Financial literacy

In 2015, teenagers from 15 countries around the world took part in an OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) financial literacy test. It found that only one-in-five 15-year-olds had the most basic financial literacy skills.

This matters because financial literacy is a crucial life skill.

In 2018, people in the UK owed in total £1.58 trillion in personal debt. For many, this is a natural side effect of buying a house, or going to university. They know they can pay the money back. But falling too far into debt can have devastating consequences. Learning how to manage money is the best defence against this.

Here are some tips to get you started this Global Money Week:

1. Make a budget. Keep a record of how much money you have, and how much the things you want cost. This way you can keep track of how much you are spending, and how long it will take to save for things.

2. Start saving. If you don’t have a savings account, open one and deposit a small percentage of any money you receive. Over time, this will build up to a much larger amount!

3. Shop around for better deals. Always check to see if something is being sold cheaper elsewhere, or if there are special sales or discount codes you can use.

What are your best money tips?

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Once your start earning, you will also start paying taxes. Should some people be taxed more than others? This useful video considers a popular financial debate.


  1. This week is Global Money Week. Create a poster which gives financial advice to young people in your school.
  2. Write definitions for the following words: money, currency, debt, credit, and interest.
  3. Imagine you earn £250 per week. (This is close to the minimum wage for 18 to 20-year-olds, assuming they work for eight hours a day, five days a week.) Create a budget which includes how much you have to spend on food, bills, housing, transport, and luxury items. If you’re unsure, research how much things cost in your local area. Do you have anything left over to put into savings?