Be savvy at sums and save money!

Today is National Numeracy Day! Sadly, the words ‘numeracy’ and ‘maths’ can be about as pleasant on the ears as a thousand un-tuned violins.

Here in the UK, we really don’t like maths. Luckily, being better with numbers isn’t a special talent, it’s something that we can all improve, step by step. Find out how…

No need for a calculator

Why should I care about my maths skills?

Poor maths skills can affect your life on many levels, but it’s your budget, financial health and confidence where it hits the hardest.

The problem that many people face when wanting to improve their maths skills is knowing where to start. The good news is, you don’t need to figure this out on your own.

Take the numeracy challenge!

On National Numeracy Day 2018, over 25,000 people started their journey towards improved numeracy by taking the numeracy challenge.

The challenge can help you:

  • Understand the level of maths knowledge you’re currently at
  • Learn useful maths skills
  • Gain confidence
  • Work towards getting the Essentials of Numeracy – the basic skills which you need in daily life and the workplace.

How it works

In order to take the challenge, you’ll need to register your details. Don’t worry – these are kept private!

You’ll then be asked six quick questions. This’ll help get to the core about any feelings or apprehensions you have around maths. You’ll then:

  1. Take the Check-Up. The next set of questions help you find out the overall numeracy level you’re working at, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. It usually takes between 20 to 40 minutes, but there’s no time limit so no need to rush! You can log out and come back another time, if that’s best. If you score 80 on the test or more, then you’ve already got the Essentials of Numeracy and you can print a certificate or claim a digital badge. Hooray!
  2. Get a target to work towards. If you score 79 or less on your test, then you’ll get a target to work towards. If this happens to you, don’t worry! This isn’t about beating yourself up or feeling stupid. If anything, you should pat yourself on the back for taking the test and identifying where you can improve.
  3. Work on developing new maths skills. There are lots of easy-to-follow learning resources on the website that you can work through at your own pace.
  4. Retake the Check-Up. When you feel ready, re-take the Check-Up to find out if you’ve reached your target. You may be nicely surprised!

Get your family, friends and colleagues involved

Want to help the people around you improve their skills? Check out these free resources on the National Numeracy Day website.

How could I use my improved maths skills to save money?

There are many advantages to improving your maths skills. For instance:

  • They can help you understand your budget better: When you build your budget, you need to work out how much you pay in household bills and living costs. Once this is done, you should have an idea of how much you have left over each month to pay off debt, set aside as savings or spend on fun stuff. Being confident in adding and subtracting is key to a successful budget!
  • They can help you get the best deal: There’s so much noise around ‘switching to cheaper providers’, whether it’s for your gas, electricity or mobile phones. It’s easy to get drawn in by promotional prices, but maths skills can help you think about the long-term benefits. After all, there’s not much point switching to Cheap and Cheerful Leccy Ltd* if their introductory price is likely to triple when a promotional period ends a few months down the line.
  • They can help you get what you pay for. No more worrying that you’ve been short-changed by a shop assistant or left to pay too much of a split restaurant bill.

They can also help you with the non-money aspects of  life, such as:

  • Accurately measuring a room in your house before DIY decorating
  • Working out ingredients when batch cooking
  • Managing your time throughout the day, especially if you work freelance

What are you waiting for? Head over to the National Numeracy Day website and put your noodle to the test!

*Source: National Numeracy Day 2019:

**Cheap and Cheerful Leccy Ltd isn’t a real company, but you get the point.

Posted by in Saving money