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Cola cubes, pineapple rock, strawberry bon bons, Frosties, lockets full of “honey” (ha!).

Many of my fondest childhood memories include sweets. Quarter pounds of tooth decay in little white paper bags.

Oh and “Growing Pains”. You know the book we all had as adolescents to ease our way into puberty? (did you have this too? If not what was your version?)

Mine mysteriously appeared on my pillow around the age of 10, just as my boobs came in and I got my first bra. That novelty wore off extremely quickly and was never regained.

We all have lots of lovely and some not so lovely, memories of our childhoods and the various rites of passage we survived.

Well while the festive season is a great time for nostalgia, this isn’t an invitation to take a walk down memory lane (unless you really want to of course).

Instead, I want to try and draw out a glaring omission for lots, if not most, of us, when it comes to childhood rites of passage.

I don’t know about you, but none of my childhood memories include a talk about money.

  • Not when my national insurance card arrived in the post aged 15.
  • Not when I got my first Sunday job at Hush Puppies.
  • Not when I got my second job, a Saturday this time, at WH Smith.
  • Not when I upgraded to Kurt Geiger.

Just nowhere in my memory at all.

I don’t bring this up to bash my parents who were the real MVPs – I can’t imagine what it might have been like trying to parent someone as silently strong-willed as me but that’s a separate conversation.

But just to highlight how the gap in our personal finance knowledge didn’t just exist at school. For lots of us it was at home too.

It feels zeitgeisty now to talk about money. And especially women and money with all of the financial challenges we face.

But despite murmurings here and there about the importance of financial education for children at an early age, if you do a quick book search, there are few books on the subject for a young adult audience. (I know, I did the research).

And of the few that do exist, even fewer are exclusively for girls.

And this really matters. How are girls expected to become young women and automatically have a handle on their finances and some of the pitfalls they might need to navigate if they’ve never been taught?

Sure we get there in the end. But I’ve had countless conversations with Rainmakers who let me know that actually it took far longer than they would have liked. And that they at times feel overwhelmed by the avalanche of financial decisions that seem to snowball the older we get. Things like:

  1. Figuring out how to manage our cash flow.
  2. Knowing if it’s a good idea to use Buy Now Pay Later.
  3. Deciding whether or not to take the credit card the bank said you were pre-approved for.
  4. Wondering whether you should pay into a pension now or wait until you’re ‘a bit older’.
  5. How to avoid Dan with the gold-plated Porsche who is on an interminable holiday in Dubai and won’t stop sliding into our DMs talking about forex trading.

Yeah, we figure it out. But it’s not like other life experiences where there is often a real tangible benefit to learning by doing. Where money is concerned it would make our lives so much easier if we just knew what we were doing from day 1 and didn’t have to spend years trying to repair destroyed credit history, for example.

That’s why Cash Is Queen exists. We cover all the above and more in a relatable, current and accessible way.

It’s out on 5 January. If you haven’t yet done so, don’t forget to buy it for your young ladies today. They’ll get it the first week of the new year. Great way for them to start 2023, no? (YES!).