Sunday 21 January 2018

Schools 'should teach pupils about budgeting'

Almost 60pc said that the best way of teaching children about budgeting was to open a savings account for them and encourage them to save money. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Almost 60pc said that the best way of teaching children about budgeting was to open a savings account for them and encourage them to save money. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Patrick Kelleher

Parents believe that personal finance and budgeting should be taught in schools as early as possible, according to a new survey.

The research, which was carried out by Ulster Bank and surveyed 1,001 people over 18, reveals that many worry that children do not know how to manage money and to budget correctly.

Some 94pc of adults believe personal finance should be taught at school, and half believe that children should learn about managing finances at a young age.

Some 89pc of those surveyed with children of school-going age said that it was "very important" that their children have the ability to manage money.

Almost 60pc said that the best way of teaching children about budgeting was to open a savings account for them and encourage them to save money.

The survey also shows that parents overwhelmingly consider maths to be the most important subject taught at school.

Some 79pc ranked maths as the most important subject, followed by English at 65pc. Trailing behind was international languages at 35pc, with history and geography ranking even lower.

The survey also revealed that half of parents believe their children are not as responsible with money as they were at their age. The most recent OECD estimate also suggests that Irish teenagers have among the worst numeracy skills in the developed world.

The results will come as a concern as the numbers of those unable to meet their mortgage repayments continues to rise in the run up to Christmas.

Some 650 families are appearing in court each week in home repossession cases, suggesting that many mortgage-holders are struggling to manage their personal finances.

Irish Independent

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