Financial Consciousness Test: Find Out How Great Are You With Your Money
Talking about money makes many people run for the hills, but avoiding it may mean you're getting ripped off.
This year's Financial Consciousness Index (FCI) has revealed a slight dip in how Aussies are feeling about their household finances.
The FCI is a new initiative created by Compare The Market. Deloitte Access Economics was tasked to conduct the survey for them.
In its second year, the survey of 3,000 people measures how financially literate they are, and whether they're aware of their ability to change their financial outcomes.
It also looks at respondents' willingness to act and how savvy they really are when it comes to money.
This year, the average Australian's financial consciousness score worsened slightly on last year, dropping from 51 to 48 out of 100.
Homeowners performed better, scoring 54 out of 100, while renters fell short, scoring 43 out of 100.
This year, the survey was conducted prior to the federal election and issues such as cost of living pressures, low wage growth, unemployment and political uncertainty rested on respondents' minds.
Despite the low average score, the average Aussie still falls in the "conscious" category.
The survey also provides insights into ways to put more coin back in your pocket.
It revealed more homeowners think they aren't getting the best deal on their loans (54 percent compared to 58 percent last year), while almost 40 percent haven't shopped around for a better mortgage.
About 40 percent of renters think it's a bad time to buy property, despite interest rates being at a record low and CoreLogic data suggesting prices won't drop further.
According to CoreLogic figures, there has been a slight recovery in house values, with national dwelling values increasing by 0.8 percent in August.
Compare The Market's Rod Attrill said the survey is about turning education and research into dollars.
"It actually not only works out exactly what people know about their finances but also how much they think they can actually do about it," he told 10 News First.
"There might be an area that you need to pay a little bit more attention to and could probably save you some dollars down the track."
Homeowner Gary Blackburn scored 65 out of 100 when he took the test. The 40-year-old father from Melbourne said he shops around to save a buck.
"I'll ring the bank once a year and try and get a better interest rate, I review all my electricity, gas, the internet and basically see what better deals are out there," Blackburn told 10 News First.
He said he can't understand why people aren't getting a better deal on their home loans.
"It's easy money and it doesn't take a lot of effort. It's just a phone call ... it can save you thousands on the life of your loan," he said.
Renter Renee McNab didn't score as well as Blackburn. But, unlike the more than 30 percent of Australians who don't have a budget, the 33-year-old knows having one is crucial to her financial goal to buy a new car.
"It's important to live within your means, to spend what you have, instead of overspending," she told 10 News First.
McNab said she is wary of getting into debt, and appreciated knowing she was on the right track with her money.
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