The Need For Debt Education

One of the most striking changes to society over the course of the past thirty years has been the shift in attitude towards borrowing and saving. Having once been a nation of savers, many of us no longer think twice about using credit to acquire something we can’t actually afford to buy with our own money. The problem is that this ‘buy now, pay later’ approach all too often results in serious financial difficulties further down the line.

This fundamental realignment of priorities has not been helped in recent years by a policy driven desensitisation of those entering Higher Education to higher and higher levels of unsecured debt.

We believe that engaging with the next generation of credit users to foster a more responsible attitude to borrowing and saving is key to tackling the UK’s growing level of consumer debt. By encouraging people to make prudent personal-finance choices, we can reduce the likelihood of instances of income shock contributing to unmanageable debt.

This is why the charity, in partnership with Southlands High School (Chorley, Lancashire), has developed a series of financial literacy guides aimed at young people called ‘Money Diaries’. The books, which are written by children for children, aim to tackle key financial capability issues such as attitude to borrowing and saving and the appropriateness and affordability of debt.

20,000 copies of the books, which have received widespread acclaim from children, teachers and even the Education Minister and Governor of the Bank of England, have to date be distributed free to local schoolchildren. The books are also available to download for free from the debt education section of the charity’s website.

Ed Balls visit

Visit of the Education Minister. Clockwise from left to right: Dennis Benson, Brian Souter, David Rodger,
Ruth Gratton, Nicola Haresceugh, Rt Hon Lindsay Hoyle MP, Rt Hon Ed Balls MP.

Mervyn King with children

Visit to the Bank of England. Clockwise from left to right, Emma Taylor, Alex Mellor, Mervyn King
(Governor of the Bank of England), Ryan Dickinson and Sarah Fendor.

Robert Peston with children

Visit to BBC. Clockwise from left to right, Ryan Dickinson, Robert Peston (BBC's Business Editor),
Alex Mellor, Sarah Fendor and Emma Taylor.

PFEG LOGO

All of the money Diaries books have been awarded the Personal Finance Education Group (PFEG) quality mark, which demonstrates that they are effective and of the highest educational quality.

MEC LOGO

The charity has also funded the UK’s first dedicated Money Education Centre (MEC) for children. The centre, which offers free financial capability lessons to local school children, has been awarded the PFEG Centre of Excellence accreditation. This award recognises organisations that have taken big steps in bringing the subject of personal finance into classrooms.

Money Education Centre

Visit of Shadow Education Secretary. Clockwise left to right, Mark Fowler
(Headmaster at Southlands), Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP, Dennis Benson.

The charity is a registered supporter of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People, which aims to bring MPs, Peers and other organisations together to discuss financial education in schools and colleges.