A PISA report confirms that our country is in tenth position out of the 15 OECD countries analysed, according to Price Water House (PwC), on financial knowledge of children between 13 and 15 years of age. In other words, Spain devotes far fewer hours to financial content at school than other countries, despite having the longest school day.
Financial education could be defined as a person’s ability to understand how the economy works and to make decisions based on that understanding. This type of information allows us to develop skills that will ultimately translate into greater economic well-being and, therefore, be better prepared for times of economic crisis such as those we are currently experiencing.
If we educate children from an early age in the concept of saving, in the good use of money, they will be better prepared for future crises that may occur. Responsible use and economic planning is essential for future generations. An example of this is the Inspiring Girls Foundation, which has launched the Inspiring Girls Financial Club with the aim of helping teenagers and young people learn to manage their own finances and learn about new trends and the financial market in a simple way. They are supported and have the experience of real women who work in prestigious companies.
- Literature can also help us
BAPI, is a book written by Pilar Mellado, a CNMV technician, integrated in the Financial Education volunteers program, and its objective is to bring financial education to children. The author had the idea of creating this book to disseminate concepts through the main character, BAPI, an imaginary elephant that stars in a children’s book for children to learn basic financial concepts, such as “piggy bank”, “bank”, “spending”, “saving” or “debt” in a fun way.
Mellado states that “it is important that children are immersed in stories that transport them to a universe of superheroes, princes and princesses, fantastic animals or objects that come to life”. These stories, in addition to being entertaining for them, can be accompanied by what he called educational pills, and that is BAPI’s objective, to entertain by handing out financial pills.
- The impact of social networks on consumption
It is true that nowadays, it is difficult to do this exercise, we live in a consumerist society, where everything is shown. Social networks do not help children to become aware of what it costs to earn money, let alone save.
In this social network, many influencers sponsored by big brands show an endless number of products and services. This is where the knowledge of the older generations is important, explaining that not everything we see and want can be bought.
If we want the little ones to be educated people, with values and success, we have to inculcate the sacrifice that comes with saving with the effort to get the things they want.
One of the first steps we can take is to give them a piggy bank from an early age. From that moment on, on their next birthday or special date, if they receive any economic gift, they will have to deposit it in their piggy bank. It is important to explain to them that with the money they have been saving for X amount of time, they could buy what they want, but if they spend it all, they will end up with zero money.
Later on, you can also propose activities to earn money. Create a calendar with weekly goals for household chores. Make them simple, but require the investment of a minimum of time and effort, and if they do everything that has been proposed, they can get money. With this method they will know what it costs to earn money through sacrifice.
Financial education comes from home, if we start with these practices and we get schools to talk more and more about personal finance and put it into practice, we will be creating new habits for the new generations that will make their lives easier and more bearable, and we will also get them to appreciate things more when they buy them with the fruit of their effort and tenacity.