It is coming to an end the first edition of the “Financial Education Month“, the initiative promoted by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development aimed at raising awareness and informing Italians of all ages about the advantages given by a conscious management of their finances.

Over two hundred activities have been carried out on the national territory: the “World Investor Week” has inaugurated the calendar of events, which ends today on the occasion of the 94th “World Savings Day“.

Promoting financial education: why? As shown by the data, Italians do not demonstrate to possess the basic economic knowledge that other European citizens have on average. Yet the so-called “financial illiteracy” exposes personal assets to greater risks and makes it more difficult to take appropriate and far-sighted decisions.

For example: how can a young professional save for his or her third age…if he or she doesn’t know how to?

Education, information, responsibility: in Grameen Italia this is how we develop our training activity, combining the principles suggested by Prof. Muhammad Yunus and the European Union.

The recent Bank of Italy study, implemented in collaboration with the OECD, helps to understand the urgency of acting on the Italian economic knowledge system. From the survey, the Italian level of financial literacy appears to be lower than the average of the G20 countries: we total 3.5 points out of 7, unlike the 4.3 points of other countries.

Furthermore, the research shows that only 37% of Italians correctly understand the basic financial concepts, compared to 52% of the European average.

On the front of savings, the survey conducted by Acri-Ipsos reports that a large number of Italians are inclined to save on their finances (86%), but it also reveals that for 65% “to save” means paying attention to unnecessary expenses and to waste. Italians, therefore, tend to consider savings as “prudence in spending”, rather than the act of “setting aside” their finances.

In fact, experts argue that in most cases savings are unintentional (as an effect of moderation in purchases) and not strategic (as it would be if they planned to save to reach a future goal).

Therefore the data describe Italians as capable of accumulating finances, but still poorly educated on what are the best tools to do so, as confirmed by the Bank of Italy survey.

We can improve on the front of financial instruments and in the management of personal and family budgets, and it is to these issues that Grameen Italia devotes attention during training and financial education activities, in order to promote virtuous economic behaviors and encourage entrepreneurship.