Many young people are struggling to find employment and for those who have jobs, they face falling wages, rising prices and a struggle to get on to the property ladder. How easy is it to be a young person these days?
We’ve been looking in to how economic and social trends are affecting young people and how we can be better equipped to help them deal with life and all the complicated decisions it throws up.
It’s a fact that people aged between 18 and 29 years old are significantly less well-off compared to previous generations. It takes them several years longer to reach average income levels than when their elders were in this age bracket.
Because of the economic pressure they face, it’s more important than ever that young people know their consumer rights. Our surveys suggest that in the last year, young consumers failed to return goods to the value of around £500m because they didn’t exercise their consumer rights. Our analysis also suggests that this problem is generational.
Problem purchase – turning to parents
Just one in five young consumers would know where to go for information if they had a problem with a purchase, compared to nearly half of the general population. It’s probably no surprise that around half of 18-24 year olds are reliant on their parents to assert their consumer rights but the fact that around a third of 24-29 year olds are still relying on them should cause some concern.
Consumer skills are traditionally developed through experience as we get older. However, for today’s young consumers, ‘milestone’ events like marriage and buying a home are deferred until much later in life. There is less ‘learning by doing’ upfront.
Young consumers are spending longer relying on their parents for finance and for help in negotiating consumer markets. Four in ten parents say they are surprised by the extent to which their adult children still need their financial support and a third are worried their children make bad decisions about money.
If we don’t adapt to these trends then we’re storing up problems for the future. Which? represents all consumers, so we also need to find ways to help younger people with the difficult decisions they face. It’s those key life decisions, like like choosing where to study and buying your first house, where young consumers need the most help and we’re doing our bit to develop products and services that put young consumers’ needs first.
This was first published in full on The Huffington Post.