New research suggests children are now as financially savvy as their parents. A poll of more than 1,000 parents and their children has found that nine in 10 children aged 8-16 think it’s important to save money and, of those, two-thirds thought it was especially important to save towards a specific goal.

The company behind the poll – PKTMNY – has been created by parents to provide digital ‘pocket money’ for children in the form of a prepaid debit card and online account management.

Here’s a look at how it works, and a closer look at how financial education is changing.

Attitudes to money

The PKTMNY service gives children an account and a pre-paid VISA debit card. Parents can personalise the card to set a spending limit and determine where it can be spent.

The online platform features tools which encourage and enable money management, and there’s a gifting service which allows friends and relatives to deposit money into the account for birthdays and other celebrations.

Separate research suggests young people are just as affected by financial matters as we are. Santander, the bank, says children have been among the biggest losers in the economic downturn. Let’s not forget that children aged 10 and under won’t remember anything but recession and austerity in their lifetimes.

Santander, working alongside the Personal Financial Education Group charity (known as pfeg) has seen a reduction in pocket money as parents cut back. Combined with inflation above the inflation rate on goods typically bought by children, this means kids are most definitely feeling the pinch.

Today’s children are probably more engaged with money than we were at their age, which begs the question of whether financial education in schools is a good idea.

Do schools teach it?

Back in September we asked you whether it was important to teach children about managing money. Some 2,765 people voted and a massive 73% said financial education should be compulsory at school.

There is no specific and formal financial education on the UK curriculum, but guidelines for the teaching of Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PHSE) make it possible for schools to teach pupils at Key Stages 1 to 4 about financial matters.

Personal finance has also been shown to provide a useful context for teaching mathematics. It is often popular with pupils because its ‘real life’ application makes it a relevant way to learn.

Over the last decade many more schools have decided to teach personal finance. A recent survey found that 55% of secondary schools and 31% of primary schools were teaching it, most commonly through personal, social, health and economic education, closely followed by mathematics and citizenship.

It is important to teach children about the power and purpose of money because it can become a source of anxiety otherwise. Data from the National Children’s Bureau and pfeg shows that 43% of 7-16 year olds actually worry about money, while one in eight has owed money and been unable to repay the debt.

MoneySupermarket’s head of content Clare Francis visited one school in Chorley to see secondary pupils teach primary school children about money management.

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySupermarket, also offers this advice to parents: “Getting children into the habit of budgeting is essential, especially before they leave school.

“Many teens have part-time jobs in their final years of school and college, and for some, this could be the first time they experience regular payments into their bank account. By learning to put money aside or aiming for a savings goal, your child can understand the importance of balancing income, expenses and savings.”

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