How financially conscious are you?

This year, on average Aussies scored 51 out of 100, up from 48 in 2019, bringing the score back to levels we first saw in 2018. It appears that the tough economic climate has forced people to pay more attention to their finances. With scores ranging from ignorance to enlightenment, how do you think you’d do? Take our quiz now to find out!

Score range <35

Score range 35-44

Score range 45-54

Score range 55-70

Score range >70

Don’t know what they don’t know

If you’re in this category then it means you’re at the lower end of the Financial Consciousness spectrum. You don’t necessarily “know what you don’t know” and without a little bit of help, it could make it very difficult for you to improve your financial outcomes.

You have a basic knowledge of financial literacy concepts, such as following a budget or understanding interest rates, but may find it hard to apply this in real life to your financial decision making and planning.

The most important thing you can do now to improve your money situation is to become more proactive. A good way to get things started is to map out what you want to achieve in the next 12 months and how your financial situation needs to change in order to reach these goals. To help you with this, we commissioned a financial advisor to write a free money self-help book, Money made Simples, that gives you the information you need to empower yourself to take these next steps. Good luck!

It’s a blur

If you’re in this category then it means that your financial understanding and how you can improve your financial position is a bit of a blur. However, the fact you know that you could do better is a great first step (and why you’re not in the bottom ‘don’t know what they don’t know) category.

The most important thing you can do now to improve your money situation is to become more proactive. A good way to get things started is to map out what you want to achieve in the next 12 months and how your financial situation needs to change in order to reach these goals.

The most important thing you can do now to improve your money situation is to become more proactive. A good way to get things started is to map out what you want to achieve in the next 12 months and how your financial situation needs to change in order to reach these goals. Once you’ve mapped out the changes you need to make, including the challenges, then it’s time to start categorising your debts. Believe it or not, there are good, bad and OK debts!

To help you with this, we commissioned a financial advisor to write a free money self-help book, Money made Simples, that gives you the information you need to empower yourself to take these next steps. Good luck!

Conscious

Congratulations – you are financially conscious! You have decent financial capability and are willing to improve your financial position when it comes to matters of the hip pocket. Importantly, you know that you play a key role in determining your financial outcomes – it isn’t just up to others.

However, as always there’s room for improvement to put you in a better financial position in the future and on track to becoming financially ‘Enlightened’.

One of the best ways to get a head start is to have a think about what you want to achieve in the next 12 months and map out what parts of your financial situation needs to change in order to reach your goals. To help you with this, we commissioned a financial advisor to write a free money self-help book, Money made Simples, that gives you the information you need to empower yourself to take these next steps. Good luck!

Rising up the ranks

You’re rising up the ranks of financial consciousness and have scored well on financial capability and willingness to make a change. It’s likely that you make financial goals and plans and importantly stick to them! You’re also proactive when it comes to financial matters and have the capacity to acquire new financial knowledge and reflect on how this influences your financial decision making.

You are nailing it, but there’s always room for improvement! You can learn more (and we bet you’d enjoy it), so check out our free money self-help book, Money made Simples, that could help you on your journey towards financial enlightenment! It’s a great read that includes a range of concepts to help you reach your financial nirvana – things like setting up multiple bank accounts to help you budget and save, or implementing a strict Money Maintenance routine to double check that you’re on track to reach your goals.

Enlightened

You’re at the peak of Financial Consciousness and have some seriously impressive control over your financial outcomes, capability, willingness and sophistication. You know the importance of following wider economic changes and have a solid plan in place for a financially well future.

Put simply, you are informed, proactive and savvy with your finances.

Even though you’re at the top of your game, you can always learn more (and we bet you’d enjoy it), so check out our free money self-help book, Money made Simples, that could help you on your journey towards financial nirvana! It’s a great read and explores various financial concepts and ideas, including different investment styles, listing the pros and cons, and challenging readers to pursue a range of options as opposed to defaulting to what is safe and familiar. We hope you enjoy it!

