WASHINGTON, May 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- With four in ten millennials being financially literate and more than half having trouble budgeting their money, it's no surprise that the overwhelming majority of Gen Y would like to increase their money management skills and seek out the financial education resources to do so. 78% also say they prefer videos to learn about personal finance topics.
It is shocking that while millennials seemingly spend all their waking hours in front of a digital screen, almost half say they either don't trust or are not sure about trusting online financial literacy information. In addition, more than one in five don't know the right places to look for such resources. And one-third consider even talking about money issues to be difficult.
These are the key findings of a groundbreaking study released today by the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) at the George Washington University School of Business, supported by the Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting economic freedom and financial empowerment for everyone.
"Millennials face important and sophisticated financial decisions, from student loans and daily budgeting, to long-term investments and home buying, and all at a time when their basic knowledge of financial concepts is very limited," said Dr. Annamaria Lusardi, the Denit Trust Chair of Economics and Accountancy and Academic Director of GFLEC. "Given that they live tethered to the digital world, our study sought to understand their interaction with available online financial education resources, their awareness of these resources and the influences driving their engagement. The goal is not only to understand why, when and how millennials interact with financial education resources, but also to identify useful strategies for promoting such use."
"Now that we have a better understanding of millennials' perceptions on interacting with financial information, we can work to build a cultural shift that inspires them to pursue financial competence," says Shelley Miles, Singleton Foundation CEO. "Our goal in conducting this survey was to gain meaningful insight into what it will take to not only interest this generation in the subject but motivate them to take action. Through engaging content created especially for mobile consumption, we hope to transform personal finance from a taboo topic to one of social relevance that speaks to the millennial audience on a 24/7 basis. We believe that in this way we can empower individuals to take charge of their financial future with confidence."
The survey, called "Millennials' Engagement with Online Financial Education Resources and Tools: New Survey Insights and Recommendations," was conducted in January among nearly 1,900 individuals between the ages of 18 and 37 years old. The findings of the new study fall into three categories: Knowledge-Motivation Gap, Intention-Action Gap and Perception-Use of Financial Education Resources.
Perception-Use of Financial Education Resources
- There is a clear preference for online versus offline resources, with nearly eight in ten millennials saying that they prefer videos to learn about financial literacy.
- However, 22% of millennials say they don't trust online financial resources and another 27% are not sure whether they trust these resources.
- 30% believe quality information is expensive and cannot be available for free.
- Only 24% of millennials demonstrate comprehensive financial literacy and about 55% grasp very basic financial concepts.
- However, 92% would like to increase their money management skills.
- Some 60% of millennials rate their personal financial knowledge as "high" but only 55% could answer three financial literacy questions on basic concepts about interest, inflation and risk diversification correctly.
- Although they spend much of their time connected to the digital world and are aware that there is a preponderance of online resources available, one in five millennials don't know how or where to start learning about managing their finances.
- Nearly 40% say they don't have enough money to need information on managing it. Many only seek information when they immediately need it.
- Further, more than 50% of millennials find it difficult to manage their money -- even if they know what to do.
- And despite good money management intentions, one-third admit to instant gratification impulse buying even when funds are limited and that they buy things they can't afford as a reward for hard work.
The GFLEC-Singleton Foundation survey also found that even in an era of over-sharing, more than one-third of millennials believe personal finance is a private matter and 30% say that discussing personal finance with family and friends is as difficult as talking about weight loss and health issues. And, in somewhat of a surprise, 42% of millennials model their financial behavior after their parents.
About Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship
Singleton Foundation, established by Will and Cary Singleton, and led by a team of entertainment veterans from Disney, DreamWorks and the BBC, among others, believes the American Dream is attainable by all and its achievement is rooted in financial competence. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Public Benefit Corporation whose goal is to help give everyone the financial skills to better manage their lives and businesses and to foster economic freedom by making financial competence and learning fun, engaging and accessible. Through Million Stories Media, a purpose-driven entertainment channel, the Foundation hopes to engage and motivate millennials with compelling content around financial literacy and entrepreneurship. For more information, visit singletonfoundation.org. #investinyourself, #millionstoriesmedia
About the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at George Washington University
The Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) is dedicated to advancing research and solutions that open the door to universal financial literacy. In working toward that mission, GFLEC has positioned itself as the world's leading incubator for financial literacy research, policy, and solutions. GFLEC launched in 2011 at the George Washington University School of Business in Washington, D.C. Since then, it has pioneered breakthrough tools to measure financial literacy, developed and advised on educational programs, and crafted policy guidelines aimed at advancing financial knowledge in the United States and around the world. For more information on GFLEC, visit www.gflec.org.
SOURCE Singleton Foundation