Financial literacy month: everything you need to know

Financial literacy month: everything you need to know

April is Financial Literacy month. For thirty days every year, the nation’s focus is on improving the UK’s financial literacy. So why is financial literacy important? How did Financial Literacy month come about? And how can you observe it? 

 

Read on for answers to those questions and more in our all-you-need-to-know guide. 

 

What is Financial Literacy month?

 

Financial Literacy month is a nationwide, awareness-raising exercise. Its aim is to make the UK population understand why being smart with money matters. How? Through financial education. 

 

During Financial Literacy month, financial institutions, nonprofits and educational charities focus on the importance of financial literacy. They do this through events, programs and counselling. The goal is not just to help people learn more about finance, but to help them actually improve their personal and household financial stability. 

 

What is financial literacy?

 

In simple terms, if you’re financially literate, you’re smart with money. When it comes to budgeting, saving, spending, and investing you make wise choices. 

 

“Financial literacy is the language of money,” says Beth Zemble, VP of Education at GoHenry. “Just like reading literacy is the ability to recognise letters, decode words, infer meaning and then use this information to follow directions, solve problems and make decisions in your life, so financial literacy is the ability to read and interpret financial information to make decisions.”

 

Why is financial literacy important?

 

Financial literacy is key to understanding how to save, earn, borrow, invest and protect your money wisely. It’s also essential for developing financial habits that lead to your overall well-being. When you’re financially literate, it’s easier to plan your retirement, manage debt and live a comfortable life. 

 

Yet, a Financial Capability Survey has found that:

  • 39% of adults (20.3 million) don’t feel confident managing their money
  • 11.5 million have less than £100 in savings
  • nearly nine million of us are in serious debt, and only around a third receive help.

 

Becoming financially literate means changing your behaviour. Shifting your money mindset so you’re intentional with your money. “You tell your money where to go”, as John Maxwell said, “instead of wondering where it went.”

 

History of Financial Literacy month

 

Financial Literacy month is a relatively recent phenomenon from the US that is now spreading globally. Its findings provoked the national strategy for financial education in the US and this is one of the many reasons why other countries are following suit.

 

Here are some of the reasons why the UK is focussing on financial literacy month. Currently:

 

  • Only 52% of 7–17 year olds say they receive a meaningful financial education in school, at home, or in other settings.
  • 47% of adults do not feel confident making decisions about financial products and services.
  • 61% of adults do not focus on the long term when it comes to money

 

When is Financial Literacy month?

 

Financial literacy month runs from April 1 to April 30 every year. April 2023 is its 20th year. It will begin on Saturday, April 1 and run through to Sunday, April 30, 2022.  

 

Here are the start and end dates for financial literacy month until 2030.

 

Year

Start 

End

2023

Saturday, 1 April 

Sunday, 30 April 

2024

Monday, 1 April 

Tuesday, 30 April 

2025

Tuesday, 1 April 

Wednesday, 30 April 

2026

Wednesday, 1 April 

Thursday, 30 April 

2027

Thursday, 1 April 

Friday, 30 April 

2028

Saturday, 1 April 

Sunday, 30 April 

2029

Sunday, 1 April 

Monday, 30 April 

2030

Monday, 1 April 

Tuesday, 30 April 

 

10 facts for Financial Literacy month

 

To give you a better idea of the state of financial literacy in the UK, here are 10 not-so-fun facts. 

 

  • The Money Charity estimates that the average credit card debt per UK household stands around £2,000.
  • In the UK alone, the personal average total debt is £33,410.
  • 1 in 5 (20%) Brits have no savings at all in 2022.
  • Over 40% of people do not have enough put away to support themselves for a month in the absence of income.
  • 53% of people have not saved for their retirement.
  • 24 million UK adults don’t feel confident managing their money.

  • 1 in 3 Brits say say thinking about their financial situation makes them feel worried 
  • 50% of young people aged 18 to 34 years are most likely to feel worried when thinking about money.
  • According to the Financial Capability Strategy for the UK (FinCap), only four in ten children learn about money at school.

