The report, titled Young Adults and Money Management, shows 85% of young people wish they had been taught more about money management while they were at school.
Jane Goodland, responsible business director at Old Mutual Wealth, says the report highlights the need for financial education to be taught as part of the primary national curriculum in a way which goes beyond numeracy.
“We know that our behaviours and attitudes toward money are shaped at a young age,” said Goodland responding to the report.
“This research shows that young people feel social pressure to match the spending power of their peers. In other words, the desire to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ forms at an early age. And while most young people are budgeting, they are only doing so over the short-term and manage their money week-to-week or from one pay cheque to the next.”
Old Mutual is calling on the government to put financial education on the primary and secondary curriculum.
Goodland argues: “Unless financial education is embedded in the curriculum at both secondary and primary school level, young peoples’ financial attitudes can only be informed through their friends and family, meaning bad habits are passed on between generations and young people are left without the right tools to make truly independent financial choices.”
The government has countered that they are funding more maths for all, with the chancellor announcing a package of funding for the initiative in the Autumn Budget.
However, according to Goodland this misses the crucial point – financial education is not just about numeracy. The research highlights that three-quarters (72%) say that self-control is more important than knowledge when it comes to managing money and said that organising and planning ahead were also important aspects.
“While basic numeracy skills are helpful for budgeting and saving, this report highlights that many of our financial habits are in fact motivated by our attitudes and behaviours learned at a young age,” she said.
According to MAS, use of credit was the top priority area which young adults said they wanted to know more about. The top three tips in credit, investments, pensions and budgeting were:
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