Almost three quarters of adults can’t answer personal finance problems aimed at schoolchildren, according to new research. Well this does not surprise me at all…
At school, I remember knowing loads about the Greek gods, Ancient Egypt and working out the area of a circle. Yet, I joined the adult world having absolutely no idea about the following topics; How much tax do I pay when I get a job? How does a credit card work? And what is a mortgage?
Money may make the world go round, but my generation had to learn about these topics at their own leisure.
That will hopefully change when personal finance is added to the National Curriculum this September.
Our Forever Young report published earlier this year found that young people are more likely than any other age group to have experienced a problem with a purchase. 51% of 18 – 24 year olds and 44% of 25 – 34 year olds have experienced a consumer issue within the past 12 months compared with 32% of the general population.
Testing your finance skills
And our surveying suggests that in the last year, young consumers failed to return goods to the value of around £500 million because they did not exercise their rights. It sounds like these lessons are coming in the nick of time to save young consumers from further financial loss.
Our research also shows that younger consumers are not shopping around for the best products and prices available, not using the appropriate avenues for redress and not reading the terms and conditions of major transactions. 44% of those aged between 18–24, and 33% aged between 25–29 are in the lowest quartile for consumer engagement, and just 9% and 21% are in the highest quartile.
A few of the teasers that teenagers could soon be tested on were released to the media last week. They include problems which involved working out the best savings accounts, foreign exchange rates and energy tariffs.
How do you think you would fare if tested on these subjects? Will you be sharpening up on them yourselves now they’re being taught in schools and do you think this will have any sort of impact on national spending habits as a whole?