Thais have scored very low in regard to their financial management skills, according to Piyabutr Chonvicharn, Vice Chairman of the Kenan Institute Asia.

Piyabutr cited a recent survey by the Bank of Thailand and the Finance Ministry as showing that three groups of people most at risk in piling up on debt are students, low-income people, and farmers who make up at least 70 percent of the Thai population.

He said that their poor spending habits have resulted in higher household debts, which rose from 55.6 percent in 2008 to an alarming 82.3 percent in 2013.

To deal with this problem, the Kenan Institute and the City Foundation have joined hands in a 3-year campaign to educate these groups of people, especially students.

The survey showed that the latter group’s excessive spending habit was influenced by commercial advertisements on mainstream media.

Meanwhile, Teera Phutrakul, Chairman of the Thai Financial Planners Association, stated that at least 90 percent of Thais neither keep a record in their income and expenses, nor take the initiative to manage their money.

Therefore, he said it is an important agenda to fix this kind of attitude in order to let the country move forward.

Ratchapol Laovanitch, Managing Director for Miracle Creation, said that the media should play a more important role in educating Thai people on how to manage their finances.-VNA