Suncorp ESSI Money Challenge reveals teens’ biggest money problems
New insights from Suncorp and the Financial Basics Foundation have revealed a surprising number of teenagers are struggling to understand basic money scenarios.
More than 7,500 teenagers across Australia have participated in Suncorp’s 2020 Earning Spending Saving Investing (ESSI) Money Challenge, conducted in partnership with the Financial Basics Foundation, which aims to help teenagers improve their understanding of finances.
The challenge tested students’ financial literacy on areas including credit, superannuation, loans and GST, revealing that a surprising number of teenagers are struggling to understand basic money scenarios.
More than three quarters of children were unable to identify how long it would take them to pay off credit card debt.
Many teens had trouble spotting incoming and outgoing transactions on a budget, including two thirds being unable to identify when a budget was in deficit.
Financial Basics Foundation Chair Brigid Leishman said although there are areas for teenagers to improve, the ESSI Money challenge helped foster learning about money management and encourage conversations around financial literacy.
“It’s important to provide children and teenagers with practical advice and guidance in order to help them learn and develop positive financial decision-making skills, which they will need throughout their lives,” Ms Leishman said.
“The ESSI Money challenge is an interactive and practical way to build the right financial literacy habits.”
After completing the 2020 ESSI challenge, eight in ten students surveyed said that their understanding of real-life financial transactions such as paying bills and setting up automatic payments had improved.
Understanding and managing finances is an extremely important skill and helping teenagers build their financial literacy is part of our commitment to providing inclusive financial services and increased financial resilience within our community.Erin Strang, Suncorp Banking and Wealth Chief Financial Officer
Following their participation in the challenge, three quarters of teens sought advice or had a conversation about finances with a trusted adult outside of school.
Suncorp Banking and Wealth Chief Financial Officer Erin Strang said it’s pleasing to see such high engagement with the ESSI money challenge this year given the difficult time many Australians, including teenagers, have gone through.
“Understanding and managing finances is an extremely important skill and helping teenagers build their financial literacy is part of our commitment to providing inclusive financial services and increased financial resilience within our community,” Ms Strang said.
“Thank you to the students who participated in the 2020 ESSI Money Challenge, as well as the teachers and parents who supported them along the way.”
The winners of the 2020 ESSI Money challenge are:
Age group 12–15
1. Will Rogers, Christ Church Grammar School (Western Australia)
2. Andrew Lim, Rossmoyne Senior High School (Western Australia)
3. Melody Young, North Sydney Girls High School (New South Wales)
Age group 16–18
1. Hamish Leslie, St Columba Anglican School (New South Wales)
2. Maclaren Tierney, St Columba Anglican School (New South Wales)
3. Markos Atartis, Rossmoyne Senior High School (Western Australia)