Frontpage News 2013 Good personal fina...

Good personal finances start in mathematics

14 November 2013

Four out of five in the age of 6-17 years receive pocket money from their parents, and every other young person between 13 and 17 years has an after-school job, where they earn their own money. But that does not necessarily mean that they have control of personal finances. A new study shows that many young people take expensive consumer loans and do not save up. Therefore, Mathematics Day on 14 November focuses on finances with the educational material 'Funny Money', where pupils learn about budgets, savings and loans.

Most people can work up a sweat when they are to explain the key elements of the financial crisis, housing market and personal finance, even though the Danes learn about the economic challenges at an early age. Only 21% of children between 6 and 17 years do not receive pocket money, and two out of three young people between 13 and 17 have a paid after-school job or have had one in the last year. But a new study from the Money- and Pension Panel shows that many young people find it difficult to keep track of personal finances. 30% of young people aged 18-25 years have a consumer loan and 35% of them are not saving up at all.

"Many people become in charge of their own money at an early age. But unfortunately that does not mean that they automatically get an understanding of personal finances. Our previous studies have shown that financial habits from childhood and adolescence follow a person for the rest of his or her life. Therefore, we have prioritised information and educational activities that meet pupils at eye level, "says Louise Skjødsholm, Financial Consumption Consultant in the Money- and Pension Panel, whose task is to provide people with greater interest and understanding of economics.

Personal finance at school

To give more children and young people insight into the economy, the Money- and Pension Panel started a collaboration with Denmark’s Mathematics Teachers Association, which annually organises Mathematics Day. On 14 November 2013, the theme of the day is thus economy, and the Association has developed the teaching material 'Funny Money', focusing on the parts of mathematics that give students an insight into both the economy of the society and family finances.
’’It is important to Denmark’s Mathematics Teachers Association that Mathematics Day is relevant to the children’s lives here and now, but also affects them in a broader perspective. Economics is an obvious theme as it shows how math can be fun and relevant for the individual student. At the same time, the teaching material provides the students with skills that they will take with them into adulthood," says Gertrude B. Nielsen, CEO of Denmark’s Mathematics Teachers Association.
Mathematics Teachers and students can see the inspiration movies and find educational material on the Money- and Pension Panel's website under Funny Money. The website contains good advice and inspirational material for parents who would like to help their child make a budget. The effort is part of the government's consumer action plan, which was launched in August 2012.
The Money- and Pension Panel and Denmark’s Mathematics Teachers Association has developed the teaching material 'Funny Money' with the Danish Bankers Association, School and Parents, the Consumer Council and the National Council for Children.


The Money- and Pension Panel’s recent study in cooperation with YouGov showed that: ´
  • 30% of young people aged 18-25 years had a consumer loan
  • 35% of young people aged 18-25 years are not saving up money
  • 14% of young people aged 18-25 years do not know the size of their monthly costs
  • 10% of young people aged 18-25 years have taken out loans to pay bills 
Studies from Nordea and LO show that:
  • Only 21% of children aged 6-17 years do not get pocket money from their parents
  • Young people aged 12-14 years receive an average of 194 DKK per month in pocket money
  • Two out of three young people between 13 and 17 years currently has or has within the last year had an after-school job
  • The under-18s will make between 60 and 80 DKK per hour

Who is the Money- and Pension Panel?

The Money- and Pension Panel aims to promote Danes’ interest in and knowledge of financial products and services. This is achieved through studies of consumer behavior, consumer environment and the development of consumer information.
The Money- and Pension Panel was established in June 2007 by a united parliament with a desire to strengthen general consumer knowledge and interest in financial matters  The panel is part of the Business and Growth jurisdiction of the Ministry, and the secretariat functions are located in the FSA. The Money- and Pension Panel consists of a chairman with special knowledge of consumer behavior and eight members from financial industry organisations and consumer- and member organisations.
Read more about the Money- and Pension Panel on

Read more about financial literacy:

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