One in four people have been hit by charges because they did not fully understand the terms and conditions of a financial product, a survey indicated today.
Around 24% of people said their ignorance about money matters had cost them money, while 71% thought a lack of financial education was responsible for debt, according to comparison website uSwitch.com.
Only 7% of people think the nation is financially educated, while 40% think people know less about managing money than the previous generation.
But 70% of those questioned think personal finance is now more complicated than it used to be.
The majority of people pick up their financial knowledge through trial and error, with 81% of people saying they learnt their money management skills in this way, while 7% learnt them from their parents and 4% learnt them from their bank.
Around 95% said they thought personal finance should be taught in schools, with only 5% saying they thought youngsters were well informed about financial matters.