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The Smart Money Education program is a unique and interactive youth financial literacy program for teenagers through to young adults to ensure they have all the practical skills to manage money effectively in their future after they leave school or university.

A Melbourne University survey conducted in 2017 found that only 28% of male teenagers aged 15-17 years old and 18% female teenagers were able to answer five financial literacy questions correctly relating to interest rates, inflation, diversification, risk and money illusion. The long-term outcome of these statistics show that one-third of Australian adult men and two-thirds of Australian adult women do not understand key financial literacy concepts.

Therefore, this program was designed to fill the financial literacy education gap to ensure future Australian adults are able to manage their money and make improved financial decisions to reduce the dependence of credit, and reduce the amount of debt they hold.

The program has been designed to include eight main financial literacy concepts. The eight topics include:

  1. First Job, bank accounts and introduction to tax
  2. Cash flow and budgets
  3. Savings strategies
  4. Forward planning
  5. Loans and other debts
  6. Superannuation
  7. Insurance
  8. Investment

On completion of each topic, students are given real-life skill-building exercises to enhance the topic’s learning outcomes. Students are also provided a workbook to complete the questions provided throughout the program as well as to complete the skill-building activities. Students can then use this book in the future as a reference when required.

Susan Fischer
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