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16 Nov 2022

Four ways financial education can support staff for life

With many employees lacking the skills or confidence to manage money well, a little workplace help can go a long way

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For many of us, financial education starts when we leave home.

It often feels like we’ve been thrown in the deep end, with a salary to manage and rent to pay, because we did not learn these vital lessons at school.

And unless you’ve got financially savvy parents to point you in the right direction, you have to try and teach yourself to manage your finances effectively.

Lack of skills and confidence

Around 15% of UK adults do not have the skills or confidence to manage their money day to day, or to save, invest and deal with debt, according to Claro Wellbeing research. This rises to 35% of 16 to 24-year-olds.

Poor financial literacy not only affects our overall wellbeing, but can also make money management and planning challenging. We’re all trying to work through the cost of living crisis and manage rising interest rates, but financial education goes beyond the current economic challenges. People will always worry about money if they do not know how best to manage it.

It’s never too late to learn and workplace financial education could help staff improve their financial literacy, prevent money-related stress and improve productivity. A good programme will also support them through their life-stages, be it buying a first home, starting a family or preparing for retirement.

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1. Teaching practical money-management skills

Even the most financially sophisticated of us could do with going back to basics and putting in place a solid framework for managing finances.

For example, Claro Wellbeing’s Mental Health Project report revealed that 39% of adults do not have a budget. But a budegt is the foundation of good financial planning, helping you to develop a proactive plan – whether to build a protective financial cushion or save/invest for a longer-term goal.

Workplace financial wellbeing programmes, like those that include one-on-one financial coaching and interactive workshops on topics such as budgeting, building an emergency fund or clearing debts can help staff at any stage of their career with developing good financial habits that help them take control of their money, build wealth and plan for the future.

2. Building financial resilience

As the cost of living soars, workers across all income brackets are being put under significant financial pressure.

Our research shows over a third (37%) of workers say they struggle, fall behind or cannot keep up with bills, with almost one in three (30%) earning more than £150,000 a year. We also found that almost half (49%) of workers have savings of less than a month’s outgoings, while 15% would run out of money within two weeks if they lost their job.

Financial resilience is the ability to cope with unexpected expenses, such as redundancy, the boiler breaking down or the rising cost of living. It’s having the peace of mind you can support yourself no matter what happens.

3. Goal-setting and future planning

Setting financial goals not only helps us plan for the future but also keeps us motivated and moving forward.

A good financial education strategy could include discussions around effective goal setting, for example, by offering courses or interactive sessions with financial experts.

4. Boosting financial confidence

What we learn about money growing up can often hold us back as adults. For example, if we hear our parents arguing about money, we may see it as negative. As a result we may end up feeling uncomfortable managing money day-to-day because of a lack of confidence, or ignore our finances altogether.

Creating a space at work where open conversation is welcome could help alleviate negative feelings about money and improve our confidence. For example, introducing regular Finance Friday sessions where groups of staff can work on their own financial tasks over a 25-minute video call and share their wins at the end.

In addition, having access to a financial coach who supports staff will not only boost their confidence, but also empower them to make smart financial decisions.

In partnership with Claro Wellbeing

A financial wellbeing benefit to support your team where it matters most

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