Financial life

Financial knowledge is the ability to understand and assess financial options, plan for the future and respond well to events.

It is considered one area that makes up financial wellness, with others being our financial behaviours, financial systems, our feelings regarding money and financially adjusting, often based upon outcomes.

However, being financially literate does not mean that a person is financially secure. Collectively, these elements can have a meaningful impact upon an individual’s life, including boosting their personal confidence, feelings towards money and improving their financial decision making.

However, despite finance being important, many experience barriers to gaining these skills, such as having a complex financial life, multiple options when making financial decisions or not having enough money and time to learn personal finance issues.

Financial illiteracy places an individual at more risk of debt and more exposed to shocks such as illness and job loss. Over half of the UK are considered financially vulnerable, with on average over £2,500 credit card debt per household.

Financial problems can contribute to ill health and vice versa through a cycle of poor mental health and impacts on employment. Workers with ill health in the North are 39% more likely to lose their job than someone in the rest of England, and if they can return to work, their wages are typically 66% lower.