Student finance 'should be an important part of schooling'

Australia’s young people should be taught the value of "financial literacy" before attending university, it has been suggested.

Kate Frost, chief executive of the life skills charity YWCA NSW, noted that debt problems are now widespread among young people, with mobile phones, fines levied for not buying tickets on public transport, internet bills and voting on reality TV among the causes.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, she said: "There is a lot of peer pressure and opportunities to spend money immediately, which is coming at an incredible cost to a lot of families."

Ms Frost observed that because finance can be a "dry subject", fun activities and roleplays should be used in schools to encourage children to compare student finances and make better decisions with their money.

The comments come after research by the NSW Office of Fair Trading revealed that 15 per cent of 15 to 17-year-olds have already experienced personal debt problems of some kind.

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