Evidence type: Insight i
Qualitative research is more exploratory, and uses a range of methods like interviews, focus groups and observation to gain a deeper understanding about specific issues - such as people’s experiences, behaviours and attitudes.
Quantitative research uses statistical or numerical analysis of survey data to answer questions about how much, how many, how often or to what extent particular characteristics are seen in a population. It is often used to look at changes over time and can identify relationships between characteristics like people’s attitudes and behaviours.
The level of financial capability among adults is key to their financial wellbeing. A simple definition of financial capability is the ability of individuals to manage their money effectively. It involves having the knowledge, motivation, confidence and skills to spend and save responsibly, and to be able to cope with life events and income shocks. Low levels of financial capability are problematic because they tend to be linked with higher levels of financial vulnerability. Half of all UK adults are considered financially vulnerable, with 21% of the population ‘rarely or never’ saving, and almost half (47%) not feeling confident about managing their money. This lack of confidence can be detrimental to overall wellbeing, leading to lack of sleep, poor concentration and having to work longer hours to make ends meet. Offering financial education is an important way to provide the knowledge and skills people need to manage their money well.
This 2020 working paper has been produced by researchers at Coventry University in collaboration with Liverpool John Moores University, and published by the Centre for Community Finance Europe, who are based in Ireland. The paper examines the role of credit unions in improving the financial capability of their members, through the provision of financial education, as well as resources for credit unions to support the process.
The findings come from research conducted by Coventry University that tested the effectiveness of practical education materials that had been designed to enhance consumer financial resilience. This summary from a later report includes recommendations for credit unions based on the initial research, as well as details of a free MoneySkills app that offers guidance for money management and also includes a budgeting tool
Generalisability/ transferability :
This report is of significant interest to policymakers, stakeholders and other parties interested in delivering financial education, and particularly to credit unions and their members.
These findings are relevant to credit unions and their members throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.