Financial fail: the big money test that is challenging Aussies


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Australians are considered to be less mindful about money in 2019, but are they totally asleep at the wheel when it comes to their finances?

Comparison website and big four accounting firm Deloitte released their Financial Consciousness Index (FCI) this week. It's a measurement of Aussies' financial understanding, and from the 3000 people surveyed, we're failing.

The bad news is the average Aussie did not pass the companies' financial consciousness test, scoring 48 out of 100. Last year the nation averaged 51.

financial fail

Under assessment was how we view the control over our financial outcomes; our level of financial literacy; our proactivity in making financial decisions; and our overall financial sophistication in both the short and long-term.

What the scores tell us is that, compared to 2018, there's an extra two million Aussies suffering a dose of the financial flu and about 7.5 million of us are not on top of our money matters.

Compare the Market general manager - banking, Rod Attrill says a fail on paper doesn't necessarily mean the nation is asleep at the wheel when it comes to our finances. He points out the largest proportion of Aussies sit in the "Financially Conscious" category.

"To understand how or why we experienced a drop, we need to look at the economic and social factors in action," says Attrill.

"The cost of living, inequality among demographics, low wage growth, unemployment flat-lining, and our own political uncertainties will always influence and play on the mind of the average Australian.

"The property market has suffered, the speculation of cash rate falls taking months to finally be announced swayed confidence, the banking Royal Commission has diminished people's trust in financial institutions, and retailers have seen a significant slump in spending. The result is that Australians are feeling more uncertain and less confident about their future."

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Darren Snyder was the managing editor of Money magazine from March 2019 to November 2020. Prior to that he was editor of Financial Standard.

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