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Young people lack money know-how (thanks to grandparents)

Are grandparents the font of all knowledge when it comes to money matters and are young people missing out on their financial wisdom? Or is the older generation to blame for our economy being in such a state?

Ever heard the expressions ‘Watch the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves’ or ‘A penny saved is a penny earned’?

In between episodes of Coronation Street and the odd sweet sherry, my granny never tired of drumming those helpful savings truisms into my sponge-like little mind.

I didn’t really listen at the time as I was only about five but, over the years, her advice has helped me stay on the financial straight and narrow.

Financial communication breakdown

Unfortunately, according to a new survey from NS&I, it appears that words of financial wisdom from a generation who lived through rationing and austerity are dying out – just when our youth needs it most.

The research showed that only one in ten of those aged 16-34 had received financial advice from their grandparents. This is despite the fact that 36% of Britons think their grandparents are good role models when it comes to money management.

Why the breakdown in communications? It appears the information gap comes from a reticence among the older generation to share their financial wisdom. Many Britons (37%) of retirement age and older say that they are holding back as they believe that younger people don’t want to hear what they have to say on money matters.

Time for pensioners to teach money

Nothing could be further from the truth, as the survey shows, much of the younger generation of British savers actually long for financial advice from their grandparents.

And when you realise that 11% of those between 16-34 in the UK (that’s 1.7 million people) have no savings at all – that advice can’t come soon enough.

However, perhaps there is another side to this argument – the younger generation see what a state the economy is in and blame their elders for the mess that they will ultimately have to suffer through and clear up. Why would they want advice from the very people who have left the world economy teetering?

So, grandparents of Britain, I put it to you – can your words of wisdom be the cure for the nation’s savings woes or were you to blame in the first place?

Do young people need their grandparents' financial wisdom?

Maybe, but it won't solve their financial problems alone (49%, 92 Votes)

Yes, older people have a valuable insight (45%, 84 Votes)

No, young people can learn through other means (6%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 187

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Mikhail says:
8 September 2011

Grandparents’ financial wisdom is out of date, therefore it is not a wisdom any more.