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Thursday 20th June 2024

Tech is changing the personal finance narrative for young people

Sophie King explores how technology empowers youth to manage finances, with 83% of young people happy with financial services, as reported by MRM and Mouthy Money on the Young Money.

Technology is giving young people a kickstart into saving, but so is the confidence to discuss money.

It is pretty difficult to avoid technology. We use it every day – from communicating with loved ones, shopping for clothes, booking flights and accommodation and managing our finances.

While there are negatives relating to technology, such as the rise of online scams and the fact that it is so easy to throw away money online, it has also given young people access to managing their cash, and this can only be a good thing.

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I’m currently travelling Australia and for me, much of my travel admin has been handled on my phone. 

Whether that’s communicating with travel agents, booking and paying for various trips and finding freelance work.

More importantly, I approve payments on my phone and I manage my savings via different banking and money apps – I think without these, I wouldn’t have nearly as much a handle on how much I’m spending each day.

MRM and Mouthy Money’s latest report on financial freedom revealed that young people are using a variety of financial products, and what’s more is that they’re pretty happy with the ones they use.

Of the 500 18-30 year olds that were surveyed, 32% use a credit card and that same figure have a cash savings account.

One-fifth (20%) have a cash ISA, 15% a workplace pension, 14% have home insurance and 12% have a mortgage.

A huge five out of six (83%) said they were fairly happy with the products they use for their finances.

Two-thirds (60%) said they were happy because the products were simple, while 40% listed ease of access and being well-priced as other impressive reasons.

A quarter (25%) admitted that these products were easy to access via technology and 27% therefore said it helped them to achieve their financial goals.

The great thing about technology and money is that you can see what you’re spending or saving right on your phone, from anywhere at any time. It’s tangible and visible and I believe that these apps hold us to account.

There are so many initiatives from banks and other money companies that encourage people to begin their savings journey.

Starling or Monzo give customers the option to create pots which they can put lumps of money into to track their spending. I had several which included bills, rent, travel, food and social.

You’ll even get monthly or weekly updates from banks about whether you’re spending more or less from a certain pot. 

Many banks and other apps also offer people the chance to round-up payments and put them away into a savings account.

I opened my savings account all through my phone, as it was with an online-only bank. I monitor how it’s doing each month too, all via an app.

I manage all my spending on my phone and use simple, yet effective apps to do so.

MRM’s and Mouthy Money’s report also found that half of respondents said they felt comfortable talking to others about their money. 

A further 23% were unconcerned in doing so while only less than a quarter (22%) were uncomfortable in doing so.

In terms of who they go to for advice and support, 51% said their family and 30% said they talk to friends showing a growth of these conversations in young people’s social groups.

Only 15% said they don’t look for any financial advice so it’s nice to see it is on the radar of the majority. 

It’s positive to see that a number of young people are being active with their money and it’s something I’ve seen while travelling.

When I’ve told other backpackers I’ve met that I write about money, most people respond with something like “oh please teach me about saving” or “I’ve just started investing in XYZ.”

One girl I met was even reading a beginner’s guide to investing-style book, while we were on a boat tour of the Whitsundays – if that isn’t dedication then I don’t know what is. 

It’s refreshing to see that people care about what their money does and where it goes. 

Read the full results of the Young Money report 2023

Photo credits: Pexels

Sophie King

Sophie is a freelance consumer journalist who has worked for major brands including The Sun and MoneySavingExpert (MSE). She’s covered all things consumer finance, benefits, energy bills, refund rights and regulation. During her time at MSE she managed to get the Department for Work and Pensions to stop sending envelopes out to vulnerable people with info on the back telling them to switch energy provider - at a time when no one should have been switching.

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