Finance advice

Government targets financial literacy but is it enough?

By Sasha Karen
financial literacy, piggy bank

The federal government has announced it will start up a new body to help improve financial literacy across Australia, but one property expert claims the time and money could be better spent elsewhere and achieve better results.

With only a sentence in this year’s Budget 2018–19 papers of spending $10 million on “[supporting] initiatives to enhance female financial capability,” Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer released a statement that the Turnbull government has planned to increase financial literacy across the country by way of a new body.

“It will become Australia’s peak body in championing financial literacy and capability among Australians. It will use funds received as a result of corporate wrongdoing to educate and empower Australian consumers of financial products and advice,” Ms O’Dwyer said in a statement.

“This new body will be to financial literacy and capability, what beyondblue has been to mental health.”

Prior to the budget, Smart Property Investment asked Simon Pressley, managing director of Propertyology, what he would like to see come out of the budget, and one thing he said he wanted to see was improving financial literacy.

At the time, he claimed it was just “wishful thinking” as he did not expect anything to be done for improving financial literacy, but he said he would “love to see them set aside some money into financial literacy being a key pillar within Australia's education system.”

The announcement of this new body to be the beyondblue of financial literacy however, is misguided and is in the wrong place, according to Mr Pressley.

“It sounds like a bold statement and an exciting statement, and to that I go, Yeeha! [But we] know no details of it; I don't think we need a body for this,” Mr Pressley said to Smart Property Investment.

“I think it needs to become a way of life, we don't need to create regulation to teach people to plan beyond tomorrow.

“You don't need a body to do that anymore than you don't need a regulatory body to say to someone that smoking's not healthy for you.”

Current statistics calculated by Mr Pressley indicate that 82 per cent of Australians are not financially independent and rely on a pension, which cost taxpayers up to nearly $50 million per year, a sign that Mr Pressley says is not critical of pensioners, but the society that the pensioners are in.

“We spend the first 20 years of our life learning, our primary school, high school, some of us, tertiary studies, whatever. The next 45 years earning,  if we accept, broadly speaking, [that] age 65 is a retirement age; that's a long bloody time,” Mr Pressley said.

“We've earned whatever amount of money has gone through the household over that 45 years in the workforce, and we get to the end of it and then we've got to put our hand out to the tax payer, saying, 'I don't want to work anymore or my health doesn't let me, so I need some money from you each week to get by,' I think that's sad and disgraceful.

“If I'm brutally honest, if that's Simon Pressley at age 65, I consider myself to be a financial failure. That's my fault for not being wise enough with the pennies I've earned for 45 bloody years, but when that happens en masse, it's more than Simon criticising himself for not doing better.”

Instead, what Mr Pressley thinks that money could be better used for is educating children in primary school in order to put forward financial literacy at a young age.

“When I went to school, we weren’t taught budgeting, we weren’t taught compounding interest, we certainly weren't taught basic investment principles, we weren't taught the importance of time, … [and] the basic principles of, if you buy a property at age 25, an issue repeats itself and that asset grows by x per cent per year, by age 50, it's now worth how many hundreds of thousands of dollars, and if someone ... can repeat that process a couple of times,” he said.

“We don't need to create a department for this, the department is already there, it's called the education department. Put whatever amount of money they're budgeting for financial literacy … into the education system and hold them accountable, make them show each year what they did with their money.”

By educating children all the way through primary and high school, Mr Pressley said they can be prepared for the financial issues of life as they enter the workforce.

“If we put the hard yards into our children now, then we create a new generation that does things with money that no other generation since bloody Captain Cook came has ever done, and that's a sustainable way to do it,” he said

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podcast

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Luke’s first property investment included what he now looks back on as “learning experiences”.  He chose it only because it was close to where he lived, he bought it at the peak of the market and he elected to manage his (unreliable, damage-prone) tenants alone. Now, 16 years on Luke has 30 properties and a much better idea about how to approach the investment game.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show Luke joins host Tim Neary to unpack how he went about educating himself, how his investment style has changed over time and why patience is the name of the game.

Luke will also share how his initial mistakes discouraged him and had him doubting the wisdom of being an investor, and how his realisation of the importance of active management bought him back into line.  He will discuss the importance of having a strong support team and why it’s smart to put a proper value on your personal time.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

How to profit from changing market conditions
Quit the 9 to 5: Taking control of your income and your career
4 tips for first time property investors

AREAS MENTIONED: 

Sydney
Brisbane
Adelaide
Wollongong
Geelong
Melton South
Cairns
Perth

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An unsure start in property investment leads to a 30-property portfolio
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  ["title"]=>
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  ["introtext"]=>
  string(115) "

Promoted by Blue Ink Finance.

Budgeting tips when your Personal Debt is High.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(8092) "

Credit card debts and personal loans are the greatest obstacle between everyday people and their potential to live in financial freedom.

