Research by the University of Edinburgh published in 2016 indicates that young adults fall into three planning profiles of broadly equal measure: Planners, Dreamers and Drifters.
Lived experience and levels of confidence seem to matter more than age or income – so Drifters, for example, tend to rely on their parents far more and for longer. Planning horizons are generally short term, “save to spend”, even for Planners, since young adults are having to deal with day-to-day pressures alongside thinking about the future. Lack of engagement and trust with formal advice and guidance channels remains a barrier.
Our resources - such as surveys, research and reports - can help you if your job requires you to support the financial capability needs of young adults.
To help you design and evaluate your support activities for higher education students, we have produced research on their financial needs and attitudes. Read the report on student financial capability to see the five segments of the student population that we identified.
There are also resources on other websites, such as the Financial Conduct Authority’s Financial Lives survey, which you can segment by age and location.
Resources are relevant for young adults and students from all backgrounds who are:
We have also published evaluation outcomes frameworks. The young adults outcomes framework describes the elements of financial capability that people need to manage their money well between the ages of 16 – 25, and the youth practice outcomes frameworkopens in new window describes quality indicators of good practice for effective financial capability support for young people.