Suits Me® Simplified: Banking 101

Financial Advice That We Should Have Been Taught in School

We’ve put together 6 personal finance skills that we should have learnt in high school 📚

School children running in a corridor going to a lesson were they should be given financial advice

Have you used Pythagoras theorem? What about making a battery out of a potato? Hmm, us neither. It’s safe to say that the high school curriculum in the UK is varied, but there wasn’t much in the way of preparing students for their financial future.

Of course, high school has many merits and benefits that provide students with the skills to achieve success in their academic future. It’s also a place to make wonderful life-long memories, and in many cases, lasting friendships are forged over the five-plus years students typically attend.

However, if you think back to your time in high school, was there much emphasis placed on the real-life, ‘grown-up’ responsibilities that most adults encounter on a daily basis – especially, when it came to prepping us with the skills to successfully manage our personal finances? Here are some of the lessons, we could have done with knowing when we were in school:

Creating a Budget

I’m not sure there are many high schoolers who would jump for joy at learning how to budget their money, but it is one essential life skill that helps to prevent unnecessary debt.

If you don’t know how much you can afford to spend and save each month, it’s easy to fall into the trap of debt, especially with the appearance of Buy Now, Pay Later credit schemes.

Every student should be taught how to set up and manage a budget, which they will be able to carry with them through all of the financial events that life throws their way, from buying a car to saving for Christmas.  

If you’d like to learn more, check out our blog post about the dangers of buy now pay later schemes and how they can impact your credit score.

The Importance of a Credit Score

Did you ever hear of a credit score when you were a young teenager? Nope. Us neither. But a good credit score is key when it comes to lending money at a reasonable rate of interest.

Having a good credit score is important in life if you want to eventually apply for a mortgage, buy a new car on finance or get a credit card. The worse your credit score, the less likely you’ll be able to access these types of product down the line.

Unfortunately, it’s very easy to impact your credit score, and a lot of people suffer into their adult life due to mistakes made as a young adult. Issues like not paying phone contracts off or missing payments on bills can lead to a reduction in score.

Gambling Awareness

Okay, so this one may not exactly be “financial advice” so to speak, but there are 350,000 people who are currently struggling with a gambling addiction in the UK.

Living with a gambling addiction can be expensive and unfortunately, the number of gambling outlets in the UK has massively increased and although the government are trying to clamp down on this issue, there are still huge advertisements and sponsorship deals plastered across social media and television.

If the dangers of getting hooked on gambling were implemented in the high school curriculum, this could help to give children the skills and advice needed to avoid getting into problems when they’re at the legal gambling age.

The Benefit of Compound Interest

So, with the low-interest rates we’ve seen since the recession, this may not have sprung to mind when learning about finance. However, it’s important, nonetheless.
Compound interest is a way of making the most of your savings or investments. It’s where the interest is calculated based on the initial deposit, plus all the interest that you’ve received from previous periods.

Whilst not all high schoolers will reach their savings potential or maximum income for quite a few years when it comes to maximising your the key to saving money is – time. By starting early, you can reap the rewards sooner and help to build wealth that will compound over the years.

Laying the Groundwork for Managing Financial Milestones

Teaching kids about the importance of preparing for a secure financial future would help kids to be aware of what they’re expected to pay when they’re living independently.

Sure, there are things like the rent or mortgage, but what about paying council tax? Or dealing with home repairs? These aren’t often mentioned in a high school curriculum. Setting healthy financial goals will help students to see how much money they should be putting aside, how to avoid bad debt, and adjust their income to manage the cost of living.

Openly Talking About Financial Difficulties

When it comes to money, there seems to be a stigma attached to people who face financial hardship. People feel embarrassed about getting advice and support when they need it and often let debt build until it becomes too much.

We all make mistakes in life, especially when our finances are involved – and mistakes happen. Nobody is perfect, the key is how you deal with these mistakes which is where teaching children that it’s okay not to be, well, okay when it comes to money should be a priority and a normal part of the curriculum.

This could prevent individuals from digging themselves a financial hole later in life if they know that help is available when things don’t go as planned.

Alternative Accounts with Suits Me®

 At Suits Me®, our goal is to provide an affordable account to those who need it, regardless of a person’s financial position or personal circumstances. We offer much more than just a basic prepaid debit card. Our accounts are personal e-money accounts which work similarly to a traditional bank account. You’ll gain access to an online account and our mobile app, where you’ll be able to manage your money on the go, 24/7.

We offer a whole variety of banking-like features including:

  • The ability to set up standing orders and manage direct debits,
  • Send money within the UK via a transfer, international transfers are available via a partner in the Suits Me® app,
  • Gain access to our exclusive cashback reward programme where you’ll automatically get a percentage of your money back when you use your Suits Me® debit card with our retail partners.

Opening a Suits Me® account takes 3 minutes and you’ll gain access to your online account immediately so you can start managing your money. We don’t ask for proof of address or run a credit check. We accept 99.8% of all applicants – so if you’re looking for a suitable alternative solution apply today! Open Your Account Today

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