Young people know too little about money matters: this is one of the many observations that emerge from a survey published by Febelfin, the employers’ organization in the financial sector. Half of 15-30 year olds say they are unable to manage a budget and are unsure of how taxes and credit work. To talk to these young people, Febelfin has created a website – financesetmoi.be – with testimonials from influencers, including that of the young Badfifi: “It’s super important to talk about money because young people today, we spend too much money. So, I will tell my story with my first pay. I started working at 14 years old and my first pay was anything. I would go out, buy makeup, do anything and have zero money “.
If there is a “taboo” about money, it would be more at the level of parents. In any case, this is the perception that Laurie Francq, who works at the Hainaut reference center for over-indebtedness. She regularly goes to schools to do activities intended to educate teenagers about money issues: “In general, it’s not complicated to talk about money with them, it’s not taboo. When it is, it’s more in the family sphere, where they say: ‘no, I’m not sure what my parents earn, we don’t really talk about it at home, I don’t know what’s going on in terms of expenses. ‘But within the school anyway, in the classroom, it is not taboo “.
But, she says, that does not mean that there is no taboo at all in connection with the financial situation of the family, nuance. This is a finding shared by François Deblander, coordinator of the Infor Jeunes information service in Brussels. When they come up with their questions, he says, young people don’t directly talk about money: “They come up with other questions, other problems, and when you dig, you end up with money worries. But that’s rarely their way of approaching. “According to him, young people tackle a lot of issues:” For example, yesterday I had a young person who came with questions of training, finding training, and in digging deeper, we realize that access to training poses several problems: administrative situation and problem of resources, more housing, more resources. And so we finally come to talk about the means of accessing assistance at the CPAS “.
Basically, what is more taboo among the young people that Laurie Francq and François Deblander encounter is not so much money as such, but rather the precariousness and social situation of the family. There is a correlation between the financial difficulties of a young person – or of an less young one for that matter – and the lack of initial knowledge about money, but beware, it is not only the gaps in the financial education to explain the financial difficulties of certain households, far from it, according to Laure Francq: “We do realize that having a lack of financial education has an impact, but unfortunately it is not the only one and there are causes over which we have no influence, such as not having a basic income to meet his needs. We can tell the person to look for a job, but we all know that it is not that simple. There is also the cause of the accident of life – death, loss of employment, illness – and these are causes over which we have no influence “.
Insufficient resources are a trigger for financial difficulties in more than 40% of cases – figures from The Credit and Debt Observatory. Accidents of life, 37%. As for management difficulties, they are still found in about one in four cases.