Top money stories - 14th - 20th January 2008

Top Tip:

This week many parents and teachers agreed that personal finance education must be a key part of what children learn in school with over 90% saying they thought it should be part of the curriculum.

If you are a parent and your children have already “grown up” you can still be instrumental in helping them to manage their money better. If your teenager is thinking of heading off to university this September or sometime in the near future it would really help them if you spent time talking to them about Managing their Money at University or making sure you take advantage of the free student help available from Credit Action.

The financial week that was...

Monday 14th January

Lenders tighten belts – Price comparison website Moneyfacts.co.uk revealed that eleven mortgage lenders cut their maximum borrowing level since the start of December. The risk of a recession, although still low, continues to rise on the back of relatively poor Christmas retail figures and a slowing housing market. With the current state of the economy as it is, it really helps to have savings available for a rainy day – find out more about Long-term and Short-term saving options on the Moneybasics website.

Wednesday 16th January

Unemployment falls – There have been suggestions from some corners that the news coming out on the economy right now is negative. However, the fact that unemployment fell is a significant positive result. The figures for employment in the UK – released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – showed that 13,000 jobs were created between September and November 2007.

Friday 18th January

Most parents and teachers believe personal finance must be taught in schools – 93% of parents and teachers want personal finance taught in schools according to a study by The Association of Investment Companies (AIC). Nonetheless, only 4% of teachers regularly teach personal finance in their classes. Currently there is no statutory requirement for financial education in schools although the government has announced that, as of September 2008, a new course called “economic wellbeing” is being added to PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education), but it will remain voluntary.

Friday 19th January

Many mobile phone users unaware of deal terms – Users of mobile phones in the UK are collectively wasting up to £8bn a year as many do not know the conditions of their phone deal. Research from the price comparison website Moneysupermarket found that many mobile phone customers were receiving bills much larger than they expected because they had exceeded their text or calling limits. Whether you are on a contract on a pay-as-you-go scheme it is important to understand the details your phone deal.

Friday 20th January

Risk of a recession is ‘low’ – A study conducted by Ernst & young ITEM Club, using a model developed by the Treasury, says that the risk of a recession ‘remains low’. They point to the expected falls in interest rates and investment from funds in Asia and the Middle East as prominent factors in warding off a recession.

Prepared for Moneybasics by Jason Taylor, Advocacy Officer (Credit Action).