National Numeracy joins forces with MoneySavingExpert, the Money Advice Service and Prospects to find out ‘What Works’ to improve numeracy and manage money


coins in handNational Numeracy is working with MoneySavingExpert, the Money Advice Service and Prospects - the education, employment, skills and care company - to identify which numeracy interventions are most effective at improving people’s numeracy and their attitudes to making financial decisions.

The project, which will be running until March 2018, is being funded by the Money Advice Service’s What Works Fund, and will build the evidence for the most effective financial capability interventions, filling knowledge gaps that currently exist.  

The Fund aims to scale up the most effective local projects around the country in order to improve the financial capability of millions of people.

Financial capability – that is, people’s ability to manage their money well, both day to day and through significant life events – remains stubbornly low across the UK, with four out of ten adults not in control of their finances. 

Martin Lewis, Executive Chairman and Founder MoneySavingExpert.com, says:

“If you want to be good with money, numbers are important. They help you to work out whether you’re getting a fair price, or whether you’re getting ripped off. And unfortunately, too many people are scared off getting the best deals for them, pushing their rights or even making a complaint about the way they’ve been treated, because they’re not sure if they’ve done the adding up correctly. That’s why for me the National Numeracy Challenge is so very important. The more people who have numeracy skills, the better consumers they will be, the less ripped off they will be.”

Paul Milner, Development Manager at National Numeracy, said: 

“We’re excited to be working with The Money Advice Service to identify which interventions make a real difference to people’s money skills. Numeracy is at the heart of this.  Low numeracy is a barrier to managing day to day finances and is linked to low confidence when it comes to making decisions, including financial ones.  Improved numeracy is associated with planning ahead, setting financial goals and choosing best-buy financial products. Our work with the What Works Fund will help make a difference to people’s attitudes and motivations in making financial decisions.” 

Nick Bell, Prospects Chief Executive, commented: 

“Many of the people Prospects support, those who are unemployed for extended periods or young people not in employment, education or training, experience debt issues on a daily basis. The stress and anxiety this creates compounds feelings of low self-esteem and lack of confidence. We see how important it is to help people to manage their money and make an action plan for their financial future. We are therefore delighted to be involved a project with National Numeracy, the Money Advice Service and MoneySavingExpert to inspire the people we support to develop their potential.”  

David Haigh, Director of Financial Capability at the Money Advice Service, said:

“We’re pleased to be working with National Numeracy. People’s ability to use numbers confidently is an important element of their financial capability, alongside their attitudes and motivation to manage their money well day to day. Our work through the What Works Fund offers an invaluable opportunity to improve the evidence on the links between people’s numeracy skills and their financial decision making.” 

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