Your score

17%
Don’t know what they don’t know (<35)
23%
It’s a blur (35-44)
28%
Conscious (45-54)
26%
Rising up the ranks (55-70)
5%
Enlightened (>70)

48 Average
Australian's score

How do you compare to other Australian's with a similar score?

Source: Deloitte Access Economics

Find out more about your score

So what do you do from here?

Complete this checklist to help improve your financial consciousness

So what do you do from here?

Complete this checklist to help improve your financial consciousness

So what do you do from here?

Complete this checklist to help improve your financial consciousness

So what do you do from here?

Complete this checklist to help improve your financial consciousness

So what do you do from here?

Complete this checklist to help improve your financial consciousness

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Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to our most asked questions below

What does Financial Consciousness mean?

Financial Consciousness is a term coined by Compare the Market and Deloitte Access Economics, which provides a broad measure and understanding of how a person views the degree of control they feel they have over their financial outcomes, their willingness and capability to make financial decisions, and their overall financial sophistication, which means the diversity and type of financial products they own.

Why should I care about my financial consciousness?

Your financial consciousness score is important as it gives a comprehensive view of your financial understanding and therefore indicates your ability to change and improve your financial situation.

By taking steps to improve your financial consciousness, you are demonstrating a greater willingness to make changes to your finances and therefore will be better able to lead the life you want, supported by a more robust financial position.

What are the factors that influence someone’s financial consciousness score?

There are a number of characteristics that tend to influence a person’s financial consciousness score:

  • Age is an important factor – if you’re young or old then you’re probably less financially conscious than Australia’s middle-aged (35 -54 years) cohort, who have scored more highly than other age groups year after year.
  • How much you earn has a big influence on your score, with higher income earners on average gaining higher scores than low income earners, and significantly more than those who are unemployed. However, people on low incomes are some of the ‘best budgeters’ due to practical necessity.
  • The gender gap exists in financial consciousness too, with men outperforming women over the last three years. This may be because the average woman tends to work less than the average man – 11% at stay-at-home-parents, compared to just 2% of men, and women have higher unemployment by 5% – and the last three years shows us that those who work full-time have the highest financial consciousness.
  • Homeowners tend to be more financially conscious than those who rent. It’s highest among those who own homes on a mortgage, followed by those who own investment properties. Those who own homes require a certain level of financial consciousness, meaning the lessons learnt in acquiring a home – savings, managing money, understanding mortgage finance – naturally puts homeowners one step ahead of renters.
What is Compare the Market doing to improve people’s financial consciousness?

Rather than just point out that many Australians have low financial consciousness and do not believe that it is within their control to improve their future financial outcomes, we wanted to provide people with the information and confidence they need to improve their relationship with money.

We commissioned an independent financial advisor to write a money self-help book called Money made Simples, which in a friendly and non-judgmental way, takes people through simples steps to help them improve their finances and go after what they want in life.

We have created a range of tools, tips and content to help empower people to reach their money goals more quickly. Our Budgeting Calculator and Savings Tips Generator can be found here. Our blog – The Burrow – contains a range of articles and guides on everything from the best times to fill up your car, tips on how to reduce your energy bill and cheap but effective home workout ideas.

Also, our comparison service enables consumers to compare and 1000+ products from 100+ brands to see if savings can be made across a range of household products and services, including energy plans, home loans, credit cards and even petrol.

We do also hope that this report captures the attention of a range of stakeholders, including public policymakers, as we believe it demonstrates that more investment is necessary to educate and empower Australians to take tighter control of their everyday finances.

Can you actually save by switching your insurances?

Often, yes. When you first purchased an insurance product, you likely opted for a policy that had the right inclusions and price tag for you. Over time, your personal circumstances may have changed or the introductory offer given by your insurer may have expired, potentially leaving you with an ill-suited or overpriced product.

It can be as simple as comparing your options to see if you could save by switching. The savings don’t stop at insurance either. You can compare 1000+ products from 100+ brands at Compare the Market to save across a range of household products and services, including energy plans, home loans, credit cards and even petrol. 

