THE BLOG
27/10/2015 13:43 GMT | Updated 27/10/2016 06:12 BST

Vulnerable Young People Paying the Price of Financial Skills Gap

For many young people managing money can be confusing but many of us are lucky enough to have the safety net of friends and family to help us get to grips with the challenges.

For vulnerable young people, who may face difficult family relationships, are in and out of care or have nowhere permanent to live, not having basic budgeting skills can leave them "just coping" to get by.

Action for Children has been campaigning to highlight that vulnerable young people need the right financial education and support to give them the life skills to manage their money effectively. Our report, Financial Skills and Employability, which launched today, outlines what needs to be done to help vulnerable young people make better decisions and improve their social and work related skills to get a job and become independent.

We embed financial education into many of the services that we provide and have seen first-hand how having basic financial skills can transform a young person's life.

Last year we met a young carer from London called Christina Peters. Although she was fairly good at budgeting she struggled to manage what little money she had. With the support from staff at Action for Children she took part in our money skills programme in partnership with Barclays. She told us that she was always stressed and was constantly thinking about how she was going to manage with so little money but by teaching her how to shop better she was able to start saving.

She said: "Learning about how to budget better has made me less stressed and I'm able to concentrate at college. I have also got a job as a chef's assistant which has improved my cooking skills. My confidence has grown so much that I am on the way to getting my dream job as a flight attendant.

‎"I'm proof that having money skills can make a huge impact on young people's lives."

This is a great example of how being financially confident can empower a vulnerable young person to take control. It means they have the skills to make sense of their personal finances to plan, problem solve and make sound decisions.

The government should take the lead on ensuring there is a coordinated package of financial support for vulnerable young people so that they can develop money skills which can help them prepare for big life events like setting up a new home or starting a new job.

If you need support or know someone who could benefit from support with personal finances please visit Action for Children or contact us on 0300 123 2112.