Leveraging Parents, Schools, and Social Media to Increase Youth Financial Literacy

Leveraging Parents, Schools, and Social Media to Increase Youth Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is at its lowest in the young and elderly segments of the population. Discover in this blog post how businesses can employ social media to get youths interested in financial topics.

Parents as Role Models for Handling Finances

Parents have an important example to set and a key mediating role to play in imparting financial literacy to young people: they give their children their first experiences with money and can encourage them to expand their financial knowledge by reading books, visiting websites, and attending courses. And above all, they teach their kids how to handle money by first-hand example.

Financial Education Hasn’t Caught On Yet

It’s equally as important for compulsory schools to talk about and teach financial literacy. A number of global studies have proven that educating children and adolescents about finances not only plays a part in their achieving financial security in adulthood, but can also have far-reaching consequences for national economies and global economic development. The average financial literacy level is lower than expected even in countries with highly developed financial markets like Switzerland.

What Is Financial Literacy?

Financial literacy is the ability to understand a variety of financial topics and to put that knowledge to use effectively. This makes financial literacy a core competency for people of any age, including youngsters. Financial literacy is an ongoing process. It is important to impart financial literacy concepts to young people at an early age so that they become capable of making well-informed decisions in money matters, developing good financial habits, and preparing themselves for a financially secure future.

Corporate Promotion of Financial Literacy

Parents and schools aren’t the only ones who can impart financial knowledge to children and adolescents – businesses can also get involved. The Swiss Finance Museum sponsored by SIX has set itself the goal of promoting the financial education of children and adolescents. For years the Swiss Finance Museum has been holding workshops about money aimed at kids and has joined forces with SIX in participating in Swiss Money Week. But like many other museums, the Swiss Finance Museum is faced with the tough challenge of reaching the prime target audience of 16- to 20-year-olds despite it being essential to strengthen the financial literacy of specifically this target group of people who have already started to earn their own money.

TikToks for Financial Literacy

The Swiss Finance Museum has discovered a way to make the world of money and the museum more interesting to visitors aged 16 to 20. The idea on how to do that actually came from the target audience itself: 17-year-old Nicole Hrdina, who has been apprenticing at SIX and the Swiss Finance Museum since summer 2022, persuaded museum director Andrea Weidemann to set up a TikTok channel for the Swiss Finance Museum. “I wanted to reach young people right where they hang out several hours every day, namely online,” Hrdina recounts.

Financial Knowledge from Youths for Youths

“Social media and the digital space create many new possibilities also for cultural institutions like museums to use to address new target audiences,” Weidemann says. The museum team delegated full responsibility for the TikTok project to two apprentices: Hrdina herself and Fabian Winkler. “It is very unusual for a museum or a company to put young people in charge of its social media channels, but our motto from the start was ‘from youths for youths.’ Moreover, our museum budget wouldn’t have been big enough to pay for an external agency,” Weidemann explains, adding, “Having to cede some control over the project is part of the corporate culture that the museum team lives and breathes: we have faith in our apprentices.”

Most of the TikTok videos are specially conceptualized for young people in vocational training and thus have a close connection with the two protagonists. “Since we’re apprentices ourselves, we can present financial knowledge and the Swiss Finance Museum authentically and credibly,” Hrdina says. Alongside explainer videos, the two apprentices also pick up on TikTok trends and tie them into their daily routine at SIX. The third video has already gone viral with over 100,000 views.


Four Financial Basics that Young People Should Know

  1. Budgeting: Young people should learn how to set up and manage a budget. This includes gaining an understanding of income and expenditures and the importance of keeping spending under control. Preparing a budget helps young people to set priorities in their spending and to save money.
  2. Saving and investing: It is vital to teach young people the value of saving and the power of the compounding interest effect. They should understand how to deposit part of their income or allowance in a savings account or in an investment vehicle like an equity index fund.
  3. Banking: Young people should know how to make use of basic banking services such as opening a bank account, depositing and withdrawing money, and managing a current account. They should also be familiar with the fees that apply for automated teller machines and bank overdrafts, and should know how to avoid them.
  4. Credit and debt: Young people should know what credit is and how it works. They should understand how important it is to have a good credit score and should know the pitfalls of amassing debt carrying high interest rates, such as credit-card debt, for example.
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TikTok Stars

The Swiss Finance Museum’s TikTok channel won the Silver Award in the “Marketing to Youths” category at the 2023 Digital Communication Awards. But much more importantly, the museum registered a more than 80% year-on-year increase in the number of admissions in the 13 to 18 age group in the first half of 2023. “Fabian and I are delighted to introduce young people to the museum and to explain financial topics to them through our TikTok channel,” Nicole Hrdina says. Fabian Winkler adds: “We hope that the project will continue to run as well as it has thus far and that we’ll be able to reach more and more young people.”