Commonwealth Bank launches new website to help young people make sense of their money

30 July 2002

The Commonwealth Bank has launched a new website, to assist teenagers and young adults develop sound financial skills at an important time in their life.

The site, designed to appeal to the 14 - 21 year age group, provides objective and unbiased financial management information on a range of important money management topics including earning, spending, saving, growing and protecting money along with a number of interactive tools, including competitions and forums featuring industry and business experts.

Dollars and Sense has been developed in consultation with teachers and curriculum experts from all State and Territory education departments. It is the first Australian financial education website that offers content mapped to Mathematics and Business/Commerce curriculums (Years 10 – 12), supporting the classroom activities of all States and Territories.

Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive Officer, Mr David Murray, said that Dollars and Sense was an innovative approach to educating young people about how they can best manage their money and build wealth.

"Research tells us that young people recognise the importance of sound financial management but don’t feel that they are up to the mark," Mr Murray said. "Dollars and Sense is a ground-breaking approach to giving young Australians the confidence and knowledge that comes with understanding and managing their money."

Research commissioned by the Bank shows that young people aged 14 - 21 years recognise the importance of financial management skills and knowledge but do not rate their own understanding or competence in this field very highly. Parents surveyed also perceive a significant gap between the levels of understanding they believe their children should have, and what is actually the case.

Two out of every three young people said they will seek information or advice on financial services over the next 12 months. While family remains an important source of this information, they nominate the Internet as a further likely source.

The Internet is particularly important for youth in the older age group (18-21 years) who are more diverse in their use of financial services and who are beginning to seek independent advice for more complex financial products.

Dollars and Sense provides thorough information on a wide range of money related issues such as how to earn money, get paid and taxed, how to spend wisely, borrow money, manage and get out of debt along with how to grow money through various options such as shares and property.

Special features of the site include interactive tools such as the Dream Generator, Skilltester and the chance to ask business leaders and personalities, including the Commissioner of Taxation, Mr Michael Carmody and Australian netballer and vice captain Liz Ellis about money management in fortnightly forums.

Mr Carmody said, "Dollars and Sense offers a valuable on-line education resource for young people to become better informed about a range of money issues including tax. The forum offers young people a unique opportunity to ask leading finance experts questions of relevance to them. I look forward to being a forum guest in September and encourage young people to log on."

Dale Spender, leading education and e-learning expert, described Dollars and Sense as a great bonus for educators. "This is a seriously new and smart service that gives teachers access to a highly trusted site to help in the development of financial literacy; young people just love it," Dr Spender said. "There is simply nothing else like it in Australia."

Christine Reid, Executive Director, Business Educators Australasia who has reviewed the site said "Dollars and Sense provides clear and concise information for young people to investigate financial issues relevant to them. The links and forum allow young people to obtain information from a variety of sources and research their particular needs. This easy to navigate site will be a useful tool for all young people"

The website is accessible directly at its own internet address or through the Commonwealth Bank site

Dollars and Sense complements the Bank’s e-learning awards program for primary schools and its support of a range of education programs targeting financial literacy and online learning.

For more information, contact:

Paul Rea
Corporate Communication
Commonwealth Bank
Phone: 02 9378 5965

Fiona Marino
Corporate Reputation
Commonwealth Bank
Phone: 02 9378 2501