Does Financial Literacy Reduce Money Stress?

27 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2020

See all articles by Tracey West

Tracey West

Griffith University

Michelle Cull

Western Sydney University

Di Johnson

Griffith University

Date Written: August 11, 2020


As advocates of financial literacy education, it is a hard pill to swallow when data show little impact on financial behaviours. Unfortunately, our expectations that university students with higher levels of financial literacy have reduced money management stress and good behaviours, leading to higher levels of financial wellbeing, were expunged. We did find, however, that being older and having higher levels of income contributed most significantly and consistently to explaining financial wellbeing. Proponents of financial literacy education should not lose hope but recognise limits to transferring knowledge and set goals based on evidence of what works.

Keywords: education, financial wellbeing, financial literacy, university students

JEL Classification: D1, G53, I22, I240

Suggested Citation

West, Tracey and Cull, Michelle and Johnson, Di, Does Financial Literacy Reduce Money Stress? (August 11, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Tracey West

Griffith University ( email )

170 Kessels Road
Nathan, Queensland QLD 4111

Michelle Cull (Contact Author)

Western Sydney University ( email )

Locked Bag 1797
Penrith, NSW 2751
61246203519 (Phone)

Di Johnson

Griffith University ( email )

Brisbane, Queensland 4111

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