How can we help working-age adults manage their money better?

Michael Royce, Proposition Manager at the Money Advice Service, calls for evidence to inform a new programme of work to improve the financial capability of working-age people.

Across the UK, many households find it difficult to budget effectively and save. Our research shows 4 in 10 UK adults have less than £500 in savings to cover an unexpected bill[1]. This leaves families vulnerable to over-indebtedness, places a great strain on relationships and can have a severe impact on people’s physical and mental health.

That’s why the Money Advice Service is working to help households save while managing their money and credit well day to day. To meet this aim, we’re producing a money-management commissioning plan for working-age people up to the age of 55.

This commissioning plan should lead to an environment where more working-age adults can manage their money better. This could be through approaches that improve their budgeting, saving or credit use. It will be delivered by MAS and partners across the UK.

To help inform the plan, we have recently launched a call for evidence. Based on our segmentation model[2] and the best available evidence, we intend to focus our first round of commissioning activities on high need groups:

  • young adults aged 18-24
  • couples and families aged 25-34; and
  • couples and families aged 35-54.

What we really need are your views on how best to meet their requirements. The deadline for submissions is 9 July and you can send responses to callforevidence@moneyadviceservice.org.uk.

We’d appreciate responses on the life events or transitions that might affect our target groups, for example job loss or divorce. How can such challenges be overcome so people can still achieve positive outcomes?

It might be there are additional social contexts through which money management interventions could take place, potentially linked to educational needs. Or perhaps financial capability outcomes can be delivered as part of more holistic approaches, for example while improving numeracy or literacy skills? If you have evidence on any of this, we want to hear it. If you have any questions ahead of then, please feel free to get in contact.

[1] Money Advice Service, Saving Evidence Review (July 2017)

[2] Money Advice Service, Market Segmentation – An Overview (May 2016)

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