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Only 11 percent of young Saudis keep track of their spending, despite 75 percent claiming they understood the basics of money management, a survey from SEDCO Holding has revealed.

The results from the nationwide study, which surveyed 1,000 nationals aged 18 to 35, demonstrate a need to improve financial literacy among young people, said the company.

The research was carried out as part of SEDCO’s Riyali corporate social responsibility program to improve financial literacy among young Saudis.

Around 700 Saudi college students who have benefited from Riyali have praised the initiative.

SEDCO partnered with Operation HOPE, a leading global social empowerment non-profit organization specializing in financial literacy education, in designing the program that was delivered by volunteers.

Program ambassador Abdulwahab Abed said: “This data supports the critical need for financial literacy education in the Kingdom and is a testament to how volunteers who spend only a few hours of their time each day can be a positive force in transforming society for generations to come.”

Anas Qadi, a student at King Abdulaziz University, said: “The program was very useful and truly helped me understand what the term of financial awareness means.

“I believe it will have a significant impact in allowing me to organize my expenses, savings and budget.

“Riyali motivated me to learn more about the concepts of financial literacy and I am confident and believe that my participation will have a significant positive impact on my life in the future.”

The Riyali sessions during the pilot phase were held at Dar Al-Hekma, Effat University, University of Business and Technology (UBT) and King Abdulaziz University.

Before taking the Riyali program only 24 percent of students believed that everyone was capable of financial independence.

After completing the program this number increased to 62 percent.

Almost 75 percent of the students believed that Riyali helped them change their perceptions and understanding about budgeting, saving and investments.

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