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).

Revealed: 50% of British parents would not send their kids to private school – even if they didn’t have to pay fees

Half the nation’s parents still would not send their children to a private school even if they did not have to pay for it, according to a survey published today.

The survey of 2,210 parents, carried out by YouGov, revealed 50 per cent would still want their child to go to a state school.

Three out of five who wanted to remain with the state sector wanted to do so because they thought it was important for their child to mix with other pupils from all walks of life. In the case of 38 per cent, it was because they themselves had been happy to go to one. A total of 37 per cent said they felt it was the duty of the Government to provide good quality education for all the nation’s children.

A breakdown of the figures showed that parents in Scotland and Wales were most likely to remain with the state sector – 62 per cent in both cases.

Least likely to send their children to state schools were parents in London – where just 35 per cent were prepared to stay with state schools despite the fact that the area recorded the biggest improvement in state school performance in the entire country.

The survey asked parents whether they would be likely to send their children to private schools if fees were removed from the equation – and 32 per cent said they would compared to just under 10 per cent who actually d so despite an average cost estimated at £15,000 a year.

Of those who would send their children to private schools if money was no object. 81 per cent said they felt private schools offered the opportunity of a better education, 54 per cent said they had better teachers and 52 per cent said they offered their pupils better networking opportunities later on in life – the “old boys’ network”. In addition, 17 per cent said they would opt for the private sector because they thought there was less chance of their child being bullied at school.

Of those who do send their children to private schools, 24 per cent said they were able to afford it because their child had been offered a bursary or a scholarship.  Private schools have increased the amount of aid they offer less well-off parents in the wake of the demise of the former Conservative Government’s assisted places scheme under Labour.

A further 24 per cent acknowledged they could only afford the fees as a result of grandparents chipping in with the cost. The £15,000 average fee for private schools cited by the parents in the survey included a sum for extra-curricular activities (school trips) and uniforms. In addition, 17 per cent said they had been saving for years to meet the cost and 10 per cent said they had cashed in part of their pension schemes to help pay.

Richard Boyd, of  Duncan Lawrie private bank – which funded the survey, said: “The average price of sending a child to private school has seen a real term rise of almost 65 per cent since the early 90’s and – while many children might be lucky enough to benefit from scholarships and bursaries – there are still many parents having to pay significant amounts of money to keep their child in private school.”

The survey showed 46 per cent of those with children in private schools would be prepared to cut down on holidays to keep their children in the school and 21 per cent would downsize their home.

Does money really talk?

‘My Money Week’ takes place from the 3rd to the 9th of June and schools from all over the UK are gearing up for a week full of jam-packed events and initiatives to help young people learn about financial education.

Former private banker Vivi Friedgut is the author of Money Smarter, a family guide to finances, and welcomes the initiative but suggests that financial education at school should be supported at home.

Vivi says: “Parents are the most influential force in any child’s life; both by what they do and what they say. Financial education in schools is crucial but it complements what is learnt at home – it cannot replace it.

“Since I’ve become involved in teaching financial education to children & students, it’s apparent that many have not had ‘the money talk’ or been engaged in financial conversations with their parents; which is surprising, as critical aspects of responsible money management are best learnt in a real life situations.

“Understanding instant gratification, appreciating the difference between needs and wants and comprehending the consequences of decisions can be heightened by observing parents, as opposed to solely within the confines of a classroom.”

My Money Week is hosted by pfeg who provide schools with free resources, lesson plans, activity packs, competitions, national challenges, one to one consultancy support and a dedicated website for the financial education initiative .

The likes of The Saturdays, Sir Chris Hoy and Tinchy Strider have previously encouraged people to take part by being ambassadors and setting challenges for students.

Schools have hosted fashion shows and fetes, taken part in gardening projects, debates, young peoples’ parliaments, peer mentoring projects, community economy projects and used maths, English, drama, PSHE education, citizenship, enterprise and geography to deliver excellent financial education.

Call to improve stability for renting families

Data shows 3.8 million households in England were living in the private rented sector in 2011-12to let houses

Tenancy contracts must be improved to give children more stable homes and avoid disruption to their education, the housing charity Shelter says.

Shelter says one in 10 renting families in England has had to change their children’s school due to a move.

Government figures show 3.8 million households in England were living in the private rented sector in 2011-12 – 17% of the total.

The National Landlords Association said it backed the call for stability.

In a survey of 4,327 adults living in the private-rental sector in England, Shelter found 44% thought their children would have a better childhood if they had more stability in their housing arrangements.

Less than 10% of those surveyed valued the freedom and flexibility renting gave them.

And 28% said their landlord or letting agent had failed to carry out repairs or deal with poor conditions in the past year.

The poll found nearly two-thirds of renting families (64%) would like to own their own home but do not think they will ever be able to afford it, and 43% expect to be living in rented accommodation for the next 10 years.

Shelter says a generation of children is growing up in “unstable, unaffordable, poor quality homes”.

Functioning Lego greenhouse

“This fantastic greenhouse made entirely of Lego bricks was just unveiled at the 2011 London Design Festival. Designed by Sebastian Bergne, it is made up of around 100,000 Lego bricks. All parts of the greenhouse are made from Lego elements, including, reportedly, the “earth,” which would seem to imply that the very real vegetables growing inside are sustained hydroponically.”

(via MAKE)

How cool is this! Real stuff made of toys 🙂

MF, studio, dbda

dbda encourages parents to keep their children safe during the summer holidays

With the summer holidays upon us, dbda is encouraging parents to remind their children about the dangers on the road and in the home.

According to a June 2010 survey on behalf of the Child Accident Prevention Trust, while almost three-quarters of parents worry about their child having a bad accident nearly half believe there is nothing they can do to stop accidents from happening.

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Pop and Lolli wall decal

Pop & Lolli make beautiful BIG illustrated wall decals that are totally removal and repositionable. I think they are lovely, and there is such a wide range of themes and characters.

Website is rather cute and quirky too – have a “nest” to add items to rather than a basket. Sweet idea.

MF, studio, dbda



Bob Geldof supports Decade for Action with The Children’s Traffic Club

Marking the start of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, this video features the aims of this initiative, with Bob Geldof KBE highlighting the contribution of The Children’s Traffic Club.

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