75% of teenagers now save money every month - either at home or in a bank account - and 62% say they’re saving more than they used to. The number of girls saving money, in particular, went up by 7% between 2007 and 2011.
The findings come from a new report by MoneySense - RBS/NatWest’s financial education programme - which surveyed 50,000 people aged 12-19 to explore their relationship with money and examine how saving habits have changed over the five years.
The research found that growing numbers of young people now admit to being “concerned” about money issues. Nearly a third (29%) of respondents are “worried” about money – a figure that has risen by 1% every year for the last five years. Furthermore, 68% of young people are concerned about getting into serious debt in the future - with the number of 16-19 year olds expecting to have debts of £30,000 or more, jumping from 7% in 2007 to 44% in 2011.
"I think that what we hear about the economy has had an effect and young people are beginning to realise that money management is important - not just now but for the rest of their lives."
Zac, a 17-year old from England
"MoneySense has really helped me understand how finance works. At the moment it feels like every penny counts but I now feel I know enough to make the most of my money."
Jennifer, a 15 year old from Scotland
"The report gives us a comprehensive understanding of young people’s attitudes to their finances, as well as informs our school engagement work. The findings demonstrate how important it is for people to address their financial concerns. We found that whilst 90% of young people feel it’s important to talk about money, many parents admit to never discussing finances with their family. Programmes like MoneySense help bridge this gap and give teenagers the knowledge to make good financial decisions in school, life and the workplace."
Ross McEwan, RBS and NatWest Retail Chief Executive
RBS has been delivering free financial education in schools since 1994 - first under NatWest and now under the RBS/NatWestMoneySense banner.
In the last three years, 1 million children have undertaken a MoneySense lesson and last year alone, over 40,000 MoneySense lessons were delivered to more than 341,000 pupils across 1,250 schools in the UK.