It should come as no surprise that if you have never been taught financial literacy, you are likely to struggle with money management. We live in a tap-and-go society where money is no longer a tangible entity, and our children don’t fully understand the implications of their financial transactions—even using debit cards at the school canteen!
Today on Real Estate Matters, Toni talks to Katrina Birch, CEO of the Financial Basics Foundation. Katrina explains the charity’s mission to educate young people in Australia about money management, borrowing, and credit via the development of top-notch free resources for secondary schools. She shares the surprising origin of the foundation and its major sponsors, and how corporate support led to the reboot of its online financial literacy game, ESSI Money.
Toni and Katrina go on to discuss the lack of coursework around financial literacy in Australia and how the ‘have now, pay later’ model leads to troubling behaviors. They cover the implications of a cashless society, how parents can support financial literacy by involving their kids in financial conversations, and the disservice we do to our students by omitting money management from high-level academic math coursework.
Toni and Katrina conclude with a discussion of why children in poor communities are better at budgeting than affluent kids and how parents can make money tangible for their children. Katrina explains why knowledge gained at school together with attitudes and behaviors practiced at home provide the strongest foundation for financial literacy. Listen in to learn how Katrina developed the drive to empower young people to gain control of their finances and where you can find the resources to do the same!
About Katrina Birch
Katrina Birch is the Director and CEO of the Financial Basics Foundation, a national non-profit organization working to ensure that every young Australian is financially capable. The charity develops quality teaching resources and provides those tools to secondary schools free of charge. Katrina began working as a consultant for the foundation in 2004, and has served in her current role since 2011. She has devoted her career to youth welfare, and Katrina’s resume includes 20-plus years with government and not-for-profit organizations: She was involved in the deinstitutionalization of young people with disabilities in Queensland and served as the State Manager of CanTeen Queensland, a charity supporting young people with cancer.
- The vision of the Financial Basics Foundation
- Who established the charity
- How corporate sponsorship facilitates the work of the Financial Basics Foundation
- How the ESSI Money simulation game teaches financial literacy
- The lack of financial literacy coursework in Australia’s education system
- How our cashless society leads to concerning behaviors around money
- Why children in poor communities tend to have a better understanding of money than affluent kids
- The role of parents in initiating financial conversations
- Katrina’s advice regarding payday loans
- Why financial literacy should be a priority
- Why young women are earning more but have less financial security to show for it
- The way financial literacy is left out of high-level academic math courses
- Katrina’s view that financial literacy is a combination of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors
- How to make money tangible for children
- The way growing up in abundance protects children from learning about money
- The importance of practicing financial literacy concepts
- How Katrina’s lack of control of her own finances gave her the drive to empower young people
- Why a lack of financial literacy makes you vulnerable
Learn More About Financial Literacy
Visit the Financial Basics Foundation at http://www.financialbasics.org.au/.
Contact Kristina Birch at the Financial Basics Foundation—
Phone: 03 9610 4919
Postal: Level 7, 525 Flinders Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Hone your financial literacy at the Australian Securities & Investments Commission website, https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/.
Learn more about money management at https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/managing-your-money, and get the 411 on credit at https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/borrowing-and-credit.
Explore ASIC’s publications on borrowing and credit at https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/publications#borrowing-and-credit.
Order your copy of Toni’s book, Her Property, at http://planinsek.com/product/her-property-book/.