Money matters to Hong Kong

Money matters to Hong Kong

Secondary students at Maryknoll Fathers' School learn how to be smart with their finances, including good spending habits and money management.

juniorreporter0719.artg3adfqar.1standardcharteredfinancialeducation3.jpg

Mary Huen (centre) was a volunteer at the workshop where students learned about money management.
Mary Huen (centre) was a volunteer at the workshop where students learned about money management.
Photo: SCMP Pictures

juniorreporter0719.artg3adfqar.1standardcharteredfinancialeducation2.jpg

Students at Maryknoll Fathers' School learning about money management.
Students at Maryknoll Fathers' School learning about money management.
Photo: SCMP Pictures

juniorreporter0719.artg3adfqar.1standardcharteredfinancialeducation1.jpg

Mary Huen was a volunteer at the workshop where students learned about money management.
Mary Huen was a volunteer at the workshop where students learned about money management.
Photo: SCMP Pictures

With great power comes great responsibility, and students with summer jobs have more spending power and thus more financial responsibility. Form Four to Six students from Maryknoll Fathers' School attended a financial education workshop which taught them how to manage their new wealth. It was conducted by volunteers from Standard Chartered Bank.

Beginning of a new chapter

When secondary school students graduate and begin their university life, they take important steps towards becoming fully independent. Living independently can often mean students need to do their own grocery shopping and their own laundry. This also means managing their money on their own, which is something that secondary students don't really consider when thinking about their independence.

Fortunately for Maryknoll Fathers' School students, they were able to take part in a financial education workshop at their school which was conducted by volunteers from Standard Chartered Bank. The bank sent several members of their management team to visit the students last Saturday to help prepare them for financial independence.

"As students graduate from secondary school and go on to university or enter society, they are introduced to different money management options, including borrowing facilities," says Mary Huen, who is a bank employee and was one of the volunteers at the workshop. "However, not everyone has the necessary knowledge or the correct mindset to choose wisely. Without a good understanding of how these financial tools work, young people may not be able to make the most of them, and this can lead to problems in the future."

Planning for the future

The workshop taught students about needs vs wants, responsible borrowing, good credit habits, and planning for the future. It ended with the Standard Chartered staff talking about their careers, which was especially useful to students who wanted to join the banking industry.

Form Six student Ernesto Kwan Ho-lun, 18, said he enjoyed the needs vs wants session the most. "The workshop had lots of case studies I could relate to, and when we solved those problems, it helped me, too," he said. For example, one case study was about a first-year university student with a part-time job who had bad spending habits.

"I learned the consequences of spending too much and not being able to repay loans. If you owe people a lot of money, you could even lose your property. So I will be more careful and prioritise my needs over my wants," Ernesto said.

To decide if it's a need or a want, you have to come up with alternatives to whatever you're thinking of buying, said Huen.

"Before buying something, try to think of alternatives for the product," she added. "If you can't think of any alternatives, then that product is a need."

Most of the participants are studying business, accounting and finance so they found the career-sharing session very interesting. "I'm interested in joining the banking industry, so listening to the career stories of the bank staff offered a great insight into the industry," said Form Four student Cecilia Chan Tsz-ning, 16. "I now have an idea of what to expect and how they got to where they are now, and hopefully I can work in the sector one day."

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Money matters to Hong Kong

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