In a recent Netwealth webinar, Founder of Banqer, Kendall Flutey, who launched a digital financial literacy classroom program for kids over two years ago, explored a number of exercises and tools that can be used at home and in the classroom to ensure that kids are financially literate, capable, and prepared for their financial future.
Research shows attitudes towards money and financial habits are set in place by 7 years of age, highlighting the need to start formal financial education as early as possible in the school curriculum.
“If we’re going to produce financially competent adults, financial education needs to be included as a key learning area in the curriculum,” says Flutey.
“Introducing financial concepts early, providing opportunities to apply their learning, and experience consequences of their decisions – are all crucial to kickstarting financial education.”
Below, Flutey profiles six solutions - three for use in the home and three in school.
School financial educational services
Three school resources to consider include:
1. MoneySmart – www.moneysmart.gov.au
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission have developed a National Financial Literacy strategy and built a suite of resources on the MoneySmart website to compliment this strategy.
While more traditional in approach, it is unbiased and free. It also offers teachers face-to-face support and professional development. This program is suitable for primary and secondary schools and is mapped to the national curriculum.
Kendall says this tool is particularly great for schools who are just starting on their financial literacy journey or perhaps are a bit skeptical whether financial literacy will have a long-term role in their curriculum.
MoneySmart provides a link on the website of all the schools using the program, so it is easy to find out what schools are and are not using it.
2. Kidpreneur – www.kidpreneurs.org
This program focuses on learning by doing. Kids go into business on a small scale and through some mentoring, have a practical experience of running a business. This tool is great for kids who show a natural inclination towards business.
“This is pitched at quite a young age, year four and six, but kids do show a tendency quite early on if they are business minded,” says Kendall.
3. Banqer – www.banqer.co
This is an online financial education platform for kids and in a simulated way, immerses kids into the financial world. Banqer was started by Kendall a few years ago and now services over 50,000 school kids in New Zealand and Australia.
Kids have their own online bank account, split into two accounts, savings and expenses. They can buy property. They get an overall view of their net wealth. This tool is also gamified a little bit with the use of leaderboards.
The advantage of this platform is its measurable. Using interim exit quizzes and tracking financial behaviours, Banqer can measure financial literacy rates. This tool is an unbiased platform run by an education company.
While schools are a great starting point, everyone has a role to play in financial education.
This includes parents who Kendall says are “perfectly primed to teach kids' financial experience, and to also be involved in some of those money firsts.”
Three at home resources include:
1. Pennybox – www.pennybox.com
The modern-day equivalent of pocket money, Pennybox takes the three-jar approach to savings and puts it online for kids aged 6-16 years.
Tasks can be created and payments awarded. It is both fun and interactive, but is more about the experience rather than financial education. In this way, there is a great opportunity for advisers to fill the gap and play the educator.
“I would certainly recommend Pennybox as a beginner, in-home solution,” says Kendall. “Kids, perhaps, 10 years old and younger, before you progress onto something more substantial.”
2. Money School – www.moneyschool.org.au
Parents who are particularly engaged and involved with their child's education, will be perhaps most interested in this tool.
This is an intensive program for parents and kids and therefore is not for the time poor. They enrol and go through the activities together. Money School may just suit a small subset of clients out there.
3. Spriggy – www.spriggy.com.au
This is a prepaid card for 8 to 18 year olds which lets them experience the responsibilities that come with earning and spending cash.
Kendall says Spriggy is a step up from Pennybox in that it is a good progression age-wise, responsibility and experience wise. There is a cost involved.
Unlike Pennybox where it is just numbers on a screen and parents cash it out for your child or put it into the bank account, this is real money that the parent is pre-loading onto a card and that child is then able to spend.