22 May 2024 | Posted In Money advice news

Over a fifth (21%) of British adults believe their fear of numbers is hindering their financial wellbeing, according to a new study from National Numeracy commissioned by KPMG UK.

The survey of 3,000 adults in the UK, conducted ahead of National Numeracy Day on Wednesday 22 May 2024, found that a fifth of the respondents struggled with basic maths problems, including calculating discounts, negotiating prices, and understanding loan terms.

A quarter of respondents believe stronger numeracy skills could have helped them navigate the current cost-of-living crisis. An additional 42% said they could have saved more for price increases, and 41% could have budgeted more effectively.

The study also revealed the increasing reliance on others for financial assistance. 21% of respondents admitted to relying on others to manage their finances due to inadequate maths skills, a slight increase from the 19% who reported the same last year. While 20% admit to avoiding financial management altogether.

Sam Sims, Chief Executive at National Numeracy which runs the National Numeracy Day campaign, said:

“Soaring costs for energy, food and other basic essentials have hit those worst off the hardest. The survey results show a lack of number confidence is compounding money worries for millions.

“Clearly, the confidence to understand and work with numbers can no longer be viewed as a ‘nice to have’ but as crucial to navigating not only our finances, but daily life. Good numeracy is a pillar for building a financially inclusive, resilient and socially mobile nation. Join us this National Numeracy Day”.

Bina Mehta, Chair at KPMG in the UK, added: 

“In today’s complex world, numeracy skills are fundamental in promoting financial inclusion and enabling individuals to make informed choices, especially against the backdrop of the current cost-of-living crisis. Those lacking number confidence are even more vulnerable to debt, unemployment and fraud, and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds are disproportionately impacted.

“If we want to build a fairer and more inclusive economy, individuals, businesses, policy makers and education leaders all have a crucial role to play in ensuring numeracy skills are prioritised.”

Read more here.