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Experiences of Money Management in the Youth Service

MSD provides the Youth Payment and Young Parents Payment to young people aged 16 -19 who need financial assistance, or who are the main caregiver for a child.

Recipients of these two payments are currently subject to compulsory money management. After the Welfare Expert Advisory Group recommended abolishing compulsory money management in the Youth service, MSD undertook survey research with providers and current and past recipients.

The purpose of the surveys was to ensure that future policy options for money management considered the views of young people’s experiences of compulsory money management and get feedback on proposed options for money management. Findings are based on the views of 101 Youth Service providers and the 556 young people.


Which option for money management do providers and recipients prefer?

  • Providers believe the best approach to money management is to let youth coaches decide who should be placed under it.
  • Almost as many young people preferred that youth coaches decide who should be put on money management than those who thought it should stay compulsory for all until obligations are met.
  • Both providers and recipients strongly indicated that the least preferred option was to remove money management completely.

What is working and what could be improved?

  • It is clear that both Youth Service providers and young people hold similar views on compulsory money management.
  • Both providers and recipients see a definite benefit in some components of money management. However, they suggest that other components are less helpful and may at times even cause young people difficulty.
  • In general, young people do not have strong positive feelings towards money management.
  • The limited use of the money management payment card in terms of what could be purchased and the range of suppliers from which goods could be purchased, was one of the main issues young people experienced with money management.
  • Some thought the $50 in-hand allowance was often inadequate to meet the needs of young people and hindered their ability to save money.
  • Additionally, many young people felt that money management as it stands:
    • inhibits them from learning how to manage their own finances
    • does not make them feel empowered and;
    • can make them to feel stigmatised
  • Young people living in rural areas and young parents in particular felt disadvantaged by money management.
  • There was concern among providers that the complete removal of money management would result in young people requiring additional assistance to meet their basic needs.

For enquiries about this research please email research@msd.govt.nz

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