• Nine out of ten 16-21 year olds say they want more help with finances
  • One in five young adults would save more money if families talked about money more often
  • Four out of ten young people say their mum gives them the best money advice
  • People are more likely to trust David Attenborough for money advice than Philip Hammond


London, 5 June 2019: This week is the start of My Money Week – a national activity week for primary and secondary schools aimed at helping young people gain skills, knowledge and confidence in money matters. Young people may welcome this initiative, as over a third (36%) say they would be encouraged to save more money if teachers taught them how to save at school, according to research by BMO.


Financial education

A poll of more than 4,500 people shows that there is an appetite for financial education among young people – especially among 16 to 21 year olds (Generation Z). Almost nine out of ten (87%) Gen Zs say they want more help when it comes to their finances.


Half of this age group (50%) would appreciate financial education around investing money and a similar number would like help with saving methods (47%). Other areas of particular interest are: buying or selling property (39%), understanding financial jargon (34%) and getting out of debt (22%).


Families’ role in financial education

While teachers can play an important role with financial education, families are just as important with one in five (20%) 16 to 21 year olds saying they would save more money if their family talked about it more often. In fact, young Brits seem to really value their parents’ advice on money matters, as four out of ten (40%) say their Mum gives the best money advice, and more than a third (35%) say they always turn to Dad if they need money tips.


Celebrity money role models

While some Gen Zs get money advice close to home, others are happy to look further afield with three quarters (74%) saying they would happily trust celebrities to give them money tips – Alan Sugar (44%), Martin Lewis and Steph McGovern (35%) are the most trusted celebrities for money advice. However, they are also more likely to trust David Attenborough (17%) than the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond (10%) when it comes to money matters.


Ross Duncton, Managing Director, Head of Direct at BMO, commented:


“My Money Week is a great initiative focused on helping young people develop crucial skills for life as well as financial confidence. It’s clear from our work with 16-21 year olds that young people have an appetite for financial education, and they recognise the importance of money management, such as saving regularly.


“While schools have an important role to play in teaching children about money, financial education can start at home. In fact, our research shows that young people would be encouraged to save more money if their families talked about it. Teaching money skills from a young age – through games and practical interaction – can go a long way to embed positive habits for life. During My Money Week, we want to encourage families – from parents and grandparents to aunts and uncles – to talk to children about money and pass on their financial pearls of wisdom.”


BMO and F&C Investment Trust are encouraging families to start money conversations at home during My Money Week, especially with young relatives, and is offering the following tips to get them started:


  1. Money chat. Talk to children about money to help them understand the difference between spending today and saving for the future. For instance, how you manage money coming in and money going out, to underline the importance of paying vital things like bills, as well as saving for future plans, like holidays.


  1. Play shop. Role playing can help to develop children’s money skills. For instance, taking it in turns to play “shopkeeper” to familiarize them with handling cash, e.g. small coins. Being a shopkeeper can also help them learn that “when it’s gone, it’s gone”; and boost basic maths skills when they calculate how much change to give.


  1. Spending money. If you’re going shopping, and not in a rush, let smaller children hand over the money to the cashier to reinforce the role of cash in real life situations and make them feel grown-up. Perhaps double-check the length of the queue behind you first!


  1. Pocket money. Giving children cash in return for odd jobs completed around the home remains a classic way to teach them about “earning” money. Not only does it bring the idea of earning to life, it also teaches the concept of time and effort in exchange for monetary reward.


  1. Don’t be afraid to start too soon. Studies by the University of Cambridge confirm that money habits are learnt early in young children. By the age of seven, several basic concepts have developed – such as counting, giving and receiving, as well as differentiating between ‘wants’ versus ‘needs’.