Of course, I understand that sometimes getting a small personal loan is absolutely necessary. Unexpected costs like medical expenses can make personal loans the only option.

However, the majority of us have debt simply because we spend more than we earn.

In either case, your number one priority is unlocking those chains of debt that are holding you back.

I’m going to give you some tips for budgeting with hefty personal debt, but first I want to talk about the impact those loans are having on your life.

How much is your debt really costing you?

Over the years that you’re paying off your loans at the minimum repayment, the interest on those items will end up costing you multiple times more than the original borrowed amount - and those endless due dates will haunt you. There’s no freedom in that!

Let me give you an example. You’ll be shocked, I guarantee it!

Let’s say you have around $4,000 of credit card debt, charged at 19.99% p.a. If you paid only the minimum monthly amount, it would take 37 years to pay off the total debt.

How much will that $4,000 debt cost you? $19,200. Depressing, isn’t it?

You might feel like you need a full-blown money explosion to get out of debt, but don’t despair just yet.

What you need to do is arm yourself with a strategic budget, and I’ve got some tips to help you.

Budgeting while you have hefty personal debt is tough, but possible – and it’s essential for eliminating that debt forever. Let’s have a quick look at how you can start to tackle that mountain of borrowed money.

It’s time to take charge and break some chains!

There’s a method for reducing debt that has an excellent success rate, if you’re committed:

  1. Make a realistic budget (and stick to it)
  2. Reduce your expenses and/or increase your income until you are in the black
  3. Save an emergency fund first
  4. Pay off your personal loans and credit cards, starting with the either the smallest debt first or the debt with the highest interest rate
  5. Revise your budget as you go along.

Why an emergency fund is paramount to success

You’ll see I’ve put saving an emergency fund before paying off your loans. Even a small amount initially, like $500, is enough to stop the cycle of borrowing to pay bills, then paying out even more in interest each month, which leaves less in the bank to pay the next bill.

Once you have a buffer saved, then you can start aiming some serious firepower on your debt, and that’s when it gets exciting!

Think back to my credit card example. If you upped the payments each month from $84 per month to $212, you would have the card paid off in two years and save $14,285 in interest. That’s worth a little bit of effort, wouldn’t you agree?

Tips for a budget that works

You may need to cut back drastically on your expenses to clear your debt, but here’s some other ways to make the most of your budget:

  • Find micro-ways to reduce your expenses every day. Make work lunches at home, cancel a pay TV subscription, find a better phone deal, or pass on your afternoon chocolate bar from the vending machine. Instead of spending $40 on a takeaway dinner, have a bowl of cereal!

  • Find a friend who will keep you accountable. Having someone else who shuns a pricey outing to the day spa for a walk along the beach instead will make you feel better about saying ‘no’ to expensive events that will blow the budget.

  • Refinance your home loan to release some funds. If you have a mortgage, talk to us at Blue Ink Finance about the possibility of refinancing your home loan to allow you to release some equity to help clear your high interest, personal debt. It’s not always the best strategy, but it’s worth investigating, especially if you can consolidate it into a home loan that has a significantly lower interest rate.

  • If your income increases, leverage it! The only place that extra money should go is into paying off more debt. Enough said!

  • Refine and polish your budget as your circumstances change. Your budget shouldn’t stay the same. As you find more ways to decrease your expenditure and become adept at sticking to your financial plan, fine-tune your budget to reflect your savvy saving. Any spare change goes directly onto your debt.

  • Automate payments of bills, so you don’t spend the money first. This saves you from late fees if you forget, too.

The reality is that you won’t have a profitable budget until you get rid of that high-interest debt. The beauty of a budget is that it can get you there! Knock the debt, stay away from borrowing except for assets like property, and you’ll have a well-oiled financial plan that kicks goals instead of paying lenders!

At Blue Ink Finance, we have a team of expert brokers as well as a panel of industry experts that understand all the nuances of positioning your personal finances to kick real goals with Property Assets and can support you in achieving your goals.

Give the team at Blue Ink Finance a call on 1300 888 796 or click here to request your Complimentary Finance Review with one of our experienced Finance Coaches now.

And see how having a panel of industry experts on your side, can fast track your property goals.

About The Author

David Wegener
Chief Executive Officer
Blue Ink Finance

Who I am, and why I want to help you succeed.

As an award-winning Mortgage Broker with nearly 20 years’ experience in the finance industry, I’ve seen it all.

I’ve gone through constant industry changes and yet I still successfully help my customers borrow the money they need to get ahead.

As a Finance Coach, my goal is to help you understand your financial potential so that you can borrow with confidence.

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Leveraging your Blue Ink Finance Broker for more than just a loan.
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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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Sydney
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Can property presentation result in a higher valuation?

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