By La Vanguardia.

Just like love, finance is in the air. Finance can be found in everything. From holidays, to going to the cinema, to going shopping. We can find it in our salary bonus, and in the motorcycle you rent for the weekend.

However, most of us are unable to string togethereven a couple words related to finance. While half of the Spanish population needs assistance in doing theirIncome Tax Return, the other half confusesConsumer Price Index(CPI) withGross Domestic Product(GDP). Such confusion could take a toll on family economics and boycott our plans at improvement. Can we turn around this situation in time?

Education, theysay, makes us free. In a world where economics dominates many aspects of our day to day lives it is important to put our basic financial knowledge into practice in order to take control of our personal or family assets and to help us choose the most adequate solution. In essence, an understanding of finance offers us greater future opportunities based on the analysis of our current economic situation. The greater the understanding, the lower the risk.

Freedom and equality: inclusive finance

Educationopens the door to inclusion. A well-educated society is also a society that is fairer and more equal. This can be seen all around the world. However, are we academically prepared for concepts such as Personal Income Tax Law, payroll, gross salary, income or mortgage depending on external circumstances? Such concepts, without a doubt, should be included into basic educative programs.

That being said,about 64% of Spanish people admit that their knowledge of finance is limited. Consequences? We lack the resolution to choose the most ideal and responsible option. According to a study carried out by the online comparer, 37% of Spanish people said that they have at some point signed up for a financial product without understanding its real implications, resulting in serious short, medium and long term consequences.

37% of Spanish people said that they have at some point signed up for a financial product without understanding its real implications

“Needs to be improved”

This current situation warns us of thepressing issue to reconsider the current educative model that largely ignores financial competency as tools for a more inclusive and prosperous society. Apart from the exceptions to the rule (for example,the PISA report, which includes questions related entirely to financial content), there is a lower level of finance knowledge.1 in 6 Spanish students does not receive basic financial skills meaning that, for example, they don’t know the importance of a bill.

As a response to this problem,it is increasingly important to understand and be able to master the art of finance through a practical learning process, as well as an entertaining one. Therefore, a new language is needed to understand finance and bring it away from the realm of the enigmatic and unknown. To this end, theFinancial Platform for Mortalswas developed in order to move the world of finance closer to the general population by using distributive contents that make finance more understandable and to help solve frequent questions and doubts we face every day.

It is increasingly important to understand and be able to master the art of finance through a practical learning process, as well as an entertaining one

Finance for dummies

Finance for Mortals (FxM)explains finance from a useful, rigorous, state-of-the art point of view, along with a notable dose of humour. Through the lens of humour we can see the standup comedian Leo Harlem explaining the difference between a loan and credit. Who has not at any point wondered this question? This is the way people want to learn: by arousing their curiosity in finance, and by breaking down barriers and false opinions.

The nameindicates a declaration of intentions: making finance – in this technical, serious and elitist planet- more relatable to the average person who is, rightly or not, able to use it. In order to do so it is necessary not only to understand concepts and theories but also to make an effort at giving and receiving opinions. In conclusion, to be a well-equipped and critical thinker.

The importance of financial health

From a practical point of view,Finance for Mortals is a learning platform aimed, with the assistance of Banco Santander, to accommodate all of us, from the mostsceptical to the most clueless. The program FxM is a meeting point, a bridge between two worlds that coexist but that, at times, don’t understand each other. Therefore, financial education also helps to understand the world that surrounds us and what happens in it.

To carry out this project, Santander Financial Institute (SanFI) – thecentre for training, research and integrated transfer at Cantabria University’s Foundation for Financial Research and Investigation (UCEIF) – has relied on the cooperation of Universia, professors, economists and researchers from different universities, as well as the sponsorship of Santander Universities.

In line with this mission, the third edition of “Financial Prizes for All” will take place, promoted by the Stock Market National Commission (CNMV) and the Banco de España within the framework of the Financial Education Plan aimed at promoting the excellence of financial education ideas developed in Spain, and recognizing the labour of the institutions and people that show dedication and commitment in their field.

A new stage is set, aimed at attracting all kinds of people, anywhere: a love story, maybe of friendship, between finance and mortals. In any case, a story of obligated coexistence because both worlds are destined for common understanding and mutual necessity.