Britain's youngsters are becoming more aware of the challenging economic times they live in and are preparing for their financial future in ways their parents never did. Almost nine in ten 12 to 19 year olds are keeping track of their money, while over two thirds know more about managing money than they did a year ago, according to NatWest's MoneySense Panel. The findings are evidence that an increased emphasis on the personal finance curriculum in schools is paying dividends, although the expectation gap is still high; on average young people expect to be earning a salary of £53,900 by the age of 35, over £30,000 more than the average earnings of somebody that age. Given such lofty ambitions it is perhaps unsurprising that many of the UK's youngsters supplement their pocket money with part-time work. Almost a quarter of 15 year olds balance their education and social life with work, rising to over a third of 16 year olds and over four in ten 17 year olds. "The results are encouraging in that young people's attitudes and behaviours towards money seem to be moving in the right direction," said Maxine Norris, head of NatWest MoneySense for Schools. "This will be the first time these young people live through an economic downturn which, although challenging for their parents, may encourage greater realism when it comes to their future financial expectations."
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