Friday, November 6th, 2009

Interest rates are going up and will continue to rise. In the past month, major Australian banks have raised interest rates twice on mortgages. The interest rate break is over for the majority of Australians.

Bankwest's 2009 Financial Fitness Index survey revealed NSW and ACT are the most financially unfit states in the country.

Financial literacy trainer Susan Allen says that the rise in interest rates will significantly increase stress levels in the workplace and at home, especially for those in transition such as retirees, people who have been made redundant or who have reduced income.

"Over the past ten years, the average Australian went from paying one quarter to one third of their income for housing, whilst the Global Financial Crisis has resulted in the highest redundancy rates in decades," says Ms Allen, director of Money Skills Centre for Learning, a Sydney-based financial and life skills training organisation. "Financial uncertainty and longer work hours mean more fear and anxiety for Australian workers.

"The interest rate rise adds an extra $92 a month on a typical $300,000 mortgage but also consider the October Consumer Price Index, which shows Australians are paying more for food, housing, clothing and electricity. We must brace ourselves for further increases and demands on our income. Without support, more Australians than ever will be ensnared in thorny financial situations over the next few years."

Even formerly self-assured people have been thrown by the Global Financial Crisis, with a study in June 2009 finding fewer than 5% now claiming they’re certain of their financial knowledge and abilities.

Developed during the financial crisis, MSCL addresses the key issues which trigger stress during times of transition. The training organisation provides a range of workshops including budgeting, communication at home and in the workplace, life and workplace plans plus personal health and wellbeing.

"The opportunity to increase knowledge and confidence is the key to enable people to handle change quickly and successfully," Ms Allens says.

"I believe people wish to keep control of their lives and their independence and they are often reluctant to seek help. Options need to be affordable, customised to address relevant issues and delivered in nonconfronting and familiar surroundings by caring and knowledgeable staff."

To complement its workshop series, MSCL has launched a new website with information, hints and tips to support, encourage and inspire people who want to take control of their financial future and wellbeing, and look forward to contributions from the public who would like to share their success stories, as we work together toward financial recovery:

Contact Profile

Money Skills Centre for Learning P/L ( MSCL )

Money Skills Centre for Learning provides the answers for people in transition. Training and coaching for groups and individuals who are experiencing change, reduced income, redundancy to retirement.Key to handle financial stress quickly and successfully.  In familiar surroundings MSCL offers the opportunity to improve financial and life skills. Life is for living, successfully.
Susan Allen
P: 0415447115 0r 0416537000


New skills are needed to cope with increased financial and personal stress, especially for those in transition.



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