10 things it would be useful to be taught at school.

#1 What to do after a death. We’re taught about the reproductive process and how a life begins yet there’s no similar education on what to expect when a life ends: from the pressing need to register the death (and how and where to go about doing so), to the practicalities of arranging a funeral and thereafter, dealing with the wider legalities.

#2 What a mortgage is. The basic principles. The different types of mortgage and their pros and cons. The hidden evils that can lurk in the smallprint, including arrangement fees and early redemption penalties. Not forgetting the associated costs of buying a house such as mine checks, land registration fees and the mother of them all – stamp duty.

#3 How to wallpaper. Infinitely more useful to know than how to make a wooden boat, spice rack or key holder, as would be how to put up a shelf, how to tile, how to switch off the water supply in the event of a leak…

#4 The downside to credit cards and other forms of borrowing, from the official to the less so. All too easy to spend what you don’t have, but nowhere near as easy to pay it back off again.

#5 How to fight. Not how to get into a fight but how to protect yourself (or where possible, how to diffuse the situation) should you ever find yourself under physical threat.

#6 What a pension is and how it works. Engineers, physicists and mathematicians aside, basic pension arithemetic would be of more use to the masses than studiously learning Pythagorean Theorem.

#7 First aid. Burns, cuts, shock, choking, poisoning, CPR – learning the correct response procedures from an early age and refreshing that learning on a regular basis.

#8 The importance of having a Will and Power of Attorney and the consequences for your dependents should anything happen to you without such precautions in place.

#9 The financial and legal implications of living together versus getting married. Where you’re protected and where you need to take steps to protect both yourself and your partner.

#10 How to live within your means. Rule number one: if you can’t afford it, you shouldn’t be buying it.

© Lesley Dougall Copywriting Limited and 10thingsby.com, 2012. Unauthorised reproduction of content is not permitted. To request permission, contact copywriter@lesleydougall.com

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