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HOW YOUR TEEN CAN CULTIVATE FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE

As a young girl, I recall my mother struggling financially. She had been the victim of financial abuse, and after leaving, did her best as a single mum to provide for me. I made an affirmation that I would always have money for things as I needed them.

After school, I joined the Navy, and began my own journey, growing and learning how to support myself. Little did I know that I would soon meet and marry a version of my father. I started studying a Bachelor of Business (Finance) and soon left the Navy and found work in a financial planning firm.

Despite working in this financial industry, I was blind to the financial abuse I endured during our relationship. At the end of that relationship, I picked up the pieces and realised the financial dramas I had been left with. I was grateful for my financial education and work experience which allowed me to overcome those issues as quickly as I did.

As I continued to work in the financial industry, I became aware of the lack of financial literacy of so many people. This was preventing people from achieving their goals, such as buying their first home because they were drowning in debts.

I was often approached by friends and acquaintances asking for help navigating the financial world. After researching why this was occurring, I realised there was little education around financial literacy at homes or schools.

It has been a long-term passion to educate and help as many people in regards to their money, and my personal experiences provide solutions to help people through their current situations. During my research, in a pre-COVID world, I discovered that 28% of male teenagers aged 15-17 years old and only 18% female teenagers were able to answer five literacy questions about interest rates, inflation, diversification, risk and money illusion.

This has a knock-on effect where one-third of Australian adult men and two-thirds adult women do not understand the basic financial literacy concepts. I’m passionate about stopping the cycle of debt which my own experience shows and starts with our youth.

I have spent many hours investigating the Australian Curriculum and was devastated to find that unless students choose a business, economics, or finance stream at high school, the most they learn is how to calculate simple and compound interest. I believe this is the reason why the percentage of understanding around this subject is so low.

There is no real-life connection between what students are learning and how this will affect them in real life long-term.

This led me to write and launch an Interactive Youth Financial Literacy Program for Teenagers so that they can learn everything they need to know about financial independence when they leave school. After launching my youth program, I’ve had increased interest to do something similar for adults. These programs for teenagers called Smart Money Education will be continuing to be rolled out each month and I hope to help as many people as possible.

For more information, please contact me on 0413 124 182 or email me at admin@sfconsulting.net.au

Written by Jules Steer

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