This week I want to share with you a great website resource that is very useful and easy to use – and might just be a vital tool for you and your kids!

Money Smart: Just Google “ASIC Money Smart” or go to www.moneysmart.gov.au

It is full of common-sense tips and tools to help you and your family with ‘financial things’ – and has a host of frequently asked questions that it gives simple answers to.

Some of the areas are:

Managing your money – lots of tips and warnings. Hints and ideas and helpful suggestions.

Borrowing and credit – tips and help and explanations. One really good calculator – can you afford to borrow? So many people think if the Bank or credit card gives it to me – it must be OK. That is NOT correct! Use these tips and calculators to see if you can afford to pay the credit back.

Insurances – Covers the different types of insurances – gives a good overview of the numerous types of insurance and answers many questions that you may not have thought about. Pet insurance? Travel insurance? Laptop insurance? A good coverage!

Superannuation and Retirement – Tips and help – how to find ‘lost super’ and other topics.

Investing – An explanation of numerous types of investments. Also warnings about what can go wrong and things to be wary of.

Scams – warnings about dodgy people and businesses – put in a name to see if they are already on the ‘dodgy’ list!

Life Events – what to do when “this” happens. Eg death, divorce, losing your job, pregnancy, coming back to work and lots more.

Tools and resources – Some terrific tools and tables to help you make decisions and discover more about yourself and finances. There are ‘calculators’ that help you do a simple budget and see just how your next 12 months will pan out. Again – plan ahead and see where you will be financially if you do what you plan to do. Maybe this will show you don’t have the money – so take action NOW to cut some expenses so you don’t run out of money or pile up debt you can’t repay.

Sit down with your kids (or your partner – or both!) and just run through the site. Click and explore. Show your kids and work through some of the tools and questions with them. Look at ‘buying a car,’ ‘scams,’ how to borrow,’ credit card debt and so on. Work through the site and see what you find out!

If nothing else – by spending some time running through it and clicking on lots of areas, you will at least guide them and give them the ‘hooks’ to remember that it is there and it might answer a problem they have one day. Then with any sort of luck, when they are on their own and facing a decision about a dodgy investment, or a scam, or a loan they can’t afford or they have a life event they just are not sure about: they might just get an answer or assistance from the site and save themselves money, grief, embarrassment and a lot of stress!