Get Moneysmart: The Financial Toolkit Helping Young Aussies Understand Everything From Tax to Crypto

Get Moneysmart: The Financial Toolkit Helping Young Aussies Understand Everything From Tax to Crypto
Contributor: David Adams

Half of all young Australians often feel stressed about their finances, Australia’s financial watchdog says, as it rolls out a suite of educational tools designed for teens and adults entering the workforce and the market.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on Friday revealed its new Get Moneysmart program, a fresh extension of its Moneysmart information hub.

Included in Get Moneysmart are videos, calculators, and questionnaires addressing a broad range of financial concerns.

One unit details how to read a payslip, with a quiz helping young workers identify relevant deductions and entitlements — and how to identify discrepancies between their payslip and the money actually going into their account.

via ASIC

Another module includes information on how to plan for periods of irregular income, speaking to the overrepresentation of young Australians in insecure or casual work.

Other parts of the Get Moneysmart suite include guidance on superannuation, income tax, and investment plans, including a repackaged version of Moneysmart’s existing compound interest calculator.

Get Moneysmart also includes information for young people seeking help or guidance with debt, including pointers on how to seek financial hardship assistance and directions to the free National Debt Helpline.

Reflecting the influx of young Australians dabbling in cryptocurrencies, Get Moneysmart warns investors to learn how digital assets work before diving in, while flagging the risk of pump-and-dump schemes.

The launch of Get Moneysmart was informed by a 2021 ASIC survey, which sought the opinions of 3,000 Australians between the ages of 15 and 21.

It showed 57% of respondents wanted to learn about investing and differing asset classes, and 62% said they believe it’s important to accumulate superannuation while they’re young.

But the survey found 51% of respondents “often” feel stressed about their finances as their financial lives become more complex.

Almost one in four respondents reported circumstances where they felt “ripped off, taken advantage of financially or didn’t understand what something would cost them until it was too late”.

In a statement, Dr Phil Lambert, who chaired the ASIC group behind the survey, said it was “hard to fathom” why financial education was “rarely discussed in a young person’s life journey” and frequently “left to chance”.

The financial literacy of young Australians is a hot topic for the nation’s regulators and institutions, especially after several years of employment and market turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

ASIC is heavily monitoring social media platforms which host share market discussions and cryptocurrency chatter, over fears bad actors are recruiting first-time investors into pump-and-dump schemes.

Australia’s primary school students have come under the spotlight, too. Commonwealth Bank axed its infamous Dollarmites school banking scheme in October, nearly a year after ASIC argued similar programs are less about financial education than marketing and customer acquisition.

Bolstering the financial confidence of young women is especially important, the Reserve Bank of Australia said.

On Thursday, the central bank revealed female high school students self-report lower levels of economic literacy than their male counterparts, even when they can demonstrate their aptitude.

Get Moneysmart arrives just before Global Money Week, a global initiative with the theme “Build your future, be smart about money”.

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