ASIC's new money lessons for Gen Z


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Financial literacy is taking on a new vocabulary and it's aimed at the audience most easily persuaded by finfluencers: the TikTok generation.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has launched a new financial literacy campaign on its Moneysmart website to teach young Australians about money, with step-by-step guides on budgeting, savings, paying off debt, managing on a casual income, and coping with the cost-of-living crisis.

With it, the usually serious Commission is making a very Gen Z-centric pitch: in the time it takes to pick your OOTD (outfit of the day), you can find ways to pay off debt.

asic moneysmart lessons for gen z

Money lessons in minutes 

ASIC's move was prompted by alarming new research.

It found that more than 40% of Gen Z said they didn't know where to start when it came to managing their finances.

A third reported not knowing who to trust when it came to financial information.


"Gen Zs are driven to learn more and improve their finances but there's a clear need to engage and help them feel more confident about money," says ASIC chief executive officer Warren Day.

"We want to show them that it doesn't take a lot of time to make a start with small steps that will make big differences long term."

Educating the finfluencers 

Gen Z is twice as likely as any other generation to turn to social media to learn how to manage money, the ASIC research revealed.

Fox and Hare financial advisor Trish Gregory, who shares money lessons on her TikTok account @chickenfinance5, says the new ASIC campaign could help improve the financial literacy of finfluencers who will then share the knowledge with their audiences.

"If finfluencers can access that information and then teach it to other people in their language, in their style, in a way that's engaging, that can really explode the reach of this information," she told Money.

"A lot of people forget that getting the basics right can have a huge impact on your future."

@chickenfinance5 one quick tip to build your wealth #money #australia #finance #financialeducation #financialadvice #earlyretirement #financetok ♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim

Gen Z and money 

Gregory says the notion that Gen Z isn't interested in financial literacy is a myth.

"They do want that information but it is certainly a challenge sometimes to get the right information in front of the right people at the right time," she says.

"A lot of [Gen Z] are seeing their parents coming into their 50s and 60s and beyond, and realising that either their parents did really well or they're seeing all the mistakes their parents made throughout their lives and the education their parents didn't have."

Grim outlook 

The ASIC research paints a grim picture of Gen Z's financial health, with one in four Gen Z having less than $1000 in savings, and one in five having $10,000 or more in personal debt.

"The Gen Z and the Millennials who are coming to us want to know how they can make their money work harder," Gregory says.

"One of the big things they talk about is freedom, and financial education and financial knowledge is vital to getting that freedom."

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Sharyn McCowen is Money's digital editor. She has a degree in journalism from Charles Sturt University, and was a newspaper reporter for 10 years before moving to magazines and finance.