Young Australians relying on family advice in choosing financial products

young people literacy education advice Monash

19 December 2022
| By Rhea Nath |
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Young Australians continue to struggle with financial stress and rely on avenues like family advice in deciding financial products, an extensive report has found.

This has bolstered calls for improving access to tools to help young people, even those without family support, to make well-informed financial decisions. 

According to the Understanding Young People in Australia Today report by Monash University’s Centre for Youth Policy and Education Practice, 90% of young Australians had experienced financial difficulties at some point during the last 12 months. 

Over half (53%) believed they would be financially worse-off than their parents with those who were born overseas were more likely to feel this way than those who were born in Australia.

For the more than 500 young people surveyed, external factors like increased rent and rising cost of living were chief barriers in achieving financial security. 

“Financial pressures are also felt unevenly by different communities. Gender diverse young people, for example, are far more pessimistic about owning a home. These financial challenges require urgent attention,” added Blake Cutler, report co-author.

Most young people had a savings account, but it was less common to have other forms of savings or investment. The most commonly-adopted investment products were term deposits (15%), followed by investments in their superannuation fund (13%), cryptocurrency (12%) and self-managed stocks. 

The most-used forms of credit by this demographic were credit cards (31%) and buy now, pay later products (27%) though they expressed wariness for these services. 

Most relied on family advice and 60% also turned to family as a source of support during financial duress, the report found. 

Other aspects of the Monash University report looked at young Australians’ experiences with relationships, work, education, and well-being.

“While young Australians are resilient, too many are hurting. They are experiencing poor mental health and nearly a quarter haven’t been able to access the food they need. They’re worried, anxious and pessimistic about the future. After years of disruption, nearly half felt as though they missed out on being young,” lead author Professor Lucas Walsh explained. 

However, while painting a sombre picture, not all aspects of young Australians’ financial security was grim. Many (54%) felt financial security was a goal that was likely or extremely likely but was simply not feasible in the immediate future.

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