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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 a person’s ability to understand and apply financial skills. This includes gaining an understanding of the importance of budgeting, interest rates and debt management. 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 take control of their finances. It is essential so they can make smart choices about their money. Financial literacy can help them have a greater understanding of what is happening in financial markets and how changes may impact them.

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. We recommend signing up for a financial literacy course online or using our resources on the Davidson Institute to stay informed.

Talking finances with your partner

One innovative resource, developed in partnership with relationship experts Interrelate, a not-for-profit organisation providing relationship services in the community, is an online training tool for people looking to build successful relationships through better communication. You can find the Creating Positive Relationships tool here. The tool can help couples have positive interactions and healthier conversations when discussing finances. 

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 reasons 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 habits that you might like to change. You can build this information into your budget.

Find out more about our Money diary You may also want to watch our video on how to set up your Money Plan to work toward your goals. Having a Money Plan can also help you gain a level of financial security that may protect you through difficult circumstances. If you are interested in financial literacy for kids then this Money Plan video could also be used as an education tool.


Budget planner

Deciding on a budget and sticking to it is a great way to save money but it can also be difficult. 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)

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. . Discover a simple way to learn more about finance from the experts.

Check out the Davidson Institute website for upcoming webinars.


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 It’s important 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.