Low financial literacy levels of students are receiving worldwide attention due to the impact it has on financial decision-making during the adult years. In line with this international trend on low financial literacy, South African students demonstrate low levels of financial literacy, which is of great concern if one takes into consideration that they are the future participants of an economy that is on the verge of a recession. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine undergraduate students’ financial literacy at a public university in South Africa. A cross-sectional study was conducted of a sample of 300 undergraduate students. The findings of the study enabled a more in-depth understanding of the financial literacy of undergraduate students, which holds important implications for financial literacy training. The participants’ knowledge regarding the issues relating to general financial literacy was observed to be low. They also performed poorly in terms of banking and taxation and financial planning, interest rates and general inflation. It was also reported that there is a significant difference between many groups within the biographical data. The research confirmed that there is a need for financial literacy training among students. This should focus on content areas where they lack financial literacy, in order to ensure that students experience financial well-being during the adult years. Better informed adults would make better financial decisions.
Financial literacy, students, financial knowledge, financial needs, financial skills