The Scouts Association launch a financial education badge for Beavers and Cubs

Scouts Association launches its first new badge for three years – and it’s a money one for Beavers and Cubs to teach younger children how to budget

  • Children will be taught about money to earn new badges
  • Research suggests kids develop money habits by the time they turn 7
  • There’s a 70k-strong waiting list to join scouts but kids get in if parents volunteer

Children can sharpen their financial decision-making skills this summer thanks to a new badge being offered to those who are part of Beavers or Cubs clubs. 

It is the first new badge in three years and is part of a collaboration between the The Scouts Association and HSBC.

The Money Skills Activity Badge comes as research by the Money Advice Service shows children develop financial habits as young as seven.

Children can now learn how to manage money thanks to a joint effort between The Scouts Association and HSBC. 

The Scout Association said: ‘We need to start helping young people develop these skills early. 

‘The badge aims to build on the decision-making abilities young people already have to increase their confidence in choices around money.’

The money coaching will be based on age-appropriate financial skills outlined in Young Money’s planning framework research. 

It will focus on inclusive learning and teach children about how they financial decisions impact others.

It will also help support children that struggle with numeracy, using practical activities so that children learn about money by engaging in various practical activities.

There are four requirements for Beavers and five for Cubs to master. The Scout Association said that there will be at least two new activities for each requirement and designed in collaboration with volunteers.

Cubs earn this badge if they master age appropriate financial skills

Beavers earn this badge if they brush up on their saving and budgeting skills

New badges: Cubs will earn the red badge on the left hand side if they master the skills, and the Beavers will receive the blue version

HSBC said they would train more than 200 staff to deliver sessions to young people in Beavers and Cubs to help them earn this badge.

Stuart Haire, head of wealth and personal banking at HSBC UK, said: ‘The Covid-19 crisis has tested the financial resilience of many families as well as disrupted in-classroom learning, elevating the need for more flexible and effective financial education resources to help young people build financial capabilities for a changing world.

‘Creating new and interesting ways for young people to engage with financial literacy is key, and we’re thrilled to be working with the Scouts to launch their Money Skills Activity Badge – the first financial skill-building programme of its kind.’  

Long waiting lists to join scouts

Beavers, Cubs and Scouts

Beavers is for children aged roughly 6 to 8. 

For older children, there is Cubs which is for those from 8 to 10 and a half, essentially latter stage primary school children.

Scouts is for those aged 10 to 14.  You can find out more here.

The Scout Association warns that there’s still around 70,000 children on the waiting list to become Scouts, Beavers or Cubs. 

This is up by 17 per cent from the 60,000 strong waiting list reported in 2019.

Simon Carter, from The Scout Association, said: ‘It’s still a challenge and made worse by Covid as there are some adults that can’t be scout leaders as they fit in the “at risk group”.’

But the Scout Association are trying to change this through its GoodForYou campaign that it launched last month to recruit over 5,000 volunteers.

Carter adds: ‘We’re on a mission is to get as many young people as possible to get the right skills they need in life. 

‘The more people we can get into the movement the more skills we have to improve society – it’s just better for everybody.

‘The waiting list is a challenge but there’s a solution. If their children are on the waiting list and parents can go and volunteer, then their children will put brought to the top of the list. 

‘This is because every adult that joins gives opens up positions for five more kids.’

You can teach your children too

 We’re on a mission is to get as many young people as possible to get the skills they need in life and the more people we can get into the movement the more skills we have to improve society – it’s just better for everybody

Simon Carter, The Scouts Association 

The scout badge comes as a new report reveals half of UK parents struggle to talk to their children about money.

More than half of parents struggle to talk to their children about money matters with three in five parents not regularly discussing finances as a family.

Generally, parents only start teaching their children about saving for college, making a budget, having good credit, using credit cards when they are teenagers.

John Westwood, group managing director at Blacktower Financial Management which conducted the survey, said: ‘It’s eye opening to see the large percentage of UK parents struggling to talk to their children about money even though parents know they are the biggest influencer over the development of their child’s money management skills.’

3 Top tips for teaching your children about money management

1.Take your children shopping

If you’re going to the supermarket – take them with you. Blacktower says: ‘Let them pick what they want to eat for lunch over the next week, but set a spending cap. 

‘For instance, they may have to choose between fruit or chocolate. Not only does this help them learn about budgeting, but they’ll also develop an idea about value.’

2. Let your children make money mistakes

If they want to spend all their cash on a cheaply made toy – don’t stop them. 

Blacktower says kids should be able to spend their money how they please. 

It advises you to educate your children about the importance of saving if they come running to you for more – which in likelihood they will.

3. Introduce cash at an early age

You may think your child is too young to understand the intricacies of money management. 

While a five-year-old won’t understand what a credit score is they can still learn the basics.