The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has today launched a new website designed to be a one-stop-money-information-shop for young adults and forms part of the watchdog's National Strategy for Financial Capability.
With FSA research showing that more than two-thirds of young people are not planning ahead and external findings revealing that 80% of young people are in debt by the age of 21(1), the FSA's new website - whataboutmoney.info/ - has been developed to guide and inform as well as an aid to breaking down the barriers which may be preventing young adults from considering and learning more about money matters.
In building the website, the watchdog has engaged with young adults and asked them what information they want, how they want it provided, and who they want it from. The site is broken down into life stages and subjects that young adults told the FSA that they were most interested in.
It contains pages on each life stage and provides information on the key challenges that young adults told the FSA they were most interested in. Under the headings getting money, spending money, keeping money, and student money, the site provides detailed information on each stage, along with online tools to help with budgeting.
Chris Pond, FSA's director for financial capability, said: "The ‘what about money' website has been designed with the help of young adults specifically for young adults and focuses on the money issues that they themselves have told us they are most interested in. The young adults we worked with told us that a website would be the best way for us to reach those who most need the information and tools that ‘what about money' provides.
"We want to help young adults feel more confident about managing their money and help ensure they believe that money is something they ‘can do'. It is another important milestone for the FSA's National Strategy for Financial Capability which aims to find ways to improve the nation's understanding of personal finance. ‘What about money' will ultimately help younger people to become more financially capable both now and when they plan for what they waant in the future.
"The site is engaging and inviting, but we don't want to bore them. We want to provide information that young people can trust, coming as it does from an informed and authoritative source, in a way that engages and interests them."
This young adults website has been developed in partnership with YouthNet - a charity with expertise in communicating with this age group - on some of the content. The site also links to the FSA's main consumer website which aims to cut out confusing jargon and give consumers the impartial facts about financial products and services, helping them to make informed decisions.
(1) Almost four out of five (77 per cent) young people have been in debt according to a report from youth charity Rainer and YouGov. A third of young people had owed more than £5,000 and one in five had owed more than £10,000. The survey was carried out in September 2007 with a sample size of 4,222, representative of the UK population.