49% of working UK adults receive no support from their employer on how to understand their finances.

hand putting coin into a piggy bank

A survey of 2,000 UK adults was conducted by WEALTH at work, a leading financial wellbeing and retirement specialist which found that just under half (49%) say their employer does not do anything to help them understand their finances. Only one in ten (12%) say their employer puts on financial education seminars or webinars, and only one in ten (12%) say their employer provides access to a regulated financial adviser.

The survey also asked people if there was anything they wish they had done differently when it comes to their finances, and what they wish they had known.

It revealed that over a third (37%) of UK adults wish they had started saving or investing at a younger age and almost a quarter (24%) wish they had been more careful when it came to spending money rather than spending frivolously.

A fifth (21%) wish they had set aside more money for emergencies and nearly a fifth (18%) wish they had been taught about the benefits of saving when they were younger. Nearly a fifth (18%) wish they hadn’t got into debt, and 17% wish they had researched or been taught about the importance of budgeting and how to manage money when they were younger.

However, 29% don’t wish they had done anything differently.

When asked about where people learn about financial matters such as managing a monthly budget, debt and managing savings, the most popular ways include through friends or relatives (35%), by searching online (32%), through TV programmes (18%) and through formal education including school, college or university (17%).

Nearly a fifth (17%) have never learnt about financial matters.

Jonathan Watts-Lay, Director, WEALTH at work, comments; “It can be easy with hindsight to look at the financial decisions made in your life and wish that you had done things differently. But many people lack the knowledge to understand their finances as they’ve never been taught about it, or rely on information from their friends or relatives who are unlikely to be financial gurus.”

He continues; “Understanding how to budget, the importance of saving, and how mortgages, debt and pensions work, are crucial life skills. Our research shows that unfortunately, many people have never learnt about financial matters and whilst some workplaces offer support, there is still some way to go.  It therefore isn’t surprising that so many people have regrets about not starting to save earlier and getting into debt.”

Watts-Lay adds, “With the cost of living crisis putting pressure on household finances, this support is needed now more than ever. Financial education and guidance delivered in the workplace is key and could be provided as workshops or even one-to-one coaching sessions – digital tools and helplines can also be a great source of support. For employers who aren’t able to offer this themselves, they should be aware that there are specialist financial wellbeing providers available who can put bespoke programmes together to meet the requirements of the workforce.”

The survey of 2,000 UK adults was carried out by Opinium from 8 – 11 April 2022.

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