Australia has ranked fifth out of 20 OECD countries in a major international test of young adults' understanding of personal finance.
While the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) says this is a positive result, it plans to implement a new national expert group to support financial education beyond the classroom in 2020. In response to the May results, ASIC said: “It is more important than ever that young Australians have the skills to manage money and plan for the future.”
Around 117,000 15-year-olds took part in the 2018 test, which aimed to analyse their financial problem-solving capabilities. Topics included interest rates and loans, banking processes and debit cards, choosing mobile phone plans, and other income and spending matters.
ASIC’s yet-to-be-titled expert group will aim to identify the most significant issues impacting the financial wellbeing of young Australians throughout their schooling and beyond.
Free financial education resources for young people
If you’re ready to tee off your personal finance journey – or if you’ve got young Padawans raring to learn – you can get started right now with some of these free online learning resources.
Who’s it for? Younger teens and primary school-aged kids learning to build good financial habits.
What’s on offer? This joint project by the Financial Basics Foundation and Suncorp sets up a learning path for the whole family. It includes bite-sized videos, games, worksheets and practical tasks to get everyone pumped to learn about dough. It does involve a bit of reading and homework-style activities, so younger kids may need extra guidance.
Who’s it for? Apprentices and senior high school students taking a step beyond basic banking and preparing for independent money management.
What’s on offer? While ASIC has developed this primarily as a tool for teachers, the five video-based modules can be freely accessed by anyone. With a practical approach and real-life examples, the course aims to prepare students and young people for future careers by helping them understand the basics of budgeting, superannuation, taxation, debt management and insurance.
Who’s it for? Young working adults who want to make more out of their savings and investigate future investments.
What’s on offer? Mozo is your starting point for budgets and savings plans, as well as managing loans, keeping track of insurance, international money transfers, business banking and more. If you’re new to any of these financial realms, start with the guides which lay out all the facts, jargon and fine print. Then head to the comparison pages to explore your options for home loans, savings accounts and energy deals before you take your next big money step.
RELATED ARTICLE: 4 steps to teach kids savvy savings skills at home.
Begin budgeting from a solid basecamp by comparing bank accounts today.