choose one service over another. They discover what it means to be a critical consumer and think about how their choices might be influenced. 

My favourite activity is where the students get to design a bank account. They must name the bank, give it a promotion slogan, select services the bank will offer from a list of ideas and then create an extra special service of their own. Young children are so innovative, and we have had suggestions such as free games consoles, £1,000 and even Nutella!! On another occasion whilst being taught about ‘digital money’ a student told us they helped their granny sell her high heels on Vinted. 

Engaging children in the practical application of financial education can lead to memorable and impactful experiences. 

What are some top tips for parents who want to educate their children on financial literacy?

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) is a great place to start. MaPS aims to improve financial wellbeing and confidence, focusing on those most in need. They put a lot of effort into enhancing financial education for children and young people at school, at home, and in the community. They also lead the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing, striving to ensure everyone can make the most of their money and pensions.

One of their goals is for two million more children and young people in the UK to receive meaningful financial education by 2030. They work with funders and providers, such as Lloyds Banking Group, to develop new tools and programmes, to enhance financial education across the UK. 

By leveraging these resources and collaborating with educators, you can play a pivotal role in fostering your child's financial wellbeing and preparing them for a financially secure future. 

Useful Resources

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Talking about money

The Money and Pensions' Money Helper service has lots of tips to help you start a conversation about money with your partner, friends, children, parents and grandparents.

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In our new financial wellbeing blog series, our host Ernestina explores various topics to help you better manage and understand different aspects of your finances.

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