Research Highlights Financial Knowledge Gap Among Scottish Teenagers

March 29, 2017

Teenage Scots on the cusp of adulthood are being urged to learn more about how to handle their money amid concerns that many of them are broadly ill-equipped to do so.

The Money Advice Service (MAS) recently ran an awareness building campaign around these issues in collaboration with Education Scotland with the aim of encouraging young Scots to realise just how important it can be in later life to know how to handle your finances properly.

The government-backed financial advisory body and its partners worked closely with 16 and 17 year olds throughout the country after discovering recently that 31 per cent of them have never opened a bank account.

Around 55 per cent of young Scots in this age bracket were also found to be unable to read a pay slip and a quarter of those who do have a current account said they’ve never actually used it to put money in.

Faced with this worryingly widespread lack of financial familiarity among young Scots, MAS ran a series of events between March 20th and 24th as part of what it called its Financial Education Week.

“This is a real opportunity for us to raise the issues faced by people in Scotland, particularly those of our young people,” explained Yvonne MacDermid, MAS chief executive.

“Financial education isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ but a ‘must have’ and this initiative helps put financial education firmly on the map,” she said.

But while thousands of teenagers in Scotland are clearly in need of some further financial education, much the same can be said of many of their less-youthful counterparts as well.

According to MAS’ research, 45 per cent of parents of Scottish teens don’t feel confident about managing their money and two-thirds say they find keeping up with paying their bills and managing their debts to be a burden.

The Scottish Government, the Lloyds Banking Group and the University of Scotland all helped out in putting together the various educational events that took place as part of the recent Financial Education Week across Scotland.

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