#PayingthePrice campaign so far

Posted by Abdi Mohamed / Monday 22 December 2014 / Statistics Financial education Care leavers

Last week we launched Paying the Price campaign and report, exploring whether vulnerable young people have the same access to financial education as their peers, and the impact that not receiving any can have on in their lives.

As part of the campaign, we engaged with the general public both online and offline.

For our offline activity, we spent a cold Wednesday morning speaking to the general public about financial education and how they learnt about money. You can watch a video of the results here.

Online, we mobilised people with a thunderclap; an online flash mob (a stunt where different people all tweet at the same time). In just a week, 138 supporters signed up to the thunderclap over twitter with a combined social reach (the sum total of the friends and followers of a campaign's supporters) of 158 thousand.

With only a week into the campaign, it has been wonderful to see the large numbers of responses from our supporters.  

As part of the campaign, we also set up a survey to give us a snap shot of how the general public learnt about finances. This is what we found:

Young people most unsure about finances

In a week, we had over 100 responses from a variety of age ranges. Interestingly, the difference between under 25s and those aged 25 and 44 were the most striking – showing that we do need to do more to help young people improve their financial capability.

  • To start, we asked how people would rate their ability to budget and make positive financial decisions. There where some clear differences with how confident different age groups are. Half of under 25s (50 per cent) said they’re good or very good in their ability to budget and make positive financial decisions – (42 per cent) thought they were average.
  • Yet three quarters of over 25s (75 per cent) said they thought they are good or very good when it comes to managing their money.  

One of the most important parts of being able to make good financial decisions is being able to understand key terms. To put the public’s knowledge to the test, we asked people about two key financial terms, Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and Individual Savings Account (ISA).

Again, we found that the under 25s are more unsure about financial processes.

  • Overall, the majority of people knew what an ISA was but only 73 per cent of the under 25s knew compared to 95 per cent of over 25s.
  • We then followed this question up to see how many knew what the ISA limit (the amount you can save tax free) was for 2014/15. Of those who said they knew what an ISA was; only 36 per cent knew the correct amount they could save. 
  • Of those under 25s who said they knew what APR was, 17 per cent couldn’t pick the correct option (Annual Percentage Rate).

Most people learn about money from parents

When we questioned peoples support structures, we found that most people learnt about money from parents.

When asked who they receive help from when they opened up their first bank accounts. 90 per cent of the under 25s and 73 per cent of over 25s told us they received help from parents. When we followed up with who the go-to person was for questions on finances, a huge majority of both groups (90 per cent - under 25s and 69 per cent - over 25s) answered with parents.

The strong support from parents was also found by our research. But we also found too many young people say they are not learning about financial matters at all. Half of the young people surveyed said that they had not received any financial education or did not know whether they had done so. And some of the most vulnerable young people don’t learn at home or school because they are not positive places to learn – they might have difficult family relationships or have problems at school. These young people may also be less likely to be financially capable and more likely to experience financial difficulties. You can read more about our concerns from our report Paying the Price: can we help the most vulnerable young people avoid unmanageable debt here.  

What a start to the campaign it has been, not only have we had a great response from the general public but from Politicians. You can read the thought-provoking blogs Vulnerable young people are #PayingThePrice by Fiona Bruce MP and Bonymaen young mums are #payingtheprice by Welsh Assembly member Bethan Jenkins AM.

We have achieved a great deal in just a week! Thank you to everyone who has taken time to get involved and lend their voice to this crucial issue.

Sign up here to find out how you can get involved in this and other campaigns we are going to be working on.

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