70% of UK Adults Can’t Answer GCSE-Standard Personal Finance Questions

June 30, 2014

Luke-Notley small (Custom)Worrying results from new research by the Open University Business School (OUBS) indicates that there is startling lack of knowledge about personal finances amongst UK adults. A selection of adults were picked to answer personal finance questions aimed at 15 and 16 year olds and the result indicated that up to 34million would fail.

The results determined that 30% of adults would score less than 43% on an exam containing questions about financial issues such as savings, tax, currency exchange and utilities. Equally worryingly, the research discovered that almost half of UK adults neglect to keep a household budget. Amazingly 4% of those included in the research claimed that they did not know how to make a budget.

This demonstrates a necessity for many UK families to seek the help of financial professionals, to aid budgeting and debt consolidation. The research revealed that 5% of UK adults felt that budgeting was unnecessary because they were always in the red – demonstrating a lack of ambition to move out of debt and into the black.

“These results paint a worrying picture of UK families who are struggling to manage their finances despite signs of economic recovery,” says Martin Upton from the OUBS.  “Many households face a financially devastating deficit each month, with bills outstripping income, while many others have very little left for savings.”

A debt solution expert can help these adults consolidate their debts and resume a payment process better fitted to their lifestyle, helping them escape the red and achieve a level of financial stability. Through intelligent debt management initiatives, found here, debtors can pay off their creditors at a speed that is beneficial to all parties.

The Government has been growing increasingly concerned about citizens’ lack of personal finance knowledge, announcing last September that it was to be included in the National Curriculum for England secondary schools. This will come into effect from September this year. This decision follows a two-year campaign led by the Personal Finance Education Group (PFEG) and MPs.

PFEG chief executive, Tracey Bleakley, explained that there is still work to be done before UK adults are completely confident with personal finance: “There is still a huge amount of work to do to improve financial capability in the UK. Financial education’s new place in the National Curriculum from this autumn will help significantly, but teaching these crucial life skills in secondary schools is not enough on its own.  “The only long-term solution to this problem is to start teaching children about money from an early age. This means beginning at primary school level, with parents also reinforcing this learning at home.”

Roughly a third of adults questioned claimed that they will attempt to keep up with their children as they learn more about personal finance. However, 11% plan to capitalise on their children’s newfound knowledge, relying on them for financial advice.