Welcome back to this week's instalment of Finance Friday - our chance to keep you up to date on all that's happening in the world of finance. What's more, it's Friday, so whilst you're looking forward to the start of the weekend, enjoy our digest of the week's money news.
We've all wished for it and perhaps it's true - scientists this week confirmed that gold is found in the leaves of some plants. Researchers from Australia say that the presence of the particles in a eucalyptus tree's foliage indicates that deposits are buried many metres below. They believe that the discovery offers a new way to locate the sought-after metal in difficult-to-reach locations. Dr Mel Lintern, a geochemist from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), said: "We've found a lot of the easy deposits in Australia and elsewhere in the world as well. Now we are trying to tackle finding these more difficult ones that are buried beneath tens of metres of river sediments and sand dunes."
A report by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) has found that the "bank of mum and dad" is an essential source of welfare for people, particularly those on low incomes. Of 2,565 people of all ages polled, 55% said they had received money and almost half that number (52%) earn less than £20,000. Almost one in four low earners (23%) said that without the money they would not have been able to survive. The 25-34 age group across all income levels had the highest proportion of individuals turning to a parent for help, with 72% saying they had received money from them.
Nearly a quarter of over 40-year-olds are prioritising "financially supporting their children" over building up a pension pot or taking career breaks to run the family home according to a recent survey by Scottish Widows. What's more, it reported that hundreds of thousands of older mums are also having to find the money to help parents or pay-off debts. The report said 37% of all women across the UK have no pension provision at all and only 40pc are putting enough money aside for an "adequate" retirement, down from 50pc two years ago. There was also a gender gap between men and women, with women paying in an average of £1,000 less to their pensions on an annual basis.
So, to summarise, it may be hard to tell your children that 'money doesn't grow on trees' anymore, but with our help you can empower them to learn how to earn, save and spend responsibly - regardless of how much money you have as a family. Why not visit our homepage to find out more about us?