Back in September 2013, the concept of teaching financial literacy in secondary schools became mandatory throughout the UK. The following year, financial education classes were rolled out by all state schools, with programs included in maths and citizenship lessons.
However, fast forward nearly four years and we see that much of this initial momentum has been lost in the state school system. In fact, 58% of students aged between 15 and 18 did not receive any form of financial education in 2016, while many teachers claimed that they lacked the necessary expertise to teach such classes.
With this in mind, and with parents also failing to impart financial education on their children, should older students assume responsibility for their own fiscal well-being at the earliest opportunity? We’ll answer this below, while exploring how students can achieve this goal.
The Importance of Self-teaching and Gaining Practical Financial Experience
In truth, it’s never too early for individuals to learn the basic principles of financial independence.
This is also a process that requires no genuine expertise, as common sense and a willingness to learn central to any effective financial education.
There are two key stages to this process, however, starting with building a basis of theoretical knowledge. This requires an open and absorbent mind, while you should be willing to learn numerous aspects of financial management, borrowing and investment.
To begin with, we’d recommend that you focus on learning about financial basics and the fundamental principles of investment. This creates a broad and relevant education that enables you simultaneously reduce the cost of living and generate long-term income streams.
In the case of the latter, for example, you should learn about basic investment vehicles such as bonds and stocks, and develop knowledge about how the value of these assets is influenced by news events, geopolitical developments and macroeconomic trends. This affords you a wider understanding of the financial landscape as a whole, while also laying the foundations for a potential investment portfolio.
The Last Word – Gaining Practical Financial Experience
The second stage of this education should require you to apply this knowledge in a practical manner, across an array of financial experiences and products.
With an understanding of borrowing and macroeconomic factors such as interest rates, for example, you can safely apply for short-term loans from outlets such as Smart-pig and execute timely repayments. This creates positive transactions on your credit report, while teaching the mechanics of borrowing.
You could even access a demo financial trading account, as you look to bridge the gap between theoretical investment knowledge and practical trading success. This free-to-access platform lets you practice trading strategies in a simulated market environment, across a range of assets including bonds, stocks and currencies.