How do you nurture financial capability in children and young people?

Child's hand holding out two coins

​It's a question worth asking. Many financial habits and attitudes to money develop at an early age but, as recently highlighted by the UK's Financial Capability Strategy, too few children and young people are fully equipped with the mindset and skills needed to navigate the adult world of financial responsibility.

The MyPocketSkill team is proud to have led a piece of work, commissioned by the Money Advice Service, to look at the evidence base behind capability-building programmes and to drill down into what's effective. We have distilled this work into some key themes - some of the highlights are:

  • Start young! There's some good evidence to support setting the right behaviours at an early age sets great foundations
  • Learning-by-doing can generate great results. Forget stuffy classrooms - go out there and start practising (not just the spending bit...)
  • Do it at an important moment, when its relevant - rather than just from a theoretical perspective
  • It's too important to be left to teachers - and in any case, parents are the most important role model to children and young people when it comes to financial behaviours
  • Also it's not just about the accumulation of knowledge about financial products and services - a major part of financial capability development is around the cognitive factors that influence things like prioritising tasks, setting goals and controlling impulses).

Overall our work highlights the importance of developing financial capabilities and, by developing an understanding of what works, we've built an important bridge for policy-makers, schools, families and young people.

See our full report here.

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