Money Attitudes and Behaviours of Young People Living in Ireland

10 February 2023

Launch of the ‘Money Matters’ Financial Education Survey for Young People Living in Ireland

On Friday, 10 February 2023, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) launched the findings of the ‘Money Matters’ Financial Education Survey collected during the international Global Money Week campaign in 2022. The report will be officially launched by Colm Kincaid, Director of Consumer Protection at the Central Bank.

On the launch and the importance of the report, Colm Kincaid said the following:

“At a time when the financial services landscape is experiencing significant change, this survey provides a welcome and valuable insight into how younger people think about, engage with and use financial services today. The survey provides important perspectives on how young people learn about money, how they manage their finances and the increasing influence of digital channels, which we will use to inform our work in the Central Bank including the ongoing review of the Consumer Protection Code and our supervisory activities.”

In 2022, over 1400 young people, aged 12-20, from around the country took part in the survey, with over 86% of the participants aged 15-17. Some key findings of the survey include the following:

  • 40% of young people living in Ireland are learning about money via social media outlets.
  • 61% are using a mobile phone/app to keep track of their money – and this is the most popular tool for tracking finances.
  • Over 80% of young people report that they are shopping online.
  • The vast majority (96%) of young people who took part in the survey report that they feel it is important to talk about money.

It is clear from the survey’s findings that young people are engaging with personal financial services from an early age, with mobile apps and social media playing a key role in this engagement. Young people are also interested in a variety of money management topics – including investing, taxes, cryptocurrencies, housing, and funding for third level education.

The report argues that gaining specific knowledge on the personal financial attitudes and behaviours of young people living in Ireland is an extremely valuable endeavour, as young people are typically excluded from data collection on such topics. MABS plans on repeating the ‘Money Matters’ Survey as part of the annual Global Money Week initiative, to help continually gather data and analyse emerging trends in regards to young people and their money and spending habits.

‘Global Money Week’ is an international campaign launched by the OECD and supported by the United Nations and other intergovernmental bodies, and MABS is the leading national organisation in Ireland that supports its delivery. In 2022 alone, MABS Staff travelled to 15 counties throughout Ireland, visiting 44 secondary schools, 1 primary school, 1 Youthreach and 1 National Learning Network centre to deliver financial training and workshops to young people on topics such as ‘prioritising spending’, ‘budgeting’, ‘savings’, ‘protecting our money’, and ‘borrowing’.

Unfortunately, the topic of ‘money’ and ‘spending’ is still a taboo subject within many families and communities in Ireland. It is important to support public awareness raising and campaigns (such as ‘Global Money Week’) that work to challenge this stigma, as well as to promote healthy and on-going discussions of money and personal finance both at home and in schools.

MABS will continue to deliver this campaign around the country in 2023, and Global Money Week will take place from the 20 – 26 March 2023. The ultimate objective of this global campaign is to draw attention to the fundamental role of money management education (MME) for young people, and to support the lifelong development of positive personal financial behaviours and decision-making skills.


Email: Contact Karl Cronin for media and press enquiries relating to this news item.