Impactful CSR: Now is the time to teach children about money
The rise in the cost of living is putting pressure on households to manage their finances very closely. For many, it is adding to an already difficult situation: in the UK, 11.5 million people have less than £100 in savings, 9 million frequently borrow money to pay for food or bills, and 22 million are unsure of how to plan for retirement1.
At this time of crisis, financial literacy is especially important, as it enables people to understand their options and make the best possible decisions regarding debt, loans, mortgage rates, and interests on investments and pension. However, many people don’t have the necessary financial skills: only 48% of 7-to-17-year-olds in the UK receive basic financial education at home or at school2.
This is a critical moment for businesses to step in and support their communities. Helping time-poor teachers deliver financial education at UK schools is a meaningful and impactful way businesses can contribute to a fairer and thriving society through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) or environmental, social and governance (ESG) programmes. The earlier children start learning about money, the better prepared they will be to make informed financial decisions as they grow older.
How financial literacy helps
Addressing the financial knowledge gap has a tangible effect on people’s lives, starting while they are still in school. Young adults interviewed by EVERFI reported a range of outcomes affected by their financial knowledge (or lack thereof), including:
- Budgeting to live within one’s income and to avoid debt
- Securing student loans and mortgages
- Making informed decisions on employment options
- Understanding tax bands
- Questioning incorrect pay cheque deductions
- Saving for emergencies and investing in long-term goals
- Building a credit score while managing debt
- Paying off debt
- Deciding when to use credit or buy insurance
Learn about the impact of financial literacy
We interviewed young people on their financial milestones and the knowledge they think it’s missing
Andy Lymer, professor of Taxation and Personal Finance at Aston University, believes that financial literacy is pivotal throughout a person’s lifetime, although particularly relevant at present: ‘Financial education alone won’t solve the cost of living crisis, but making better financial decisions might help people, where choices are available to them. Now more than ever, financial education is key. You can’t start learning good financial decision-making early enough, nor is there a point you should stop learning about it. Improving our financial education needs to be a lifelong habit, and is especially important right now.’
What your organisation can do
Businesses can sponsor financial education courses for children of all ages at schools across the UK. From an early age children can already start learning about budgeting and saving, and as they grow older they can move on to more complex topics such as investing, planning, insurance, and financial tools. By offering free access to financial education through schools, organisations are equipping young people to make informed financial decisions now and in the future.
At EVERFI from Blackbaud, we have enabled companies like Provident Bank, Alliance for Lifetime Income, and Mass Mutual to offer free financial education to their communities. Our digital platform hosts mobile-first financial literacy courses for adults and children aged 9 to 17, with engaging content and interactive exercises. Our built-in impact measurement tool means that we know just how much of a difference each course makes in learners’ financial knowledge. We can deliver courses to primary and secondary schools across the UK, ensuring access to those who need them the most.
Support young people during the cost of living crisis
Learn about the financial literacy courses you can sponsor to help them make informed monetary decisions
1 – https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Financial-Foundations-Challenge-Pack-UK-Strategy-for-Financial-Wellbeing.pdf
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