You have your mother’s eyes and your father’s debts: Study finds how teens inherit money habits from their parents

It would appear that genes aren’t the only thing that parents pass down to their children, with a study finding teenagers exhibit similar traits when it comes to handling their finances.

Young people whose parents struggle to pay off their debts are less likely to budget their own finances sensibly compared to those with parents who can live within their own means, the Money Advice Service has found.

And two-thirds of 15 to 17-year-olds whose families can save for ‘emergency costs’ have a regular habit of saving their pocket money or wages from part-time work, compared to 47 per cent from families who can’t cope with unexpected costs.

Money Advice Service chief executive Caroline Rookes said: ‘We know our money habits are formed very young, and once formed are extremely difficult to shift.

‘But I am struck by how heavily a young person’s money management habits are influenced by their family’s past and present financial behaviour.

‘This is our first glimpse of how these young people are coping with the transition into adulthood – we see a generation “coming of age” through a period of austerity, a group that’s witnessing rapid financial change and learning how to cope and plan.

‘It’s vital we keep track of their habits effectively so we can better understand their challenges and help them deal with life’s financial ups and downs.’

Although teenagers take note of their parents’ attitudes to money, there are positive signs that they will be better equipped to deal with their finances once they reach full adulthood.

‘Pester power’ costs parents £460 a year

Parents spend around £460 a year on average on things they do not need after giving in to the pestering of their children, a survey claims.

The study, of children aged two to 15, found that sweets, snacks and junk food were among the most popular items, with four in 10 pestering their parents for treats.

They also demanded a host of other less likely purchases. DIY tools (13 per cent) and cleaning products featured in advertisements (8 per cent) were among the items parents bought after persuasion from their children.

When it came to parental defences, half of those questioned said they told a child they could not afford a particular item, while one on five distracted their offspring with a snack.

One in eight (13 per cent) went so far as to promise their child their desired item – but never bought it.

Ten per cent of those questioned said they caved in and bought their child whatever they wanted as they could not be bothered to deal with the fuss.

Never mind the bank of mum and dad: Grandparents now paying £647million a year to subsidise needy grandchildren

Forget the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ – grandparents are subsidising their grandchildren to the tune of more than half a billion pounds a year, according to a new study.

Researchers found a fifth of grandparents in England aged 50 or over give money to their grandchildren, and the figure totalled £647 million in 2010.

Grandparents who give are more likely to be homeowners than renters and more likely to have lower or no mortgage debt, according to the research.

The study by the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK), supported by Key Retirement Solutions and Partnership, highlights how grandparents are playing a vital role in supporting future generations.

The report – Grandparental Generosity – looks at the levels and patterns of financial support from grandparents using the 2010 English Longitudinal Study on Ageing (ELSA).

Just under 2.5 million grandparents in England aged 50 or older gave money to their grandchildren.

Contributions to Child Trust Funds (CTFs), tax-free savings accounts for children available from 2005-2010, were made by one in 25 grandparents (3.99 per cent).

School league tables widen to eight subjects

Secondary school league tables in England are to be re-designed to discourage an over-emphasis on pupils achieving C grades at GCSE, says Schools Minister David Laws.

From 2016, schools will be measured on overall results in eight GCSE subjects.

There will be four key league table measures, showing pupils’ progress as well as final grades.

Education Select Committee chairman Graham Stuart has hailed the change as an “educational breakthrough”.

Mr Stuart said it would remove the “damaging obsession” with the C grade boundary.

Career colleges to teach pupils to become carers

Thousands of pupils will be able to learn how to become carers and chefs in a new network of ‘career colleges.’

The colleges will see pupils taught practical skills for work, while they continue studying for GCSEs in maths, English and science.

Under plans for the new centres teenagers will be able to leave school two years earlier at 14 and go to one of the colleges to learn more vocational skills.

It is hoped the ‘career colleges’ will plug a skills gap in England and help to reduce the number of people who are unemployed.

“By starting at 14, youngsters have a head start in preparing for the world of work as they do in Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands, where youth unemployment is much lower,” Lord Baker of Dorking, who will publish the plans today, told The Independent.

He said it was “about time” the skills gap in the UK was filled with “our own young people” rather than people from overseas being brought in because they had the skills needed.

Lord Baker said the aim of the career colleges was to ensure every 16 to 18-year-old was in work or educational or vocational training when they left school. The latest government figures show there are more than 200,000 in this age range who are not in employment, education or training (Neet).

UK demand for financial education highest in Europe

The demand for financial education in UK schools is the highest in Europe, according to a survey.

Research by the organisation Ipsos for banking group ING found that 88pc of adults in the UK said financial education should be taught in schools; the highest level of support of 12 European countries surveyed.

Demand for financial education in schools was lowest in France, at 63pc.

Financial education will become compulsory in schools across England for the first time next year, following its inclusion in the new curriculum.

Personal finance is already taught in schools in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg), said: “This research shows that the UK is leading Europe when it comes to demand for financial education – and we want to see it leading Europe when it comes to its supply as well.

“Financial education’s new place in the secondary National Curriculum from next September will make a huge difference, but is not enough on its own. We need to ensure that all schools – including primary schools, Academies and Free Schools – give their pupils the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to manage their money well.”

Despite being the strongest supporter of financial education in school, only 12pc of UK adults surveyed said they had been taught about money in class, lower than the weighted average of 13pc.

In contrast, a quarter of Austrians surveyed said they had received financial education lessons in school. However, the under-25s in Europe are much more likely to have received financial education at school than older age groups.

Almost 12,000 people in 12 countries were polled by Ipsos between April 18 and May 15 this year.

The Money Advice Service released research earlier this year which found that most children’s financial habits have already been formed by the time they reach seven years old.

Millions of grandparents to fund grandchildren’s university education

Millions of grandparents expect to have to help fund their grandchildren through university as students continue to struggle with high tuition fees

More than 360,000 grandparents have already helped out with funding their grandchildren through university but this figure is expected to rise as more students struggle to cope with the cost of university tuition fees, researchers found.

Around one in eight over 55s think they will need to contribute to fees of around £9,000 a year, with many dipping into their savings to help out their grandchildren when they go onto higher education.

Experts warned that with extra pressures on finances for the under 55s, grandparents need to plan if they want to help their grandchildren.

Researchers found as people got older more expected to make a contribution, 10 per cent of those aged between 55 and 64 planning to help with funding, which increased to 15 per cent for the over 65s.

Around 637,456 students applied to university in 2013, compared with 618,247 in 2012, which suggests people could be using their families to help them pay fees.

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