Financial literacy: start early and never stop learning

2018-09-12

Compared to the developed Western countries, the level of financial literacy of Lithuanian population is rather low and the attention paid to financial education is insufficient. It would be necessary to learn the basics of financial literacy already at the school bench and parents also should be teaching the proper conduct with money.

Last weekend, participants of the annual discussion at festival "Būtent !" shared their insights and recommendations.

In the discussion "Condemned to be (not) rich" Šiaulių Bankas CEO Vytautas Sinius said believing that a higher level of person's financial literacy determines his financial prosperity . However, it is important to understand that the transfer of knowledge alone is not sufficient - it is important to focus not only on knowledge but also on behavioral change.

Basics - at school

According to the Head of Šiaulių Bankas, it is never too late to gain financial skills, but for the younger generation they should be particularly important. A study conducted  by international organizations indicated  that Lithuanian children's knowledge of finances and their skills are lower than of peers from Western European countries or even countries in our region.

"Basic knowledge of financial literacy for children should be provided already at school. At the beginning, these skills have to be developed at home, then – included into the school curriculum. At the verge of independent life, it is important to possess the basics necessary to starting your financial life", - V. Sinius emphasized the importance of the complex approach.

Telecommunications expert Liudvikas Andriulis suggested to teach students practical basics by explaining how companies operate on the market, how to run sales and how cash flows work in the economy. 

Parents' role

Mantas Zalatorius, Head of the Association of Lithuanian Banks, who was moderating the discussion, emphasized that those who do not know how to act with their  own money would not teach it their children either.
 Unfortunately, according to Standard & Poor's Ratings Services  only 39% Lithuanian adults are considered financially literate. If most adults lack knowledge and skills, then one should not be surprised that parents cannot explain financial management basic to their children.

A study carried out by the European Organization for Cooperation and Development showed that Lithuanian children rarely discuss money matters with their parents. Only every third family speaks about finances with their children once a month or more. In every tenth household  the money matters are not discussed at all.

Jurgita Pociūnienė, the founder of the Large Families Association, also acknowledged that parents lack knowledge, however, they can develop their children's educational skills playfully by teaching to count. The Head of the Association proposed organizing exciting and self-selective financial literacy activities.

The discussion  "Condemned to be (not) rich" was organized by the Association of Lithuanian Banks in the frame of festival "Būtent".