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Financial literacy: Improve your knowledge

In times of disruption, having a good understanding of your finances is more important than ever. Take control and prepare for the financial future you want by improving your financial literacy.

What is financial literacy?

Financial literacy is a term used to describe one’s ability to understand and apply financial skills. When a person is financially literate, they are better placed to be in control of their finances and are more confident when making financial decisions. 

Why is financial literacy important?

Financial literacy is important because it helps an individual to take control of their finances.
 

Without an understanding of core financial principles, people may not be sufficiently informed to make decisions related to financial management. Over time, poor financial decisions can lead to excessive debt, and overdue bills.

 

Even if you’re on top of your finances, there’s always more you can learn and plenty of informative resources available to help. 

The Davidson Institute

Westpac’s financial education specialists, Davidson Institute, offer a range of resources that individuals, businesses, not-for-profit organisations and community groups can use to improve their financial skills and build confidence.

 

One of the key drivers for establishing the Davidson Institute was to help people become more empowered and independent with their finances by providing an opportunity to learn the necessary skills to improve financial literacy. 

 

The Davidson Institute website hosts multiple resources in a variety of formats that you can use to learn to feel more confident and independent with your money. An introduction to some of these resources can be found below. 

Downloadable tools 

Money diary
 

A money diary helps you gain a better understanding of your expenses and where your money gets spent to help achieve your goals. To use the Money diary, record everything you spend your money on over a period of time. At the end of the period, review the Money diary and check where you’re spending your money and whether there are spends that you might like to change. You can build this information into your budget.

Find out more about our Money diary

Budget planner
 

The Budget planner is a simple tool that has a step-by-step process which helps you build a budget suitable for you and your financial situation. Budgeting is a great habit to get into to help you keep track of your money, implement spending changes, and help you achieve your financial goals.

Download our Budget planner (PDF 82KB)

Managing money guide
 

Unforeseen changes to your financial situation can lead to your budgeting and financial plan getting off track. The Managing money guide provides a simple process to help you gain an understanding of your current financial position and put steps in place that may help your finances get back on track. 

Download our Managing money guide (PDF 2MB)

Cost-cutting checklist
 

Whether your income has been unexpectedly reduced or you are actively looking for ways to save, this Cost-cutting checklist contains thought-prompters on ways to reduce everyday household expenses.

Download our Cost-cutting checklist (PDF 216KB)

Financial first steps guides
 

Our Financial first steps guides are designed for introducing people to the concept of setting financial goals, making informed money choices and encourage the development of good money habits. There is one suitable for those just starting out and another for those entering the workforce.

Financial first steps in Australia guide
 

Designed for those who have recently migrated to Australia, the Financial first steps in Australia guide provides information on the financial system in Australia and useful hints and tips on how to manage money in your new home.

Find out more about Financial first steps in Australia

Live events

The Davidson Institute has a regular schedule of live online financial education events, including inviting guest presenters to help promote and inform on different aspects of financial management. There is a diverse range of topics such as budgeting, buying your home, managing your business cash flow and many more.
 

Check out the Davidson Institute website for upcoming webinars.

Videos

As well as a variety of downloadable tools and regular webinars, the Davidson Institute is also home to a range of videos that cover a broad spectrum of personal finance, business finance and general money management topics.
 

A helpful video series for those looking to become more financially savvy would be Planning for your Financial Future, which covers:
 

All of these videos plus many more can be found on the Davidson Institute website.
 

It’s vital to have the ability to manage your money in a way that helps you create the financial future you want. Westpac’s Davidson Institute is all about providing tools and resources to help you improve your financial literacy and start creating a better financial future.


Related articles: 

Budgeting to help recover from a financial setback

Getting your finances back on track following a financial setback can help you feel more in control and confident about the future.

Looking after yourself: Mental health support

Tips that may help you meet the often unusual and unpredictable challenges of recovering from a crisis. 

Things you should know

This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

© Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714.