Land of Poor Financial Management

 | Tue 6 May 2014 13:37 ICT

Citynews – According to Puyabutr Chonvicharn, Vice Chairman of Kenan Institute Asia, Thais have scored very low regarding their financial management skills on a survey by the Bank of Thailand.

A recent survey by the Bank of Thailand in partnership with the Finance Ministry has shown that overall Thais are very poor at managing their finances with the people most at risk of increasing debt problems to be students, low-income earners and farmers. These three ‘danger groups’ make up 70 percent of the Thai population, which clearly demonstrates the growing issues regarding debt in Thailand. Household debts have increased staggeringly, from 55.6 percent in 2008 to 82.3 percent in 2013.

The Kenana Institute and the City Foundation have joined forces to educate these danger groups, especially students who are just beginning adult life. Spending habits influenced by mainstream media and advertisements affect students the most.

However, the root of the problem seems to run deeper than poor education and media obsessions, the usual suspects. In fact, at least 90 percent of Thais reportedly do not keep record of either income or expenses, according to Mr. Teera Phutrakul, the Chairman of the Thai Financial Planners Association. This attitude needs to change in order to see Thailand move forward.

Amid suggestions that the media should take greater responsibility in educating the public about financial stability, one thing is clear: something must change. Thailand obviously needs something to pull itself out of serious debt problems, but how can you educate people that they don’t need the latest smart phone in this saturated land of selfies?