Family support charity Home-Start Central Bedfordshire, which has been working in Leighton Buzzard since 1984, has called for co-ordinated financial capability services to be made available to parents in developing children’s financial literacy and confidence from an early age.
In a report published this month the organisation found that almost a third of adults (31%) still believe it is inappropriate to include children in general discussions about money, despite three quarters of children believing they should help decide what their family spends money on, signalling a potential communication gap between today’s generation of money managers and tomorrows.
Adults’ reluctance to involve children in serious financial conversations today could be rooted in the behaviour of the generation before them, as half of those polled admitted they did not have discussions about personal finances with adults during their own childhood.
Linda Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Home-Start Central Bedfordshire, said: “This report shows that children today are very interested in and attuned to money but we also know that their willingness to learn far outweighs their knowledge. The role of parents and carers in educating their children about money from an early age is incredibly important in order to stand them in good stead for later in life.
“We support many families in the Central Bedfordshire area struggling with financial problems that exacerbate other issues – such as mental ill health, disability or isolation – and make them much harder to cope with. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Money for Life to help give the families we work with the knowledge, tools and confidence to manage their money well. And being open about money within their own family and friendship circles, as well as with professionals, is a significant part of this.
“We also run the Home-Start Plus project in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council, which gives families very practical ways of saving money through a series of workshops backed up by the website www.home-startplus.org.uk.”