Teen Cash Class

Students', parents' and teachers' guides to money

Companies spend billions of pounds a year on marketing, advertising and teaching their staff to sell, yet we don’t get ANY buyers’ training. This is a real practical teenage survival guide to living in one of the most competitive consumer economies in the world.

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In July 2007, ITV's Tonight programme gave Martin a challenge: take a class of ordinary teenagers for one day and turn them into junior Money Saving Experts. The results were astonishing. After class, the 12 pupils went home and saved their families a whopping £5,050!

The Teen Cash Class guide has been written using transcripts from the filming. It's also been turned into an activity booklet for teachers to use with their students.


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What's in the parents' and students' guide?

Lesson 1: A company's job is to make money

A company's job is to make money. It is NOT there to help you, it is NOT your friend. They spend billions on advertising, marketing, and teaching their staff to sell; all to make you part with your cash, even when you shouldn't!

Lesson 2: Debt isn't bad, bad debt is bad

There's very little chance you'll be able to live your life without borrowing money at any point, whether it's for university, a house or something else you need. Get it wrong and it'll cost you a fortune. Unlike most other things we spend cash on, you can't cancel debts, so you need to get it right the first time. Also see the Good Debt, Bad Debt video test.

Lesson 3: Loyalty doesn't pay

Loyalty is for losers, and doesn't pay. The normal rules don't apply here. Stick with the same people for longer, and you'll get less.

What's on the teachers' activity sheets?

Section 1: Being savvy with money

Activity 1: Value for money

When it comes to money there’s often no right or wrong answer. Have discussions with your students on customer service and price and look at a case study on planning a holiday to cover their attitudes to cash.

Activity 2: Impulsive buying

Do your students admit to impulse buying? Discuss the Money Mantras if they do, or have them complete a spending diary if they don't. It may change their mind!

Activity 3: The cost of fashion

Changing fashions keep us spending. Discuss ways to look good for less. Choose outfits which are fashionable for years to come to keep the money in our pockets, not retailers'.

Section 2: Being savvy about debt

Activity 4: Debt

What is debt? Take the Good Debt, Bad Debt test to find out.

Activity 5: Ways to pay

Whenever we’re saving, we want to get the highest rate of interest. But if we’re borrowing, we want to look for the lowest. How can we use the combination to shop in the most effective way?

Activity 6: Credit cards

Can your students explain what a credit card is and understand the pros and cons to using them? Explain the effect of compound interest and the effect deadly minimum repayments can have on budgeting.

Activity 7: Credit Cards challenge

Challenge your students to find the best credit card on the market.

Activity 8: Credit Cards advanced

An additional activity for gifted & talented students. For the extremely savvy, it's possible to make money from credit cards by stoozing. Can your students figure out how to make a profit?

Section 3: Being a savvy shopper

Activity 9: Loyalty doesn’t pay

Staying with the same provider can cost big. With a bit of chutzpah it's possible to save £100s! Try some haggling roleplay to see if your students can get better deals.

Activity 10: Buyer beware

Research is the best way to bag a bargain. Set your students a shopping task to find the best value item in the shops.

The final challenge

Activity 11: Money makeover

Once you've covered a few of the previous activities, your students could be ready to try the Final Challenge. Can they save more than Martin's original cash class?

See our full Financial Education Campaign section for more info

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