More than two-thirds of young New Zealanders are not saving
for their future - and just over half budget, a survey has
The findings come from the Financial Education and Research
Centre, a joint venture between Westpac and Massey
University, which has issued the baseline results for its
20-year longitudinal study - the first of its kind in New
It found there was a "relatively low level of financial
knowledge" when compared with similar studies in other
countries and parents often remained the key source of
informal financial education for young New Zealanders.
The survey also found that while 90 per cent recognised the
importance of saving, 77 per cent of the 18 to 22-year-olds
surveyed said it was not important to plan any further than
four years ahead financially.
A further 52 per cent said they haven't given any thought to
financial goals, spending habits and how to manage money.
The director of the centre, Dr Pushpa Wood, said the survey
of 300 young Kiwis would be repeated with the same
participants every five years for the next 20 years.
She said the preliminary findings would provide a benchmark
for how much information young New Zealanders have on
personal financial matters and where they obtain this
Westpac's managing director of private, wealth and insurance,
former justice minister Simon Power, said there was "clearly
a lot of work to do" in educating young New Zealanders about
the importance of saving and budgeting.
Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan said financial literacy
as part of the OECD Programme for International Students
Assessment programme was tested for the first time among Kiwi
15-year-olds in September.
The results are due early next year and will show how young
New Zealanders compare against several other countries.
Of 18 to 22-year-olds surveyed:
90 per cent recognise the importance of saving
80 per cent think it's better to spend savings than buy on
77 per cent don't think it's important to plan ahead
financially more than four years
66 per cent learned everything about finances from their
52 per cent say they budget
Source: Fin-Ed Centre
- James Ihaka of the New Zealand Herald