Introduction

This paper explores the key role parents play in young people’s financial inclusion, specifically in their ability to access financial services and develop financial capability. There is currently limited information on the role of parents in the financial lives of young people and how intra-household dynamics can affect the way young people understand and utilize money and financial services. In our analysis, we provide background information on the importance of understanding the relationship between youth and parents living in poverty, and the way family can influence the young person's behaviors. We then present an overview of the experience of Freedom from Hunger working with youth, followed by an in-depth analysis of the role of parents in promoting the financial inclusion and financial capability of young people. We offer insights on the complex intra-household financial dynamics that impact the financial socialization of youth and the implications of these dynamics in the strategy of cross-selling financial services to parents. We then examine how the regulatory and institutional environment impacts the way youth and parents might interact with finances. Throughout our analysis, we also examine the experience of other organizations offering similar types of financial services to young people. The paper concludes with areas to deepen youth and household financial inclusion based on the premise that parents are strong financial attitudinal and behavioral influencers of their children.