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How we are teaching students to make smart decisions about money

How we are teaching students to make smart decisions about money

Travelling over 390,000 kilometres around Australia to train 574,246 Aussie kids about the basics of money in 2017 alone.

For 10 years, millions of Aussie kids have been learning the basics about money in schools throughout Australia with the help of our Start Smart program.

It’s a way of introducing students of all ages to the information they need to understand and promote financial wellbeing.

More than 2 million students have been educated through the program since it began in 2007, with 574,246 participating in 2017. More than a third of those kids live outside a capital city, with facilitators driving more than 390,000 kilometres through the year.

Students at all levels can participate in Start Smart through their schools - including primary, secondary and vocational levels.

How does Start Smart work?

Expert facilitators run interactive, educational workshops that are aimed to motivate and inspire students, giving them the confidence and skills to make smart decisions about money.

The Start Smart Primary workshops address topics including understanding between needs and wants, identifying currency, how to shop and different ways of earning an income and saving money to achieve personal financial goals.

The Start Smart Secondary program offers a suite of workshops developed for students in Years 7 -11. Each workshop focuses on a different topic in depth and explores financial concepts such as understanding the impact of financial choices, getting your first job and managing your mobile phone, as well as basic investment principles, savings goals and budgeting.

For older students, the Start Smart Pathways workshops for Vocational Education students include understanding different types of debt, strategies for keeping track of your money and developing employability skills.

Building the financial capability of all students helps give them the confidence for personal success and improved health and social engagement.

Improving kids’ understanding of money

More than 60% of students surveyed six weeks after doing the program said they had used something they learned and 95% said they felt more confident about managing their money after participating in the Start Smart classes.

The program helps teachers, too, with more than 60% saying they wouldn’t commit to teaching financial literacy in their classrooms without the support of Start Smart.

What’s next for Start Smart?

In 2017, we piloted an educational storybook and virtual reality experience called The Teleporter Adventures to every Year 1 and 2 student who participated in a Start Smart session, as a new way from children to engage with the program.

Insights from the pilot will inform the evolution of Start Smart.

Visit the Start Smart website to learn more.