Having It All: Girls & Financial Literacy

Understanding the need for girls' financial literacy through a survey

This paper presents the results of a nationwide survey conducted in the United States with over 1,000 girls of ages 8-17 and their parents in an effort to better understand girls' financial literacy and their confidence about, attitudes towards, and experiences with money. The paper makes the following observations:

  • This generation of girls is empowered and independent. A great majority feel gender is no barrier to what they can accomplish financially, and they envision a future family structure where they are fully engaged in financial decision making and planning;
  • Girls are extremely optimistic about their future lives but admit to lacking the financial confidence and knowledge to achieve their dreams. They are also coming of age in a changing landscape, many distrust large financial institutions and think that debt is a normal part of life;
  • Financially confident parents are key influencers;
  • Girls are quite clear that they need and want financial literacy skills to help them achieve their dreams.

The paper concludes by suggesting that adults should support girls with opportunities to develop the skills they need to reach their goals. Also, parents should involve their daughters in day-to-day financial activities and in discussions involving family finances and model shared decision making.

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