Page last updated at 09:09 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 10:09 UK

'I would pay 3,000 for a big house'

By Kevin Peachey
Personal finance reporter, BBC News

Children from Cedarwood Primary School
The youngsters from Cedarwood Primary School

Throughout the global financial crisis, many people have asked whether our children will make the same mistakes.

There have been calls for more personal finance lessons in schools, to help prevent young people falling into a spiral of debt when they get older.

But how much do they already know? We talked to a group of six pupils, all aged nine, from Cedarwood Primary School at Kesgrave, near Ipswich, about money matters. They were: Grace, Caitlyn, Keyara, Edward, Verity, and Ben.


Who receives pocket money?

C: If I'm really good I get £5, but if I'm naughty I only get £4.

Keyara
I think it is hard to save up money because you have to be good and that is really complicated for me
Keyara

E: Because I'm a twin, I get £2 between me and a brother. I spend it on chewing gum.

C: I spend it on drinks and bags and shoes...

V: ...Make-up, or clothes, or sweets.

K: If I have a little bit of money, I spend it on books.

B: I am saving up because I am going on holiday. I keep it in a bank in my bedroom.

Reporter: You have a bank in your bedroom?

B: A mini one. It is a mini machine because you have a code like a password to get in it. You can withdraw money and put notes and coins in it.

C: I've got a pink one.

B: Mine's black.

C: You can put a pretend credit card in it if you have forgotten your code.

V: What happens if someone finds your credit card?

C: I put it in a special place.

G: I've just got a little duck, and you open a zip on its bottom and put all your change in it.

Is it easy to save money?

Grace
The most money I got was probably on Happy New Year's Day, but I spent it straight away
Grace

E: It is not brilliantly easy, I keep on spending it. I saved £68 when I had just had my birthday. I'll probably save it until I'm a grown-up and then spend it on a house, and the bills, and to feed my children.

K: The things I really want are a lot of money. I like to save up, but sometimes it is hard because the price gets higher and I have to save more.

G: The most I got was probably on Happy New Year's Day, but I spent it straight away. I bought a bike with it and spent the rest.

K: I think it is hard to save up money, because you have to be good and that is really complicated for me. I have to make my bed, wash up and all that, but sometimes I can't be bothered so I don't get any money.

Who knows how a bank account works?

E: Do you put some money in it and every month or so they add a bit more onto it and it keeps on going like that?

Monopoly piece on coins
Homes are a lot cheaper in the children's world

G: It is so you can save up and keep it private, if people try to break in.

B: I went in a bank and it was really busy. My mum wanted to get some money out of her bank - I don't know what it was for. She had to put in her Pin and she was brought some money.

G: A Pin is a code that you put into a hole in the wall. You put your credit card in and then you get your money out.

Rep: What happens if you've got no money in there?

All: I don't know.

C: Then you have to work until you've got a lot of money.

How much does a house cost?

V: £1,256.

E: £20,000.

K: £50,000.

C: I would pay £3,000 for a big house, £2,000 for a middle-size house, and £1,000 for a bungalow.

G: I would spend £55,365.01.

E: The 1p is vital

B: It is about £2,500 for a house.

Rep: Do you know an average house costs about £150,000?

G: Now I know why my mum keeps on saying that we are poor!

How are we going to raise all that money?

V: Work, or get two jobs.

Edward
If [the chancellor] was Darwin then I have heard of him - he's a famous scientist
Edward

E: Leave it to my dad.

G: Ask your mum and dad, but they might be retired...

C: ...Will they get money?

G: Yes, the taxes you pay go to the retired people to live.

C: My nanny and grandad love me because when they look after us they get about £20 a night.

Rep: Who else can we ask for money for our house?

B: If you have a credit card, can you withdraw it from the credit card?

Rep: If I borrow money on my credit card, what happens?

K: It comes out as a bill. My uncle said one day that he would teach me to be a lady who uses her money properly, so he asked for £1 and said he would give it back, but with a bit more.

G: If I borrow money off my mum, I wait so long that she forgets about it. But when they borrow money off me, I never forget.

E: I'm on exactly the same track. I keep quiet about owing my mum.

V: How much does a manager of a supermarket get? In Sainsbury's, I think Mr Sainsbury's gets all the money?

K: But he's dead?

All: Is he?

V: There is also Mr Tesco...

G: ...And Mr Budgens.

E: I've heard of Mr Bean.

If we borrow £150,000 from a bank, what will happen?

C: You've got to pay back more.

Ben
If I had £1m I would buy a new house in a hot country
Ben

Rep: When?

V: Every month.

K: Not every year? Because then you could save more.

Does anybody know who the chancellor is?

E: What's the chancellor?

B: Is he the boss of the banks?

V: He is something to do with money, and the President's friend.

E: Is he...

V: ...or she...

E: ...In charge of all the banks?

Rep: He's called Alistair Darling, have you heard of him?

E: If it was Darwin then I have heard of him - he's a famous scientist.

Do you know about taxes?

G: You pay something to the council or government and they give it to retired people.

Caitlyn
If I'm really good I get £5, but if I'm naughty I only get £4
Caitlyn

E: It is called a pension.

K: How come you don't pay for a hospital to go to see a doctor, how do they get money?

V: From taxes.

C: If it is an emergency you can't just say: "Here's some money before I have my injection."

E: You do have to pay. You've got to pay for the car park.

If you had £1m, what would you do with it?

B: I would buy a new house in a hot country.

C: I would drive to London, earn another £1m, then I would pay the Queen for her house. She can live in my old house.

K: I would spend it on a house and some pet snakes for my worst enemies.

Verity
[The chancellor] is something to do with money, and the President's friend
Verity

E: I'd spread it around 10 different churches and give £10,000 to the local hospital... Then I would buy a mansion.

V: I would buy Tescos, or I might buy Sainsbury's instead.

If you had children but not enough money to feed them, what would you do?

V: Go to my parents, or an older brother or sister, or a good friend.

E: I would first of all start begging on the streets, secondly start praying, and thirdly, ask my friends for some money.

G: I'd make sure I looked good so I could get a very rich husband who could pay for things.


Cedarwood Primary School took part in My Money Week - a schools event designed to raise the standard of financial education for young people. More than 6,200 primary school teachers and 3,200 secondary schools teachers were sent packs designed to bring more financial knowledge to the classroom.

The programme, organised by the Personal Finance Education Group, was part of an £11.5m project from the Treasury and the Financial Services Authority to help people handle their finances better.



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