Is financial consciousness the same as financial literacy?
No. The Australian government defines financial literacy as: ‘A combination of financial knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours necessary to make sound finanacial decisions, based on personal circumstances, to improve financial well-being.’

Is financial consciousness the same as financial literacy?

No. The Australian government defines financial literacy as: ‘A combination of financial knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours necessary to make sound finanacial decisions, based on personal circumstances, to improve financial well-being.’

Whereas ‘financial consciousness’ is a term coined by Compare the Market and Deloitte Access Economics, which provides a broader measure and understanding of how a person views the degree of control they feel they have over their financial outcomes, as well as their willingness and capability to make financial decisions, and their overall financial sophistication, which means the diversity and type of financial products they own.


Which short or long term budgets or financial plans should I have?

While having a weekly or monthly budget does contribute to you meeting the threshold of basic financial consciousness, there is still room for improvement. After all, these are only short-term solutions.

Creating an annual budget and financial plan for the year ahead – and acting on it – speaks to a person’s financial willingness, and how motivated and active they are in their financial decision making. The ability to make financial goals and plans – and stick to them – is a behaviour held by people who fall in the ‘rising up the ranks’ category.

If you haven’t already, you should look at creating and sticking to a 12-month financial plan. This can help you prove to yourself that you are capable of designing a life you’re excited about, and kick some serious money goals along the way.

When it comes to longer term financial plans (think three to five years and beyond) it’s those in the coveted ‘enlightened’ category who have this mastered – and you can bet that they also have weekly or monthly budgets to go with it.

How can I find out more about my score?

The Financial Consciousness Index score was developed as part of an annual report that tested over 3,000 individuals to see whether they are conscious of their ability to affect their own financial outcomes, their willingness to act, and the extent to which they are able to participate in sophisticated financial matters. 



If you have a spare 10 or so minutes and would like to find out how your score compares to other people around the country, then you can read the full 2020 report here. You’ll find a lot more detail on the Index itself and what financial consciousness means to Australians’ overall financial wellbeing.
Otherwise, we would be happy to send you more information on your score directly. Simply click here.

About

Financial Consciousness
Index

As a society, there’s an inherent attitude that exists where an individual’s personal finances is often a taboo topic, something that’s avoided rather than faced head-on. This contributes towards a massive barrier between consumers, and their ability to make a change.

To look at this theory further, especially when it comes to a lack of control with money matters, Compare the Market engaged Deloitte Access Economics to investigate and understand how we can better help consumers with their everyday household finances.

The Financial Consciousness Index (FCI) measures the extent to which a person is not just financially literate, but also whether they are conscious of their ability to affect their own financial outcomes, all the way to their willingness to act, and the extent to which they are able to participate in sophisticated financial matters.

Are Australians more or less motivated in their financial decision making? Do Australians still believe that changes in interest rates affect their financial position? Comparing these results year on year paints an important picture of the inner thoughts and workings of the average Australian.

Compare the Market are committed to helping consumers take a tighter rein on their finances, and drive further conversations around the work that needs to be done to better empower, educate and de-stigmatise how people talk about money.

About

Money made Simples

Compare the Market engaged entrepreneur and finance guru Melissa Browne to write an eBook to help everyone improve their financial consciousness. Money made Simples is a handbook with helpful tips, hands-on exercises and digestible information to better understand your attitude towards money.

Each chapter touches on important financial habits that will help boost confidence when making major and minor money decisions:

  • Identifying and meeting your savings goals
  • Unpacking the different types of debts and how to manage them efficiently
  • Leveraging everyday finance products
  • The pros and cons of different investment types
  • Tips on how to keep on track with your own money maintenance

About

Compare the Market

Compare the Market is a comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around for a better deal on your insurances, personal finance products, energy needs and more. Let’s be honest, who wants to spend time trawling through multiple websites or having the same conversation again and again with different call centres?

Compare the Market is a one-stop-shop for consumers looking for a simple way to compare and buy from multiple providers. We are here to help you save time and money, and also give you the confidence that you’ve found a great deal, meaning you can get on with the more important things in life.