HomeBlogTeenage Take over #6

Teenage Take over #6

It's the 6th teenage take over

Hello everyone, you know the drill, new month, new blog! So here we are again, except I’m (Luke) in Cornwall and Jess is in Paris… so this blog is more me than us. Next month it may well be more Jess than me… although we’ll both be in Cornwall together!

The worries of an almost year 11 student…

Anyhow, it’s the end of term, end of year ten, end of messing around? Well, for me at least. The next academic year is when it all gets serious. I’m worried about, well, kind of everything. Or that’s how it feels, but in my world of everything I have to say pensions doesn’t feature anywhere.

And I don’t think it’s just me. Last week I went camping with a group of school friends (there were 11 of us) it was a pretty miserable weekend so we had a lot of time chatting and chilling… It was all very normal. In the whole 48 hours of us being together we didn’t talk about pensions or even money in general once. Our conversations spanned a complete spectrum from piggy-backing prowess to the best science teacher. All very standard topics when you’re cooped up in a tent waiting for the rain to stop, strolling at 2 am or when it’s finally dry playing cricket… but we didn’t even mention money – the thought never even crossed my mind.

teenage takeover Luke SUP
Why don’t teenagers think about money?

Money doesn’t play a big part in my life, and I think there’s probably a couple of reasons; there isn’t anything that I really need or want and aside from a few extra sweets or snacks I have everything that I need and more… and so money doesn’t cross my mind very often because I don’t need it.

And I think another reason that children and teenagers don’t talk about money is because society has evolved. As kids we’re now protected and provided for so much longer than we used to be. Just a few hundred years ago children were contributors to the household – and were set to work doing various jobs for little pay from a very early age.

Isn’t protecting us a good thing?

I’m not saying I wished I was born in the era when I would’ve been sent down a mine or something. But, is it really such a bad thing that children don’t talk about money loads? Most people will spend their entire lives worrying about money and so if your childhood years are the only years you will not have to worry about your own money then surely we should let it stay that way?

But how will we learn?

I think there needs to be a balance, sure we should enjoy our childhood years, not be sent out working and definitely not worrying about money. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be aware of money. 

And here’s the tricky bit, if we don’t need to worry about money what incentive is there to understand it? Whether we do or don’t learn about has no consequence whilst we’re growing up. But without that base knowledge what will happen when we have to make important money decisions? Here’s a quick example, I went to the shops to get some beans for mum – we’d run out. I spent £3.99 on 4 cans of beans (there were other beans on the shelf, but I picked the Heinz 4 pack because I thought that would be better without really looking at the price). Mum says I have no idea of the value of money, and to be honest I have no clue what she’s banging on about! How was I supposed to carry 4 individual cans of beans? 

Back to the education point…

Everyone will have to learn about money at some stage of their life and I think that the question should not be when to start learning about money, but how to start learning about money. Nobody wants to sit down for hours on end leaning about, well, anything. It’s dull. It needs to be made part of our lives. Should we be paid for doing chores? I am. Should we have more responsibility for managing things like our dinner money? Because at my school even that has to be done by my parents. They put money into an online account (that I’m not allowed to access) and I pay for food using my thumb. Which sure, stops people pinching other people’s dinner money, but I don’t get the physical transaction of paying and managing the change. In fact we don’t really have or see actual money at all.

Consistency is key

Just like my revision, the trick is to do a bit every day, and that’s the same for learning any skill (including money management). We need to have and interact with money on a small scale from a young age. Once we understand the basics surely it will be easier to understand more complex things like loans, mortgages and pensions?

That’s all for this month, let us know your thoughts and what you want to hear us talk about in the comments and we will see you next month, (well hopefully Jess will carry the teenage takeover flag next month whilst I catch some more Cornish waves).

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