EFFORTS are being made to tackle the ‘buy now pay later’ mentality in younger generations which leaves many counting the costs of their poor spending habits.

Bradford District Credit Union has warned many young people don’t see the value in saving money, continuing to splash their cash until they are “crippled by credit card debts”.

But there is hope with 12 schools signed up to the LifeSavers programme, a savings club initiative by the Church of England and the Bradford District Credit Union.

Ian Brewer, financial inclusion officer with Bradford District Credit Union, explains the process is similar to that of the penny banks which encouraged people to save.

Having spent seven years in the banking industry before taking up his role with Bradford District Credit Union, Ian is well aware of the impact loans and credit cards have had on creating the ‘buy it now pay pay later’ attitude.

He told the Telegraph & Argus: “If you take the route back, in the 70s Barclays bank got together and they decided they weren’t making money out of savings and they were going to use this word ‘credit’.

“That way they could make money off it. They created the first credit card.

“We are discovering we are now reaping the consequences of the whole attitude change,” says Ian.

The scheme was first launched three years ago at Bowling Park Primary School with its headteacher saying it gave pupils “a hands-on experience of managing their own money”.

Each week a dedicated team of young bank tellers arrive before schools start to serve their fellow students who deposit whatever they can afford towards their savings goals.

They can save as little or as much as they want like one primary school pupil who saved two pence he discovered down the back of the sofa.

But, according to Ian, the focus isn’t solely about saving: Managing their own money helps children develop their maths and IT skills too.

This is in part due to the work with Incuto, a community based IT company based in Ilkey, that supports many Credit Unions across the nation who provide a cashiering system for children to use at schools.

“Incuto are a great partner and their system increases children’s maths and IT skills. We have heard so many stories of how their maths has improved just by being able to work the numbers. It has got wider consequences than just saving. They are interacting with being able to save money on a regular basis.”

What can parents do to help?

Often parents will say their children already have a savings account but Ian says this is an account they can manage themselves, giving them a greater understanding about saving.

Bishop Toby Howarth, a strong supporter of the Credit Union, said: ‘’The Credit Union is a community bank helping Bradford residents to save and borrow safely.

"This co-operative model is a good alternative for parents, as well as helping our children learn how to be financially aware and to save for the things they want, rather than rely on their parents."