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Should financial education be a greater part of a school or college curriculum?

Young people say mental health has suffered trying to understand money as experts call for greater financial education 

Experts are calling for the education system to do more to improve financial literacy after a new study has revealed how a lack of financial education has left almost half of young Brits struggling with their mental health.

Investment app Freetrade created the Great British Financial Literacy Test—18 questions about savings, investment, ISAs and retirement that everybody will likely encounter at some point in their lives.

Asking 2,000 British people to complete the test, Freetrade discovered that almost half of them (48%) could not answer basic questions about personal finance including what an ISA stands for, the difference between fixed rates and variable rates, and what your annuity provider does when you retire.

Young people aged 18 to 24 had the lowest levels of financial literacy according to the test. Of them, 45% also said that a lack of financial understanding had led to negative effects on their mental wellbeing.

Struggling to understand finance, young Brits are currently turning to the internet for help. 23% make Google their first stop for learning about personal finance—the most popular answer among respondents. The second most common answer was social media with 16% saying they would get financial education from platforms like Instagram, TikTok or Facebook.

But should financial education be a greater part of a school or college curriculum?

“Young people are taking their future into their own hands and being proactive in addressing the gap in their financial knowledge. The results show that previous generations have clearly muddled through to retirement without ever getting a firm grip on their money management and the youngest Brits have said enough is enough.

“Social media can make the headlines for the strangest of reasons but dismissing these platforms means ignoring the truly valuable educational content young people are finding on them. These are free resources and guidance tools dealing with money matters in a way that engages and informs a generation who left school without a firm financial foundation.”

Dan Lane, senior analyst at Freetrade

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