“The better an individual understands financial concepts and products, the more informed he or she will be when making financial decisions. These decisions affect not only individual households, but ultimately the economic health of the wider society”.
Programme for International Student Assessment, OECD (July 2014)
Every nation places a great emphasis on basic literacy skills. The ability to read and write is rightly viewed as being integral to an individual’s ability to get on in life and take an active part in society. However, the area of financial literacy is one which receives scant attention.
Financial literacy is a distinct skill from those of maths and reading. It is the ability to understand how money works and make informed and effective decisions about using and managing it. People with low levels of financial literacy suffer from that lack of knowledge at every stage of their lives.
Financial capability is essential in today’s world.
For young people especially, the ability to oversee their finances has never been more important: from learning how to budget to managing their borrowing; from understanding the forms and sources of credit to understanding how to have a positive relationship with money. Above all, if money skills are learned at an early stage, it is likely that they will stay with you for life.
The health of a person’s relationship with money is not determined by how much a person earns. Rather, financial health is having a conscious and sensible attitude to money that is satisfying and doesn’t put an unnecessary burden on the individual.