Financial literacy is defined as the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being.
According to a number of global surveys, Irish citizens generally score lower than many other countries when it comes to essential financial skills. In a 2016 survey conducted by MoneyWhizz, areas that Irish adults struggle with include investment risk and diversification, inflation and even essential elements of credit profiles.
Teaching financial skills as a core life skill should begin as soon as children begin to develop money habits. According to a 2013 UK study from the Money Advice Service, children as young as age 7 form money habits that can last a lifetime.
But what to teach and how to teach kids about money is critical.
MoneyWhizz has identified six essential pillars of money knowledge, those include:
- Saving & Spending
- Credit & Debt
- Employment & Income
- Investing & Growing Money
- Risk & Protection
- Money Decisions & Planning
MoneyWhizz believes that is not sufficient to focus on any single money topic as can often be the case when it comes to teaching children about money. For example, a popular narrative suggests that financial education can be provided when children are encouraged to be ‘good savers’. While that objective has a lot of value, it represents just one of the six essential pillars of a thoughtful and comprehensive financial education programme.
Teaching styles are also very important. For example, in the case of young children, it is important to develop stories and engagement activities that promote learning.
While developing the Talking Cents financial education programme for primary school students (aged 7 – 12), MoneyWhizz incorporated a mix of learning supports, including stories, memory recall, word-focus along with a dynamic set of teacher worksheets aligned to the student magazines. This collaborative approach means that teachers can quickly and confidently engage in a meaningful way with students about a wide range of money topics, all of which are aligned to the Six Pillars of Financial Knowledge.
Finally, all financial education content has been developed based on a comprehensive financial literacy framework. The framework identifies key knowledge benchmarks by age and sets the learning objectives and provides resources in order to reach those knowledge benchmarks.