Maths and Money: Young people lacking financial education will be worse off

By Morwenna Evans Tuesday, April 29, 2014

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The importance of mathematics in a child’s education has once again been highlighted by an article in the financial times. The article focused on the lack of financial education inherent within British young adults, leading to far greater issues than merely flunking a maths exam.

With less disposable income than ever, experts have highlighted the importance of young people understanding how to maximise the money they do have. At the heart of this lack of knowledge is a lack of basic mathematical skills, a subject that maths doctor has been highlighting recently.

The article raised the issue of reduced amounts of disposable income:

“The average person in the UK is left with just £148 from his salary after all monthly bills had been paid, people are living on approximately £5 a day.

Looking at the society’s new disposable income index, which charts the saving and debt repayment patterns across the UK, 75 per cent of people said they feared their financial situation would deteriorate, although they were aware of the need to save for retirement or for a rainy day.

“When you are only putting small amounts of money aside each month, it is even more important you make it work harder for you.”

Kevin White, head of UK financial planning at international advisory firm deVere Group, said financial education was critical from the earliest possible years. He said: “Financially speaking, the world has changed in recent years, and it is continuing to evolve at an incredible rate. It would be a massive disservice not to teach children about money.”

Mr Lovatt also said much of the inability to save was a result of people being uneducated about financial matters. For example, he said, two-thirds of people had little knowledge about Isas, adding: “When we are dealing with an accessible and flexible form of tax-efficient saving, this lack of knowledge is concerning.”

What are your experiences? Is your teen clued up on financial matters? Do you think a better understanding of maths could help them?