New research from Finder suggests very few kids are learning vital money-saving skills at school.
Finder asked 954 Australians where they learned the skills to save, with just 6 per cent saying they learned in primary school and a further 12 per cent saying they learned saving skills later on in high school.
The survey found the majority of Australians learned to save from a relative, with 51 per cent learning from a parent, while a further 8 per cent picked up the vital skill from a grandparent. A further 26 per cent of respondents said they learned to save along the way, while 10 per cent said they learned to save using a banking app or online tutorial.
Somewhat concerning was the number of Australians (6 per cent) who said they'd never learned to save. That's an estimated 1.2 million people. That figure was slightly higher for women (7 per cent) than men (5 per cent), though that difference was not statistically significant given the survey size and a margin of error of 3 per cent.
Where did you learn the skills to save?
No place in particular
I haven’t learned how to save
Alison Banney, money expert at Finder, said few Australians credited their schooling with their financial knowledge.
"Given the huge impact that financial literacy can have on a person's life, personal-finance classes in schools would be great to see alongside traditional subjects. A lot of parents struggle with talking about money with their children - especially if they are not very good at saving money themselves."
Banney said it was concerning how many people grew up without ever learning the basics of saving money. The good news is that it’s never too late to make up for a shortfall in financial knowledge.
"Learning how to save is key for financial success - the best place to start is small, regular contributions to a high-interest savings account," Banney said.
"Most savings accounts come with a mobile banking app, where you can track your progress and see how much interest you've earned, or even set up your own personal savings goals. Seeing your balance grow before your eyes can be all the motivation you need to keep up good savings habits."