Money advice and young people

Lit review report for MaPS 2021

The full report provides a detailed methodology and an extensive bibliography if you’d like to read more on this topic.

Graham, B., & Brady, L-M., ( 2021) Young people and money: a review of young people’s use of online information and advice, MaPS, London. Possibly contrary to expectations, the internet and social media do not provide the information young people are looking for when it comes to financial matters, and often cause more confuison than enlightenment. The research shows that young people tend to use generalist search terms and engines, are largely unaware of specialist sites, and find it hard to judge what to trust online: challenges compounded by the commercial interests behind much of the available online ‘advice’.

Most turn to friends or families for money advice, signalling the need for trustworthy and individualised guidance. However, quality and reliability depends on the other person’s knowledge and experience. Unfortunately teachers and other adults were reported to lack confidence or training to provide sufficient support on financial matters.

Recommendations made included better financial capacity building for families, children, young people and those who work with them (e.g. teachers and youth workers); and free, easily accessible, impartial, high quality, personalised advice – as and when needed. In other words, it can’t be presumed that all financial education can be delivered in one go, at 12 or 20 (even if feasible). Young people want appropriate advice when they hit key junctures in their lives, especially points of transition, such as starting a job, taking on a tenancy, getting credit/ into debt, becoming a parent, …