No longer updating

It's a shame, but I'm no longer updating this website. Busy setting up new ventures.

I'll leave it up for anyone who's interested.

Thanks to all regular readers, and all the best for the future.

Cheers, PJ

Youth money thoughts

Anyone can learn about money.

Anyone can help anyone else learn.

Making mistakes doesn't mean you're hopeless.

Managing money is a lot about relationships & understanding other people.

Good financial education is not about turning people into more savvy consumers.

Good financial education starts with young people's interests and builds on their strengths.

Inside money

What to do with a windfall (that isn't yours)

Imran Ahmen didn’t hesitate when hundreds of thousands of pounds appeared unexpectedly in his bank account. He started spending. Big mistake. He’s now doing 140 hours of unpaid community work and has a four-month suspended jail term. He is paying back £10 a month to his old employer who had mistakenly transferred £242,558 into his […]

Inside money

Lottery winners turn Tory

“If I won thousands on the lottery, it wouldn’t change me.” Why buy a ticket, then? “So I wouldn’t have to worry about money any more, that’s all. I’d have the security of the money, but the essential me would still be there. I’d still have my old mates, my old personality and the things […]

Inside money

Poor pay more for smartphones

Brighthouse Xperian

If you’re short of cash and have a poor credit rating, you’ll know you can’t afford a top-of-the-range smartphone. But do you know how much over the odds you’d pay if you did buy one?

The Sony Xperia Z1 costs £599.99 as an O2 pay-as-you-go. Someone with enough cash could just buy it outright. They […]

Inside money

Underspending and financial hoarding

Here’s a piece I wrote for the On the Money blog for Children and Young People Now magazine. I’m hoping to hear a range of experiences – so feel free to get in touch.

Do you know a young person who has trouble spending money? Laugh at the idea, by all means. After all, […]

Inside money

Conspicuous consumption


How do you get national media to take notice of your school National Record of Achievement ceremony? Tower Hamlets students seem to have cracked it. You just turn up in a Ferrari. Or a Lamborghini or a Bentley or whatever flash car you can hire or borrow.

The Evening Standard, the Guardian and countless […]

Inside money

Tax and summer jobs

student tax image

Students doing summer jobs used to be able to sign a form P38(S) and have their earnings paid without deduction of tax. Not any more. In April, PAYE started operating in real time. Standard PAYE now applies to all students. More will need to claim back tax at the end of the year.

There’s a […]

Inside money

Even the rich need to manage money


Martine McCutcheon filed for bankruptcy yesterday. The Mirror dubbed her the biggest soap star since Mr Matey bubble bath. The Times listed her achievements: “a much-loved soap actress, a chart-topping singer, a highly acclaimed musical star, a bestselling novelist….”

She had fame, success and a lot of money. Now she can’t pay her debts. She’s […]

Inside money

Bad reasons for financial education

Here are two bonkers arguments for financial education in schools. The first is from Mark Garnier MP, vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group for financial education for young people. He told the Financial Times earlier this month, “We need to make sure the next generation are financially literate. Compulsory financial education could avert the next […]

Inside money

Stop buying presents (maybe)

An economist who has analysed gift-giving isn’t impressed. “An orgy of value destruction and misallocated resources,” is what Prof Joel Waldfogel, author of Scroogenomics, calls it.

The problem is that when we buy for ourselves we have, or ought to have, a reasonably good notion of what the value is to us compared with the […]

Ideas for action

Your cash ain't nothin' but trash


“Sorry mate, I’ve only got a £20 note.” No problem, I’ve got change. Marc the Big Issue seller was happy to sell a magazine to a friendly-seeming stranger. He wasn’t happy when he tried to spend the note. It was a forgery, worth nothing. That was his day’s earnings gone.

Young people are great users […]