Become financially literate and in charge of your money
Wesley Mission is reminding Australians about the importance of budgeting and developing financial literacy skills during Global Money Week (14-20 March 2016).
“In our ever changing world there is an increasing need for people to have competent financial literacy skills as a necessary skill for life,” said the CEO of Wesley Mission the Rev Dr Keith Garner. “The scope, complexity and range of financial products that are now available can leave people feeling overwhelmed and confused.”
Good financial literacy enables people to appropriately engage with financial services and products with confidence whether it is budgeting for weekly shopping, using a credit card, entering into a mobile phone contract or using an ATM.
“People of all ages can benefit from having a sound awareness of the impact of their financial decisions. Interaction with and greater financial responsibility for mobile phone bills, credit cards, online purchasing, superannuation and retirement options are issues that affect all segments of the community,” said Wesley Mission CEO the Rev Dr Keith Garner.
The impact of technology
“Information technology is developing at break-neck speed and will continue to impact on the way people spend and manage their money, highlighting the need for all Australians to develop their financial competencies.”
Financial literacy also contributes to building a healthy, robust society. Having competent financial literacy enables a person to develop control over their finances, empowering them to participate fully and effectively in a market economy and society, no matter what their age or income.
“Good financial literacy skills and the ability to manage money wisely can contribute to a person’s confidence and overall emotional and mental wellbeing,” Dr Garner said. “It can also provide a sense of security for individuals and families and help people achieve their personal goals and ambitions.”
The development of sound financial literacy in the community goes a long way to helping people avoid financial risks and breakdown. The public health model for financial stress identified financial literacy education as a primary prevention program.
How it effects individuals and families
The impact of financial stress on individuals, families and the community more broadly can be detrimental. It is not uncommon for those undergoing financial stress to experience comorbidities such as anxiety, depression, marital dissatisfaction, substance abuse, poor productivity at work, gambling and domestic violence.
Wesley Mission’s response
Wesley Financial Literacy Education program was launched in 2011 in response to Wesley Mission’s research into the growing rate of financial stress in the community. The program was developed as an early intervention strategy aimed at helping people manage their money and avoid getting into debt.
Wesley Financial Literacy Education Program integrates with other services that Wesley Mission offers, including financial counselling across Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.