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A lesson in finance

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X-Ray production team X-Ray production team | 19:31 UK time, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

In these tight economic times, we've all learnt how to be more careful with our cash.

As BBC Wales asks 'What Are We Doing to Our Kids?', Lucy went back to class to meet children who could teach us all a few lessons in money management.

Apprentices of the future

At Sageston CP School in Tenby, the 18 members of the business club spend hours after school discussing budgets and analysing profits.

Despite being aged just seven to 11, they take business club very seriously. Lucy joined a meeting.

After chair person Holly welcomed everyone, secretary Carys distributed profit sheets from the school disco before outlining a recent restructure of jobs.

Next, Lara, who is responsible for product development, discussed the bird boxes they hope to sell at this year's Enterprise Fair and informed the group they could make £29.71 profit.

As a spin-off from business club, the children have set up a healthy tuck shop called Fruity Friday. It's run by the school council and led by Sharmaine and Tom, both 11.

Each morning they take orders from pupils who collect their fruit on Friday. Tom explained they had recently encountered a problem when not everyone who ordered paid up.

Sharmaine added: "So we had to use our profit from the first one and it was very disappointing, because we couldn't have as much profit."

Head teacher Joan Morris believes that in the current climate, children of all ages should learn about finance.

She said: "It is very important for them to learn the value of money, that money doesn't grow on trees. It's very important that if we want something that we work for it."

Guides' money guide

After 93% of girl guides told their leaders that money management was the top skill a girl could have, Girlguiding UK put together 10 tips to help their members survive the credit crunch.

Lucy met a guide unit from Cardiff where young member Ffion explained they had been looking at different bank accounts, interest rates and the deals banks were offering.

She said: "It's been really useful, because obviously when we came into it, we didn't really know anything that was going on with that, we just saw the adverts on television, so it's given us a lot of insight."

Other tips the guides have been learning include not relying on the bank of mum and dad to hunting for bargains.

To help with budgeting, they have made face masks, money boxes and clothes instead of buying them.

Guide Seren said it was important to learn to budget, adding: "As we're learning now, it'll be easier when we get older and we're saving a lot of money."

Savvy savers

Park Primary School in Bargoed is one of 10 schools in the Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent areas which run a weekly savings club with the Smart Money Credit Union.

The children are trained to run the savings club themselves. Each saver gets a savers card and they pay in their money each week.

The adult volunteers bank the money into the credit union account and the interest is paid in a lump sum each year.

The scheme is called The Point and was set up with help from development officer Michelle Evans.

She told Lucy that the children can save as much as they want, adding: "If some of them have only got a couple of pennies, some bring in £10, £15, it just depends on what they've got at hand really and however much they want to save."

Lucy asked young organiser Jade why she believed it is important for children to save money.

She said: "Because they've got money instead of going back and forward to their parents asking for some."

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