Will Generation Z become Generation Debt?

Two reports just published shed new light on young people’s money.

Generation-Z kids (aged 15 or less) have an estimated £50.3bn in UK saving accounts.  And although 40per cent say they are happy to bank online, 43 per cent of them like the bank branch, and expect the same service when they get older.

The GfK Children’s Finance Study shows that both parents and children are keen to develop the savings habit. GfK found that 95per cent of Generation-Z children agree it’s important to learn money management skills, and 62 per cent of parents say the purpose of a child’s bank account is “to teach money management”.

Julia Beaver of GfK said: ‘The Generation-Z children born after the millennium are the first generation of true ‘Digital Natives’ who enjoy the kind of connected environment in which financial services will increasingly be transacted.

“For example, smartphone ownership among children is 56per cent and many young people have pre-paid web-enabled debit cards with parental controls. This familiarity with the digital world makes it easier to involve children in the world of savings and investment. But the finding that children also expect to have face-to-face contact with their bank in future, as well as digital connectivity, is an important one for banks to heed.”

Meanwhile  almost half (48per cent) of young people aged 18-25 have debts other than student loans and/or mortgages, a Generation Debt report from GoCompare has found. The average amount owed by people in this age group is £3,109. On average, parents underestimate their children’s debt by around 47per cent.  Bank overdrafts (39per cent) and credit cards (31per cent) are the most common forms of money woes.

Matt Sanders at GoCompare.com said:   “Adding financial education to the curriculum is necessary and should be applauded. But these lessons don’t need to start and end in the classroom. There are lots of ways that parents can help their children to understand and appreciate money from an early age, such as by involving them in the weekly food shop or setting them tasks to earn their pocket money and save for things they want.”

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    A really interesting blog. A very large figure of savings for the under 15’s. I’m assuming this is money saved by parents FOR children. 95% of children say learning money management skills is important, I wonder if they feel that is being addressed? 62% of parents say that a child having a bank account teaches these skills. In fact this is only a linear breakdown of money and teaches very little in isolation. There are very few accounts available for children online. The world is a different place for our children, in particular with them being digital natives. Its services like Qwiddle that are really trying to teach child how to manage money in this digital world. Combining online, hands on techniques for money management with educational content, easy to use 24-7, with mediated forums for children to share, ask and learn in an appropriate fun and interactive way.

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