Students learn to manage their money

This year’s national My Money Week coincided very conveniently with some free slots in the Block 3 and Block 4 PSHE time, and so I gamely volunteered to take on the mammoth task of covering as much as I could about personal finance and making sensible decisions with money in a mere 75 minutes. Personal Finance education is of more importance than ever before, as money and banking has become much more complicated over the last few decades. Children are also involved in money matters and banking at much younger ages. Some statistics (from credible sources) suggest that the average age that children start to make purchases online is at age 10, 26% of teenagers believe that overdrafts are for ‘overspending’, over 75% of young teenagers are already saving for the future, and 51% of teenagers feel that they need to learn how to manage their spending.

The upcoming summer holidays would be a really useful time for you to talk to your child about making sensible and informed decisions with their money. The students learnt how to read and interpret a bank statement (around half of Block 3 told me that they had never actually looked at their statements!), and understand what is meant by concepts such as overdrafts and credit, and the importance of budgeting and its use in planning income and expenditure over time. Hopefully next academic year, I will be able to spend some time with them looking at the bigger economic picture and the role of interest rates, the money supply, the importance of saving/delaying consumption, and the intricacies of the banking system.

By Ruth Tarrant, Head of Economics

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Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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