The notion that banks should go into schools to teach children about finance has been met by the usual howls of outrage from those in the business of claiming that all banks are wicked, but in fact it’s a very good idea. Children need to know about how mortgages work, what an annual percentage rate (APR) is all about, and what saving up toward a pension involves. This kind of knowledge is a useful life skill.
I have strong memories of the time our Geography teacher, ‘Sam’ Osborn, took time out to teach us all about hire purchase, an early form of credit sale. He taught us how to calculate the total amount we would have to pay for an item bought this way, and we were all shocked to discover that it more than doubled the cost in most cases. No doubt it stiffened our resolve to save up for things instead of enjoying them immediately on high-priced credit. Yes, by all means let us teach children how finance works. It will probably make them into savvier customers.
Filed under: Updates