Let’s Talk about Money and Financial Literacy!
You have recently moved out of home to live with a friend in an apartment in the city. You love your new independence. You don’t have to ask for your parent’s permission to leave the house; you can stay out late, and you get to live with your best friend.
But recently you have been finding it difficult to manage your finances. Your working hours were cut during the pandemic and were never restored. You love living with your friend, but you didn’t realise how expensive it would be. When you lived at home you never had to worry about paying electricity, heating, or internet bills. Not to mention the cost of rent, transport, and food. You wish you had learned in school about managing your money, in this instance, it definitely would have been more useful than algebra!
Your wages barely cover your living expenses, and you have no spare money to socialise with your friends. You thought living in the city would be cool because there was so much to do, but the reality is you can’t afford to do anything. You are also worried about your job security, as last week your company had to terminate the contracts for three people. You have been stressing about what would happen if the same thing happened to you. How would you be able to afford your rent and bills? You have no savings and feel overwhelmed thinking about it.
That evening when you get home, your housemate John mentions that the internet and electricity bill is due. He asks you to transfer your share of the money into his bank account. You let out a big sigh, which John notices and he asks you if everything is ok. You get upset and explain to him that you are worried because your bills have increased since Covid, and you are working fewer hours than before. You have been using your credit card more than usual, and you feel overwhelmed and stressed by your financial situation
John hugs you and tells you not to worry. He explains that most people are finding it difficult to cope with the increase in the cost of living. He says that he read online that young people were the hardest hit economically by Covid-19, and many were unemployed or had no job security. He admitted that he also worried about money and found it difficult to budget his money every month.
You feel a bit better that you are not the only person who is stressing about money. But unfortunately, it doesn’t change that you must do something to deal with the problem.
Later, you do some research and discover that the Covid-19 pandemic had a negativeimpact on young people’s employment, living standards and mental well-being. The unemployment rate for young people increased and those who were employed found itdifficult to make a liveable wage, which was exacerbated by the cost-of-living price hikes. Record numbers of young people were experiencing mental health difficulties and reported high levels of stress and anxiety caused by their financial worries.
You are not surprised to learn this, and it makes you upset that other young people are experiencing similar situations to yours. You decide you want to raise awareness about the issue and suggest to John that you both should make a podcast. You think it could be a great way to share important information with other young people and to get some experts involved in talking about the issues affecting young people’s finances!