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09 Dec 2021

Q&A: What do young workers think of employer-sponsored financial education?

The pandemic had a strong impact on younger people aged 18-34, with financial vulnerability rising by more than two fifths (40%), according to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) data. Meanwhile, more young people are reportedly getting acquainted with their finances.

 

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We caught up with two younger Hargreaves Lansdown employees, Martha (22) and Harry (20) to hear how they manage their finances, day-to-day stressors and what they think of employer sponsored financial education.

Tell us a bit about you and what you enjoy spending your money on

Martha: After paying my bills I tend to spend any money I have left on meals out, getting my nails done, beauty and family days out.

Harry: Outside of work a lot of my money goes on football games, going out in town and tickets for music gigs.

How do you feel about the way you manage your money?

M: I think I’m quite good at managing my money. Working at a financial services firm has really helped. I first started here four years ago when I was 18 and had never heard of an ISA or things like premium bonds. Now I know about them and I save into both.
I always make sure to separate ‘enjoyment’ savings from savings I’ll need for the future.

H: There’s always room for improvement, but I think I cover the basics well. My dad was a financial advisor and my mum’s an accountant, so I’ve been brought up with the mantra, ‘don’t spend beyond your means’. I started at Hargreaves Lansdown on a smaller salary than what I’m on now, and I still try to live on that amount of money

Do your finances ever cause you stress?

M: I don’t get particularly stressed out by my personal finances, but I know some of my friends do. There is a lot of pressure from social media to buy the latest clothes or technology, and a lot of people I know use ‘buy now, pay later’ payment options. I think comparison is the biggest stressor on finances for young people.

H: Not so much now but they used to. When I first started working, I didn’t have as much money as I do now, and it was definitely on my mind a lot of the time. But I was lucky as I still lived at home, so didn’t have to worry about paying rent or other bills.

Do you think employers have a part to play in helping their employees manage their money?

M: I really like that HL holds webinars on helping employees manage their finances. I think it’s up to the employer to choose a financial education provider that really shows the benefits of managing your finances properly and investing early. I think the key is to really tailor the message to younger employees if you want them to listen. It’s about affinity; getting younger employees to buy into what you’re telling them.

H: Definitely. I’ve done a pension planning webinar, although I’m still not sure if I’m doing enough. And I’ve attended a few investing webinars just to make sure I understand enough to make my own investment decisions.

What do you think would help younger people engage with their finances?

M: I think it’s about using simple language and not overcomplicating it. Finance professionals use a lot of jargon that’s not always needed

H: If I didn’t work for a financial services company, I wouldn’t have a clue. My mum is in the education sector, and we’ve talked about how financial education is never talked about at school.

When people leave school and are expected to suddenly understand how to manage their finances, that’s a really big change. And if someone finds the day-to-day management of their finances confusing, they won’t go near them. It should be pushed more in schools so that young people are given the right knowledge early.

This article was provided by Hargreaves Lansdown.

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