We need a financial revolution in this country, and it needs to start with our kids.
My name is Scott Pape and a few years ago I wrote a book called The Barefoot Investor. It went on to become a bestseller. And the #1 question people asked me after I wrote it was:
“Why didn’t I get taught this stuff at school?”
So, I set out to answer that question.
It took me on a two-year journey heading into private schools, public schools and remote schools, talking to students, teachers, parents and politicians.
And what I learned was … we need to do better … a LOT better.
What we’re currently doing isn’t working. Too many kids graduate at the bottom of the financial class, into a lifetime of debt, with little understanding of the contracts they’re signing.
I’ve come up with five demands for every State government around Australia to agree to. I want them to to commit to kicking out the banks — and teaching our kids the real money skills they’ll be tested on every day of their lives.
This is my Money Movement Manifesto.
*** The Money Movement Manifesto ***
Our kids will be tested on money skills every single day of their lives.
Yet most of us had to learn these skills the hard way, because we were never taught them in school.
We need to do more.
Here are the five core aims of the Money Movement:
1. Implement a practical 4-to-6-week Money Challenge every year
When literacy rates were falling, the Premier’s Reading Challenge was set up to challenge kids to read – and it worked! In the same way I’m calling on State governments to get behind a Money Challenge: not just another requirement on an already overcrowded curriculum, but something exciting that schools take up because it’s important – and fun!
2. Show primary schoolers the power of working, saving, spending and giving
Get kids excited and it’s amazing what can happen. During a pilot Money Challenge at a school in Hervey Bay (one of the poorer regions in the nation), the six-year-olds came up with the idea of using their class ‘Give’ money to feed homeless people in their community. It was a life-changing experience for them — and for their community.
3. Show high schoolers how to get a job and set up their savings ‘buckets’
You remember being a teenager in class thinking “How will I ever use this in the real world?” Well, at a pilot Money Challenge, I saw teenagers who were the first people in their family to get a job and set up their savings buckets. Think what your life would be like if someone had helped you do that on your first payday. I want that for every Australian kid. Let’s set them up to win.
4. Commit to professional development financial education for teachers
Teachers aren’t in the job just for the money: it’s a vocation. Still, it’s hard to stand up in front of a crowd of Year 9s and talk about the dangers of credit cards when you have credit card debt yourself. Bottom line: to raise financial fit kids, we need financially fit teachers.
5. Kick the banks out of our schools
Having banks teach our kids about money is like having Ronald McDonald teach them about nutrition. Our children’s financial education is too important to outsource. The government financial regulator (ASIC) is independent of commercial interests and should be the one to deliver the program.
This is something I truly believe in, and I’ve been working on — and piloting in schools — for some time now. But now it’s time to take the next step and get your state government to take it on.
I want every Aussie kid to learn this. If you do too, then I invite you to join me.
Sign this petition to show your support – change.org
Together we can teach the kids … help the parents … and change the nation.
P.S. For the record, I’m committed to working with any government who agrees to take this on — and to offer my time and expertise for free.