 

National Debtline and the Money Advice Trust have published a survey examining the effects of debt on 18-24 year olds, and found that almost a third are currently lumped with debts that they consider to be a “heavy burden”.

 

How to observe Financial Literacy month

 

What’s the best way to observe Financial Literacy month? Take a long look at your personal finances and make sure they’re on track. Make the most of the resources by checking out our post on financial literacy resources.

 

For parents, it’s a great opportunity to talk to your children about money matters. Because despite the fact 53% of parents say they plan to start teaching their children about money from the age of 11 or under, few actually do. 

 

Of course, you may think you don’t need to discuss money with your kids. They’ll learn all about it in school anyway, right? Sadly, you’re wrong. 

 

Urge the government to make financial education part of the school curriculum


A report by CBI Economics analysis, commissioned by GoHenry and Wilson Wright, called Paving the Way to Financial Wellbeing shows that there needs to be more collaboration to improve the nation’s financial literacy. This is why GoHenry and Wilson Wright are calling for the Government to collaborate with industry and other private sector partners to create a national strategy for financial education, and provide parents and children with practical learning tools, and introduce compulsory financial literacy and management education from primary school age.

 

This will mean that all children can develop the skills and knowledge they need to manage their money effectively in adulthood, regardless of their background. 

 

Pledge to set a good example for your kids

 

Until financial education is in every school curriculum, it’s down to you as a parent to do what you can to further your kids’ financial literacy skills. “More is caught than taught”, as the saying goes. Your children mimic your behaviour. So use financial literacy month to start setting them a good example. 

 

Review your own attitude to your finances and let them see you act on it. For example, if you’ve never had a budget before, financial literacy month is a great time to start. When your kids see you at the kitchen table once a month with your laptop, spreadsheets and calculator, let them join in. Take time to answer their questions. They’ll grow up seeing a budget as a normal, healthy thing to do. 


Another way to teach kids about the value of money is with games and role play. Playing shops with younger children, or running a pretend cafe and using real money, is one way. For older children, Game of life and Minecraft can teach them about managing limited resources and delayed gratification.

 

Help your kids improve their financial literacy from a young age

 

“Helping kids gain financial literacy skills is like helping them gain skills in any other discipline that has a direct impact on their ability to make good decisions”, says Beth Zemble, VP of Education at GoHenry. “We want to give our kids knowledge so they eat well, get proper rest, exercise and develop habits that will enable them to live healthier lives. It’s the same with financial literacy. Kids need a base of financial knowledge that will help live financially healthy lives as adults.”

 

As research by Cambridge University shows money habits are set by age seven, it’s never too soon to start your kids’ financial education. GoHenry is a great way to jump-start it. Available from age six, a GoHenry prepaid debit card, comes with a helpful learning tool: Money Missions. You’ll find it at your fingertips in the GoHenry app. 

 

Money Missions develops kids’ money skills through a series of bite-sized, interactive games and quizzes. They’re designed to accelerate your child’s financial literacy and help achieve our mission to make every kid smart with money. What’s more, you can use your GoHenry parent app to track your child’s progress.

 

What are the best resources for your kids to continuously improve financial literacy?

 

Current UK financial literacy may not yet be where it needs to be, but Financial Literacy month is a sign of progress. The more aware we are of our current financial literacy levels, the better we can prepare future generations to manage their money. 

 

To help you continue your child’s education both during Financial Literacy month and every other month of the year, we’ve pulled together a list of financial literacy resources for children. As well as a financial guide for every age group, you’ll find useful books, podcasts, apps and other fun ways of learning. You’ll also find helpful articles on the GoHenry blog.

 

 

Related articles

 

What age can you get a debit card?

 

How old do you have to be to get a credit card?

 

Financial milestones for kids

 

Financial literacy resources for children

 

How to teach kids the value of money

 

Activities to teach your kids financial literacy

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Written by Charlotte Peacock Published Jan 10, 2023 ● 4 min. read