A whopping 93% of New Zealanders say money management skills should be a compulsory subject in every school according to a Westpac/stuff.co.nz survey.
Over half of the 700 surveyed believe they would be better off now financially if money skills had been taught to them at school, while the lack of money management skills also appears to contribute toward a high degree of stress many Kiwis feel around their finances.
More than four in five (82%) say that over the past 12 months they have felt financial stress.
Over half of those (51%) said it caused them mental stress, and one in six said the financial stress caused them to seek professional medical treatment. A third (33%) said it impacted their relationship.
When it came to what was causing the stress, cost of living was the biggest factor where 42% said the cost of food and groceries was an issue, and 41% said a lack of income caused them stress.
A lack of budgeting skills appears to be a base issue, with 30% saying they don’t budget.
Inability to save is also creating issues including locking many out of home ownership.
While more than 80% of those renting would much prefer to own their own home 63% don’t think or are unsure it will happen.
Difficulty saving appears the key reason for the fading hopes of home ownership.
Nearly half of those renting struggle with the cost of living and are paying more than 35% of their income toward accommodation expenses.
Of those renters who are saving for a home (47%), 54% have less than $5,000 saved and only 12% have between $10,000 - $20,000 saved.
Westpac has tools that can help you get your money under control.
More tools and resources can be found in the Managing Your Money section of the Westpac website.