According to a 2013 financial literacy poll conducted by Mastercard, New Zealanders are the most money-savvy people in the Asia-Pacific region. The study included 12,000 respondents from 27 different countries. They were asked about their level of understanding on three different money topics: basic money management skills, investment knowledge, and financial planning.

New Zealand lead the region with an overall financial literacy score of 74 points with their closest rivals trailing behind them. Singapore finished at 72 points, and Taiwan, Australia, and Hong Kong finished with 71 points.

Out of all three components, Kiwis came in first for basic money management skills, which included questions on day-to-day budgeting, their ability to keep up with bills and how well they set aside funds for larger purchases. Not too far behind was Australia, coming in at second place in these specific areas.

While they may have scored well in the money management area, they were surprisingly further down the list when it came to their financial planning skills, where they came in 13th place, but New Zealanders came in 4th place in the region for their understanding of financial investing.

Another interesting thing the survey results revealed is how actively involved Kiwis are with thinking about their financial futures and managing their money, and showed how well they are taking responsibility for their financial positions. Factors like tough economic times most likely drove the importance of sound budgeting home.

The polling may have revealed a lot of positive strengths in terms of the Kiwi’s ability to manage money, but it also revealed how much they are struggling to put their financial knowledge into action, but their knowledge and their ability to grasp key financial concepts is a non-issue for New Zealanders.

What does this mean for Aussies?

The good news is, Aussies are not too far behind Kiwis, but the study also revealed how far Aussies have come in terms of managing their financial future. There will always be work to be done and improvements to be made, but Australia’s scores were among the highest in the region, which clearly demonstrates our ability to manage finances and plan for the future. Some of New Zealand’s weaknesses were among some of Australia’s strengths, so hopefully we can achieve the number one spot in MasterCard’s next round of polling.

Are you trying to become more money-savvy? Talk to one of our financial planners on the Sunshine Coast to see how we can help you improve your financial literacy and start working on creating the financial future you desire.