MoneySmart Week aims to improve financial literacy
Australians are being encouraged to improve their financial literacy during Money Smart Week, which starts today.
Money Smart Week runs from 1-7 September, an initiative of not-for-profit organisation Financial Literacy Australia Limited.
Bendigo Bank Financial Planner Adrienne Rush encouraged people to do an online Money Health Check to see how their finances are tracking, or take on MoneySmart Week Challenge.
"September is the beginning of spring, a time when many of us start thinking about getting into shape for summer and MoneySmart Week is a fantastic opportunity to check your financial fitness to see what shape your finances are in," Ms Rush said.
"It's free and easy to give yourself a Money Health Check using the online tool available from the www.moneysmartweek.org.au website.
"Once you've worked out how you're tracking, it could be time to prepare a plan of action.
"Sometimes, the best way to do that is with a coach. A financial planner is a bit like a personal trainer. They get people heading in the right direction and keep you on track to help you reach your financial goals."
Every day this week, Bendigo Bank's money experts will tackle a hot topic to help future-proof your finances.
Ms Rush said a good first step was understanding how debt and credit worked.
"Credit is a fact of life for many of us. It's often part of significant life milestones like buying a home or a car, things we might not be able to pay for otherwise.
"But it's important that credit is used responsibly, that means working out how much you can afford to repay on a regular basis, how long it will take you to repay your debt, and from there how much you can afford to borrow.
"The budget calculator on the Money Smart website is a great tool to get started."
For tips on managing credit and debt head to www.moneysmartweek.org.au
Bendigo Bank offers a network of qualified financial planners, simply call 1800 018 018, or head into your local branch to make an appointment.
Adrienne Rush is a Bendigo Bank financial planner and a semi-finalist for the 2014 AFA Female Excellence in Advice Awards.