A recent study conducted by the Financial Basics Foundation reveals a significant lack of personal finance literacy among students. Discover the key findings and potential solutions for increasing young people’s knowledge about money.
In 2022, university lecturers Laura de Zwaan and Tracey West — both with doctoral degrees in Finance — published their key findings regarding students’ financial literacy.
Although the study took place in Australia, the takeaways are highly relevant for a universal audience. Students across the globe should have access to more resources to understand money from a young age.
As a result of the study, the authors make a series of recommendations to improve students’ finance knowledge.
Key insights on financial literacy among students
Firstly, the report shows that high schoolers aren’t very familiar with important aspects of finance.
“While some students were aware of financial concepts such as interest, inflation, investing, insurance and superannuation, most had little or no knowledge and/or understanding of personal finance.”
Those who did show signs of greater financial literacy mostly learned about money at home. In multiple cases, their parents owned small businesses or worked in the finance industry.
A few also identified math class as a source of information, but not one they enjoy. Additionally, students often couldn’t recall what the financial concepts actually meant.
How can schools improve?
Among the recommendations provided to help kids learn more about money, the authors of the study include:
- “[…] Financial literacy education should be elevated within high schools. Ideally this is within in a standalone program, however we should also seek ways to inject principles of financial literacy into as many areas as possible across the curriculum.”
- “The delivery of financial literacy education in Maths needs to be improved. A range of approaches — not limited to calculation activities — should be implemented to address financial literacy.”
- “Students need more exposure to effective financial strategies […]”
However, parents shouldn’t limit financial literacy to school resources. Students should gather information from numerous sources to build a foundation for a future of financial freedom.