Financially illiterate? Try spending less

The Federal Government's taskforce on financial literacy and personal debt has found that 40 per cent of Australians believe they'll forever be in debt. Taskforce chairman Paul Clitheroe said one of the basic issues in teaching Australians about financial literacy is that if they want to get ahead, they'll have to spend less than they earn.

Another of the taskforce's findings is that there are over 700 consumer groups and initiatives across Australia in the financial arena. This lack of a formal network of consumer information leads to duplication and inefficiencies, Mr Clitheroe said.

The taskforce will hold a forum today at Melbourne's ASX offices. It's part of a six-month program of public meetings around Australia to hear about people's financial problems and how they manage their money. The taskforce will then develop a national strategy.