Young people and their money

17 September 2010 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

Eleanor Cooksey writes:

How do young people learn about managing money? Earlier this month, we ran a workshop session at an event organised by the Consumer Financial Education Body (CFEB) which was designed to spark debate around how better to engage with young people. The event involved  marketing and compliance representatives from across the financial services industry, and included a short presentation of our recent research for CFEB into how young people make decisions about financial products, and the role of promotions in this process.

Rightly or wrongly, it seems young people turn to their own version of the ‘wisdom of crowds’, which might come from talking to family and peers, as well as referring to online comparison sites and ratings. Echoing findings from our in-house research into the Millennials generation, we also found that young people often identify themselves as confident consumers, perceiving their knowledge of personal finance to be as high as expected to be given the category. This is in spite of a lack of detailed understanding of the terminology required to make properly informed choices. However, when it came to making a decision about which provider to go for or solving problems, the traditional method of talking to someone face to face at a local branch remained very important.

The workshop session triggered useful discussion about how best to address these challenges and balance the risks of under- or misinforming young people by facilitating more peer to peer / youth-focused communication (e.g. the use of part trained online panels of young people), as opposed to failing to engage at all through badly targeted communications which may be disregarded as irrelevant. As one of our respondents noted, ‘facebook is about fun – it’s not for talking about bank accounts’.

The image is from Flickr user Alan Cleaver and is used under a Creative Commons licence with thanks.

Entry filed under: consumers, financial services, millennials. Tags: .

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