The current Covid-19 situation has meant that more people than ever are in debt and it is estimated that 1.2 billion people are ‘sleep walking’ into a debt crisis.

A charity, Step Change, has indicated that the younger age groups are most likely to have been affected and are borrowing money to pay their bills. This is terribly sad but not surprising when you consider the poor level of financial education we provide for young people.

Also, newly published research suggests that 18 to 24-year-olds are the most likely to feel uncomfortable talking about their finances with family and friends and according to a survey of more than 5,000 people by the Money and Pensions Service – a government-backed guidance body, 37% of them felt uncomfortable talking to their loved ones about their money situation. Some 46% wished they could open up but reported feelings of shame as their biggest reason for avoiding doing so.

These two sets of research, actual debt and reluctance to talk about money, are clearly connected. If we don’t educate people to feel comfortable with money and talking about it, then they have difficulty in actually getting into grips with finance when it becomes a reality. As a society we should be appalled and ashamed by these figures and we need to make change.

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Gill Fielding

Author Gill Fielding

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