As you can probably tell by the fact I write not one but 3 blogs about saving money, finance and good financial management are important to me.
I think it is absolutely key to have a really good understanding of our personal finances so we can live without bad debt and as well as we can with the money we have.
I have long believed money management should be taught in schools as a complete subject in its own right. It undoubtedly affects us all as adults and has a huge impact on our wellbeing (sewing is still on the curriculum and really how many people sew?)
I don’t think we ever touched on money management when I was at school. But things have improved in this respect over recent years.
Money management and education
In 2014, the government announced that financial education would become part of the compulsory national curriculum in England. This was pretty crucial as multiple reports had found that many Britons struggled when it came to financial literacy. But has it been effective?
Well, the good news is that free-for-life credit report and score provider Noddle.co.uk has literally put it to the test. They created a mock GCSE financial literacy paper to test the ‘Class of 2018’ – those leaving secondary school this year – to see whether they can make more informed financial decisions than previous generations.
The study found that four years after the introduction of financial education in English secondary schools, leavers today have better money skills than older generations – particularly millennials, who fared worst on the exam.
Overall, 16-year olds achieved more A grades in the mock GCSE financial literacy exam than Millennials (42% vs 36%). They also achieved better average scores (5.8 marks out of 10 vs 5.3 marks out of 10) and were less likely to get the very lowest grades, E or below (17% vs 25%).
Sitting the financial literacy GCSE
I was lucky enough to be one of the select few money bloggers Noddle chose to have a go at completing the GCSE exam. Blimey, I was a bit nervous I have to tell you. There were 10 questions and I had just 20 mins to whizz through them.
They were tricky and varied and ranged from understanding abbreviations to choosing the best mortgage deal. They were do-able but I did have to make a couple of ‘informed’ guesses.
I waited with some trepidation for the results.
My GCSE results
Oh, I was scared to open my results. It certainly took me back some 25 years! But I did well. I got 9/10, the equivalent to a low A*
I’ll take that!
The average score in England was 6/10.
All these years blogging about money must have taught me a thing or two. Blimey – what a relief!
We do need to understand money.
We need to know about interest rates, taxes and what’s the best mortgage deal, otherwise we may find ourselves experiencing financial hardship. Of all the things in life, it’s worth spending time being informed about our finances. Or, it should be. Problems with money affect lives terribly and can lead to emotional and practical distress, including anxiety, stress, divorce, homelessness and so forth.
The bottom line is: we need to manage our money well to have good quality of life and peace of mind.
Get yourself financially savvy
You can register at Noddle.co.uk to get access to your free-for-life credit score and report. This will give you a good understanding of your financial health. It is SO handy to see at a glance any debts you have, including your outstanding mortgage and loans. It is also really useful to see your credit score, as this can affect how likely you are to be lent money. Well worth a look! Better to be informed and make good choices than to be ignorant and pay no attention to your financial status.
Finally, the Noddle Help Hub is a great place to give yourself some financial know how – you can find information on everything from what your credit report is and how to improve your score to protecting your details from fraudsters and finding the right type of credit for you.