Financial Skills Help Young People
5 May 2011 at 11:32 am
Financial literacy education improves the financial understanding and behaviour of young people at risk, according to a national report released by RMIT University, Mission Australia and ANZ.
The 2010 MoneyMinded Summary Report was launched in Melbourne by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, David Bradbury and ANZ Chief Executive Officer, Mike Smith.
Prepared by RMIT University, the report includes key findings from a year-long study of more than 300 participants in Mission Australia’s programs for young people at risk. The study investigated outcomes when MoneyMinded, Australia’s most widely used financial literacy program, was included.
Key findings from the Mission Australia study include:
- Simplified financial education increased young peoples’ understanding and confidence in managing money and was important for their long-term wellbeing.
- Participants experienced a range of improvements with budgeting and reduced spending on items such as take away food, cigarettes or illicit drugs.
- Participants also showed greater understanding of the importance of shopping around for best price, increased willingness to seek help in times of financial stress, and improved saving and goal-setting behaviour.
Mission Australia CEO, Toby Hall, says that financial education played an important role in the various programs designed to transform the lives of young people at risk.
Hall says the development of relevant financial skills empowered these young people to make positive choices that would significantly impact their adult lives.
ANZ CEO Mike Smith said that MoneyMinded is a demonstration of ANZ’s commitment to building financial capability, particularly in vulnerable communities.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, David Bradbury says many of the young people who received MoneyMinded financial literacy training through Mission Australia had very little income, high levels of debt and difficult personal circumstances.
He says after participating in various Mission Australia programs, where these young people were taught basic financial literacy skills based on MoneyMinded, they began to set goals for their own future, set their own budgets and better understand where to go for help and information.
MoneyMinded was developed to help financial counsellors and community educators build the financial skills, knowledge and confidence of participants. ANZ developed MoneyMinded in 2003 in consultation with government, community organisations and education experts, including ASIC and the Australian Financial Counselling and Credit Reform Association (AFCCRA).
The review undertaken by RMIT assessed the overall reach and impact of MoneyMinded since 2005. Over 125,000 people have been reached with the program, which is designed to support vulnerable groups such as low-income earners, rural indigenous participants, people with mental and physical disabilities, high school students, prisoners, unemployed, youth at-risk, migrants, and sole parents.
Almost 4000 facilitators, mainly community workers and financial counsellors, have been trained to use the program, with currently more than 2000 actively delivering the program across Australia
The MoneySmart website, developed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), offers free, unbiased guidance about personal finances and has 26 online tools and mobile phone apps to help work out a budget, how much interest people are paying on their credit card or how long it will take to save for a holiday.
The report can be downloaded at http://www.missionaustralia.com.au/downloads/miscellaneous-documents/327-money-minded-summary-report