Junior ISA lessons you wish you’d learnt at school

  • UK parents admit to wishing they had a better understanding of finances at school
  • 37% wished they knew how to save money for short and long-term goals
  • 28% wished they understood the value of money by handling cash early on
  • 27% of parents under 30 wished they had learnt how to avoid using pay day lenders

37% of parents wish they had received a better understanding of how to save money for both short and long-term goals when they were at school, according to new research from Foresters Friendly Society. 

Despite being an essential life skill, financial education was only introduced to the UK school curriculum in September 2014, so many adults left school without adequate understanding of basic finances, with potentially devastating impacts on their long term financial wellbeing. 

For younger parents, the detrimental impact of a lack of financial education is significant, with the lack of transferable skills a contributory factor in the rising debt problem and ultimately contributing to growing reliance on payday loans to keep up with regular financial commitments. A surprising 27% of parents sampled, aged between 25 to 29, wished they had understood the importance of avoiding pay day lenders from an earlier age.

While Government measures support basic financial education at school, a thorough assessment of the curriculum’s effectiveness in real life situations is crucial. If they could go back, 28% of parents asked wish they understood the value of money by handling cash early on. 25% would have found an earlier understanding of financial markets and the wider economy useful in adulthood.

Paul Osborn, Chief Executive for Foresters Friendly Society, commented: “The ability to save is vital for basic money management in adult life, something that’s in high demand from parents who’ve missed out on a thorough financial education. While we can’t turn back the clock, we can take responsibility for instilling healthy saving habits in the next generation and help them make positive financial decisions.”

“That is not to say that total responsibility falls to teachers, as parents can help with the heavy lifting at home, with the aid of tools such as digital games and mobile banking apps. Another positive lesson would be to encourage children to regularly save part of their earned pocket money into a savings plan, such as  a Junior ISA, to help teach them the value of frequently putting money away for the future. It’s also a tax-free way of generating a nest egg to help with future expenses such as university fees, first car or a deposit for first home so has the potential to do more than educate them on managing finances today.”