Financial literacy is a fundamental life tool. Teaching our kids about financial management from a young age should be a high priority as this is now recognised as an important stepping stone to financial success.
Fortunately, secondary school teachers now have access to free teaching resources through not-for-profit organisations such as the Financial Basics Foundation. These resources can help students become well-equipped to make informed financial decisions and fight spending temptations; better enabling them to set and reach their financial goals.
What is the Financial Basics Foundation?
The Financial Basics Foundation is an independent charity that provides free financial literacy teaching resources to all Australian secondary schools, some charities and registered training organisations. The Foundation’s vision is
"Helping to ensure that all young Australians leaving the secondary education system have an understanding of the credit system and financial management practices, so that they can make informed decisions on their financial affairs."
To access the Foundation’s educational resources, secondary school teachers follow a simple online registration process found here: http://www.financialbasics.org.au/register . The complimentary teaching resources include ‘Operation Financial Literacy’ and ‘ESSI Money’.
Operation Financial Literacy
Operation Financial Literacy is a flexible teaching program that provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the most important financial concepts relevant to everyday life. It consists of 12 modules covering everything from goal setting to learning about the dangers of scams.
ESSI Money is an online game simulated over a period of six months. It is designed to teach students about financial literacy through ‘virtual reality’. Students undertake a series of financial challenges within a fun and stimulating environment.
Some of the financial concepts taught throughout this game include:
E – Earning: employment, Centrelink and investment returns.
S – Saving: bank accounts, cash and financial goals.
S – Spending: everyday living expenses, mobile phones, credit and credit cards, buying a car, insurance and online shopping.
I – Investing: scams, risk vs. return, and investments such as shares.
In addition to these concepts, students are taught the importance of budgeting and goal-setting, and seeking financial advice from qualified professionals.
Teachers can monitor the progress of the game and provide their own incentives or rewards for the best performers at the end of the game.
Where to start
If you would like your children or grandchildren to learn more about the concepts provided by the Financial Basics Foundation, we strongly encourage you to contact your child’s secondary school or speak to a relevant teacher and give them a copy of this article.
If you are an Australian secondary school teacher, you can register to become a member free of charge through the website link provided.
If you are not eligible to register as a member of the Financial Basics Foundation, you can still access the Financial Literacy in Practice (FLIP) activities here http://www.financialbasics.org.au/flip.aspx at no cost.