section

On the money

Well-meaning people sometimes write curiously unhelpful things about money. A surprising example comes in Jack Monroe's low-cost recipes published by the Guardian. She's the paper's food blogger and campaigns against poverty for Oxfam and the Child Poverty Action Group. She knows a lot. But you wouldn't...

A couple of years ago, a sociologist told us how amazing it was to live alone. Professor Eric Klinenberg titled his book Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone. The New York-based academic told a great story: how demographics show a dramatic rise in solo living and how...

Did you see Benefits Street? You know, that bit where that fat bloke nobody likes accused his ex-partner of taking drugs in front of her child (from a previous relationship, natch)? And then told the world that she'd cheated on her previous husband while he was dying of cancer. That was after she'd claimed...

img

Busting myth-busting myths

10 December 2013

Financial educators are keen on busting myths. It's understandable, but it's a mistake. It seems a good idea, but it's a very bad one. Why? Because it's flawed in principle and doesn't work in practice. The flaw in the principle is that it gets the relationship between the educator and the learner...

1. A teenager who is relaxed about money isn't likely to stay that way. Young people get more uncomfortable about money as they get older. Most 15-year-olds say they are comfortable with their current finances. Most 18- to 24-year-olds say they aren't. 2. Feeling comfortable about money doesn't derive...

Money is the last taboo. People are more comfortable talking about their sex lives than about their finances. People would rather get divorced than tell their partner about their savings. Those expressions were common when I first started writing about financial education. Except the last one. I just...

img

Who are the food scammers?

18 September 2013

What categories of people get food for free? Following this week's political conference shenanigans, KS1 primary kids will be in that blissful state. Then there's those children of any age from low-income households who qualify for and take up free school meals. Add to the list users of food banks. And...

Do parents of teenagers want financial education in schools? Nope. That's not my opinion. I'm passing on what just arrived in a press release. Most parents, according to a survey, do not think that schools should teach more money management. An overwhelming majority of 1,000 randomly selected parents...

Do you know a young person who has trouble spending money? Laugh at the idea, by all means. After all, the miser has been a figure of fun since classical Rome. But while financial education generally focuses on the perils of overspending and irresponsible shopping, there's a seldom-discussed problem...

What age do you need to be to benefit from financial education? "Is it too late at 11, 12 or 13?" That's what the venerable Paul Lewis of Radio 4's Moneybox asked Tracey Bleakley of the Personal Finance Education Group this weekend.  There's a right answer to this question. It goes like this: No,...