Aussies Need Financial Literacy

Locals may have lost their love affair with credit cards but it certainly hasn’t taken the novelty off getting married as statistics highlight tying the knot can tie you into some serious debt very quickly. Research tells us the average Aussie wedding costs somewhere in the region of $36,700 to $49,000. In fact the local wedding industry is so popular it is valued at $5-billion. The fact that people are also getting married at younger ages means that they are more financially secure and have more disposable income to contribute to the cause. Being older and financially independent they are also more likely to spend more on their big day.

Between 1986 and 2006, brides and grooms have become five years older with women getting married these days at the age of 29 and men at age 32.

When you add the cost of the dress for the bridal party, the actual wedding ceremony, pre-parties and the honeymoon, the tab becomes pretty expensive. Even if you decide to forego all the bells and whistles, it’s going to add up.

Location also plays an important role in how much you can expect to pay, with New South Wales, and Sydney to be more specific, the most expensive place to tie the knot in the country. For the average Sydney wedding you can expect to be set back in the region of $54,173 while the cheapest place is Adelaide, at an average of $31,185.

If you wanted to pat the absolute minimum on a reception in Sydney you can expect to pay $11,320 but you can cut that in half if you get married in Brisbane and only spend $5459. If you are setting a budget you can expect an average of $7614 for the reception.

The data is pre-recession, taken from 2006, but at today’s rates you can expect to pay $5000 just for a photographer in Sydney. To give you an idea, you can expect to pay 10% of your wedding budget for a ring so for many people the only feasible way to afford it all is through personal loans. It is estimated that 119,000 will tie the knot in 2012 and there are expected to be plenty of newlyweds forking out on festivities this year. Personal loans we found at are available for a wide range of purposes, from home improvement to the purchase of a new car, to funding a wedding.

With that in mind, financial experts have come out criticising the level of financial literacy in the country. They say the average person doesn’t know as much about money and how to handle it as they should. Addressing the problem of financial literacy is not as simple as it sounds. There are major developmental issues that need to be considered like which level needs to be intervened at- in the student population or in the workforce where people are feeling the pinch? Also, no previous programs exist so creating and implementing them is still a few steps away.

Of course, the other issue is funding- who picks up the tab at the end of it all? We know that financial education doesn’t come cheap so there’s another obstacle. One of the suggestions that has been made by the Director of the Centre for Financial Literacy, John Pelletier, has said that whenever banks are fined there should be a surcharge added to the penalty to fund financial literacy initiatives.

It isn’t a new phenomenon; it has been used in tobacco lawsuits before. And in the same way that a tobacco company was forced to fund a tobacco awareness program for teenagers it has been put forward that the same approach be taken to providing the fundamentals for financial understanding.

Article publié pour la première fois le 22/12/2012

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