Harrington Brooks was pleased to attend and sponsor the Money Advice Scotland Conference 2017 at the end of last month (June 22 – 23) at Crieff Hydro in Perthshire.
Entitled Financial Fitness: how fit are the nation’s personal finances, the conference brought together a range of attendees from across the debt management sector and the Scottish Government, as well as representatives from universities and housing associations.
And as a Platinum Contributor to the Money Advice Scotland Conference, it was great to attend to hear talks on issues facing the credit and debt markets, as well as personal finance in general.
What we learned at the Money Advice Scotland Conference
According to Money Advice Scotland, total outstanding consumer credit was at £198.4bn last month. This was the highest it’s been since December 2008. Because of this, there is a growing concern that some households will start to struggle to manage their budgets.
Yvonne MacDermid OBE, Chief Executive at Money Advice Scotland, said: “Personal borrowing continues to climb towards pre-recession peak levels and we know, too, that households are saving less than at any time since records began in 1963.
“In this context, the money advice sector in Scotland needs to be ready to pick up the mantle and support consumers in times of financial difficulty.”
Money Advice Scotland made it clear that it’s important to distinguish between the ‘JAMs’ – those who are ‘just about managing’ and the ‘NAAMs’ – the households who are ‘not at all managing’. Both of these groups could struggle if consumer credit continues to increase and savings stay low.
Iona Bain, founder of the Young Money Blog, took part in The Big Debate on financial education. Iona said it was important to teach financial skills not just as part of maths lessons but also about the values needed to manage money. If young people just see financial education as maths, they might struggle to relate it to their lives.
Money Advice Scotland reported that less than half of young Scottish people are aware of receiving any formal financial education. This is despite the fact that financial education has been on the national curriculum since 2008.
Commitment to Financial Education for Future Generations
This is what our PayDay game is all about – helping to relate money skills to real-life examples. By helping kids see the consequences of the financial decisions they make, this makes it easier for them to understand the value of good money management.
It was really interesting to get a complete overview of the market and the challenges that will face consumers. It’s clear that everyone in the sector has their part to play to support customers who are starting to struggle with the burden of debt – and to ensure that the next generation have the skills they need to avoid these problems.
You can read more about how the One Advice Group and Harrington Brooks are supporting Financial Education for Future Generations by engaging with students of varying ages to play the PayDay game here.