Conducted by RMIT University, the report shows a positive impact on the spending and saving habits of high school students who participated in a pilot of ANZ’s MoneyMinded program, which this year was extended to include the Certificate I in Financial Services (Financial Literacy).
ANZ Acting Chief Executive Officer Australia, Graham Hodges, said ANZ developed the MoneyMinded financial literacy education program in 2003 to help people build their financial skills, knowledge and confidence.
“Our research shows that older people, women and low income earners have significantly lower levels of financial literacy than other groups,” Mr Hodges said.
“But we have found that helping young adults develop positive financial behaviour early on can help improve levels of financial literacy within the community. Achieving a recognised qualification is also quite an incentive, and presents a real connection to both their education and vocational future.”
The Smith Family Chief Executive Officer, Elaine Henry, said: “The course has had a lasting effect on the students who will in turn be able to nurture new behaviours among peers and ultimately their own children, which brings about a healthier financial future for all Australians.”
Findings of the report, released at a Financial Literacy and Inclusion Forum in Melbourne, showed a greater understanding of financial literacy among the young adults who said they thought more about their financial future, saving, setting goals and budgeting at the end of the program. Many also experienced improved awareness about the importance of managing money effectively.
The most common impacts on the students’ money management behaviour included increased levels of saving, spending less on non essential items, setting savings goals and developing and using a budget.
Ms Henry said: “Effective financial education must include more than just dissemination of knowledge. It needs to bring about changes in behaviour.”
MoneyMinded is part of ANZ’s long-term strategic approach to improving financial literacy in the community. The program has reached more than 78,400 people since its inception. For a copy of the full report or to view ANZ’s 2008 Financial Literacy Survey visit anz.com