FOREWORD

A message from the Australian Government

"The National Financial Capability Strategy supports the Government’s priority for a stronger economy by ensuring that all Australians have the financial capabilities they need to live their best lives."

The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP
Federal Member for Higgins 
Minister for Jobs, Industrial Relations and Women

INTRODUCTION

About the National Financial Capability Strategy

When more Australians are in control of their financial lives, everyone benefits.

Collaboration across the government, business, community, education and research sectors to support strong financial capabilities in individuals, families and in communities makes a difference.

A range of factors influence the financial decisions people make every day. Life can be complicated and the types of decisions we need to make change over time. The way we manage our money today may not reflect our financial needs in the future.

The National Financial Capability Strategy recognises that long-term behavioural change cannot be achieved by a single program or a one-off intervention. We are committed to more deeply understanding the contexts in which people make decisions and the circumstances or situations in which they might need additional or specific support.

The more we work together and grow the network of resources to support people to better manage money day-to-day, make informed money decisions, and plan for the future, the closer we come to realising our vision, which is for all Australians to be in control of their financial lives.

WHY

Financial capability matters

Every day, people are engaging in the financial system.

Sometimes they're doing this in sophisticated and complex ways, but most often it's simply through the common tasks of everyday living. For example, almost every Australian has a bank account.

Whether they have a little money or a lot, Australians are interacting with financial products and services that they need to understand and use in ways that best work for them.

When things are going well and we feel our financial lives are on track, we are better prepared to make plans for the future. And the good news is 60% of Australians feel they are on top of their finances. But a significant number of Australians struggle to manage their money. In fact, more than 1 in 3 people find dealing with money stressful and overwhelming.

Improving Australians' financial capability won't happen overnight; this is a long journey, but the benefits are significant. By investing in these skills and behaviours now, we will make a difference to so many later.

WHAT

Building financial capability

We each have our own money story, which is made up of the positive and negative experiences we've had with money over our lifetime. These experiences inform our financial attitudes, biases and behaviours, and the more we understand our approach to money, the more opportunities we have to take action to improve our financial wellbeing.

The National Strategy identifies three behavioural areas in which Australians can be empowered to take control of their financial lives:

  • Managing money day-to-day
  • Making informed money decisions
  • Planning for the future.

HOW

Achieving more together

For more than a decade, organisations across the government, business, community, education, and research sectors have worked together to strengthen communities by promoting a greater understanding of money and strengthening financial inclusion, resilience and wellbeing.

The basis of these efforts are commitments to:

  • Educate – Promoting lifelong learning to assist Australians to develop and enhance their financial capability throughout their lives.
  • Inform – Providing access to relevant, impartial information and tools to assist with financial decision-making in various contexts.
  • Support – Helping people better understand their situation, assess their choices and avoid financial pitfalls.

We have a lot to learn from each other. The community benefits when knowledge gaps are highlighted and opportunities to do more together are explored.

MEASURING SUCCESS

Better outcomes for Australians

We know that the National Strategy drives work that makes a difference in people's lives. But are we reaching them at the right time and with the right information and support? Are we leaving anyone out? Are there people that need something extra that we aren't considering closely enough?

We all want better outcomes for all Australians. In particular, we are committed to ensuring:

  • WOMEN engage with their finances
  • YOUNG PEOPLE make informed decisions
  • OLDER AUSTRALIANS receive the support they need
  • INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS access appropriate financial products and services.

Making a difference is important, but understanding how we make a difference – and sharing this understanding – allows us to promote and embed sustainable activity across sectors. It is essential that we have the evidence we need to do more where it counts the most.

We will monitor and evaluate activity to ensure that what we deliver leads to Australians becoming more financially capable.

ABOUT

Background

The National Financial Capability Strategy 2018 builds on our previous work, which started in 2011.

National Financial Literacy Strategy 2104-17
2014-17

National Financial Literacy Strategy 2014-17

National Financial Literacy Strategy 2011
2011

National Financial Literacy Strategy 2011