Australians lacking in financial education, survey finds

ASIC’s MoneySmart site offers free information and financial advice for Australians across a range of fields: credit, borrowing, superannuation, retirement, investing and even potential scams.

The corporate regulator aims to improve the money knowledge of all Australians and empower their decision making, according to Laura Higgins, ASIC’s senior manager, financial capability.

“Knowing how to manage your money and make financially sound decisions is one of the most important skills in everyday life,” Ms Higgins said.

“Financial capabilities impact the daily decisions Australians make including balancing a budget, buying a home, funding their children’s education and ensuring an income at retirement.”

Ms Higgins said changes to technology and the financial landscape can make it hard for Australians to keep on top of the latest financial information, while factors such as life stage, gender, household composition, income and attitudes towards money can also play a role in people’s outcomes.

“It’s important that Australians are well informed to ensure they have the financial skills and knowledge to understand budgeting, saving and managing debt,” Ms Higgins said.

Originally published as Aussies behind on financial knowledge

Everyday Cheapskate: Good choices increase flow of cash

When you reduce your expenses, the effect is instantaneous. The money you dont spend remains in your pocket. Its your money, and it has already been taxed. Every expense you have is a candidate for some type of systematic reduction.

Reducing your expenses forces you to focus on what really matters. You begin to notice unneeded baggage, and youre more willing to acknowledge what brings you joy, what needs to go and how to create the life you love.

Throwing conspicuous consumption into reverse has a calming effect on both adults and kids. Overindulging complicates life and causes much stress.

The key to achieving financial freedom is to spend less than you earn. It takes desire and commitment to live below your means without giving up your style and your quality of life.

Dont worry that youre going to lose your dignity. In fact, no one needs to know about your new resolve to find ways to drastically cut your expenses. You dont have to print Im Cheap! on your forehead. A better option is to engrave this motto in your mind: Wherever I am, whatever I do, there is a way to do it for less.