Little has been done in the UK to tackle financial education, from basic budgeting to more complex issues around financial plans and investing.
We believe that this needs to change. Initially we believed we could ‘change the world’ but now realise that small steps can make a big difference.
Some examples of what we have done and are doing are shown below:
Website – http://shininglights.co.uk
Shininglights is unusual because it provides a varied source of financial information including tools to help individuals plan and invest but more importantly there is no self-interest; LWM make no money from the site.
The type of information includes:
- Fund reviews
- Step by step guide to building a financial plan
- Financial spreadsheets covering debt, budgeting and financial plans
- Topical discussions
It reflects our desire to help individuals to make informed decisions either on their own or with the help of a financial planner.
Financial education has to start in the schools however schools are wary of accepting help or providing time for financial education. We have initiated a number projects to go into the schools but to date we have not started any projects.
However, using contacts at the Park in Knowle West we have been able to get in involved in a number of ad-hoc mentoring projects. The students we have been involved with are those that struggle in an academic environment.
As an example we have worked with an apprentice at Youth Moves to explain the basic concepts of budgeting, we have also worked with talented young students to help them find ways of making money by selling art that they have done and we have been involved with workshops to help students consider different career paths.
Additionally we have provided ad-hoc budgeting support and general financial guidance for those facing redundancy, unfair dismissal, reaching retirement and in retirement.