African Generation Y students’ personal finance behavior and knowledge


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Personal financial management is important, given uncertainties in both financial and economic environment. However, published research on African Generation Y students’ personal finance behavior and knowledge is limited. This study aimed to evaluate African Generation Y students’ personal finance behavior in terms of their attitudes towards financial planning and whether this cohort believes that they have the skills to manage their finances successfully. In addition, this study sought to evaluate African Generation Y students’ knowledge regarding personal finance. A convenience sample of 500 African students across the campuses of two South African public higher education institutions situated in the Gauteng province was surveyed using structured, self-administered questionnaires. The t-test results indicate that the sample deems the process of planning personal finances and managing credit, insurance, investment, and estate, as important. Moreover, the students scored low in the broad personal finance knowledge areas of basic finance, saving, spending, and debt, suggesting that this cohort is financially illiterate. The results also indicated that the students think they have the financial skillset to manage their personal finances. A high Pearson’s correlation coefficient was noted between sampled participants’ personal finance behavior and their observed personal finance management skillset regarding the relationship between the constructs. However, an insignificant relationship was found between attitudes towards personal finance and financial knowledge and between financial knowledge and African Generation Y students’ apparent finance skills. Understanding African Generation Y students’ personal finance behavior and knowledge, universities and financial institutions can more effectively identify gaps and deficiencies in students’ personal finance endeavors.

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    • Table 1. Sample description
    • Table 2. Personal finance behavior
    • Table 3. Financial knowledge
    • Table 4. Observed personal finance skills
    • Table 5. Correlation matrix
    • Conceptualization
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    • Formal Analysis
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    • Investigation
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    • Methodology
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    • Project administration
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    • Software
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    • Validation
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    • Writing – original draft
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    • Writing – review & editing
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