Type of Activity:
❑ Peer Mentoring
Relevant pillar: Financial and money management
Sense of Initiative & Entrepreneurship
Social and Civic Competence
Learning to learn
Duration: 3-4 sessions (over a period of at least three months) and ongoing practical activities.
The children in care are passive receivers in the reception centres and are not involved in the financial decisions.
Practical workshops to develop and enhance financial and money management skills.
Small amount (and sometimes delayed) allocated for rent when ageing out.
After 17, each child is putting aside 50% of his weekly allowance to save for the first rent they need to pay after ageing out.
Many children have difficulty in managing their finances and often face debts.
Budgeting and knowledge of financial system in general is considered to be particularly important for them.
Session 1: What are my financial goals and saving priorities?
The objective of this session is to support the children clarify their potential financial goals and saving priorities. You will be engaging them in 3-4 sessions over a period of at least 3 months, as this activity will involve practical life applications.
Set up financial goals and saving priorities:
Step 1. What Do You Value? You will invite the child in care to make a list and write down a list of all the things that they’d need to feel secure, happy or fulfilled. Remember that the difference between needs and wants. For example, needs are things required for survival: food, shelter, clothing and some sort of transportation to a job are needs. Other items, such as a superfluous car, entertainment or junk food are wants. Needs should be taken care of before wants are addressed.
Step 2: Adjust Your Spending to Line Up with Your Priorities; Support the child to rank your list in order of importance that will affect the quality of their life and according to time frame they decide together with you, as a mentor. That’s not as easy as it sounds, since some financial goals might collide with one another (for details please see Annex 1 Map out a plan to reach your saving financial goals).
Session 2: How to foresee the expenses I will have each month?
Let’s talk about the budget: It’s time to learn about fixed and variable expenses. Have a discussion with the children that there are fixed expenses that never change or very rarely (e.g. rent, loans). There are also items that vary according to the wishes or needs, and unforeseen expenses. Create a list of the items that children in care would have to be aware of and take into account, in general, to forecast and control household expenses: water, gas, light, telephone, internet.
Guide the children to follow the following steps:
Step 1: Identify the minimum fixed expenses and variable expenses that you have each month. With the income you have to be able to cover the fixed expenses and, depending on the funds that you have left for the variable expenses, you will have to adjust more or less.
Step 2: Learn about savings: Encourage the child in care to assign a fund reserved for emergencies like an illness or unemployment. Saving 20%-50% of each monthly income in a special account for this fund will guarantee that in case of emergency the young adult will have a temporary safety net without being dependent on others or governmental allocated funds.
Step 3: How much money do you need to live a month/year?
Take the percentage that you spend, and divide it by the percentage that you save. For example, let’s say that you’re able to save 10% of your paying all your fixed and variable expenses. That would mean that you spend 90%. Of the income. 90 divided by 10 equals 9 months. So, it would take you over one and a half years to save just one month’s worth of expenses.
Kakeibo Method to save money
Every month the child in care is invited to sit down with the Kakeibo and plan out the next four week’s finances, including how much s/he would like to save, what his/her necessary monthly expenses which is divided into four categories:
- survival (food, transport, medical),
- optional (takeaway, shopping, restaurants),
- culture (books, music, movies),
- extra (gifts, repairs etc.).
After filling up the above mentioned categories, the next step is to write what you are going to do that month to reach your savings goal. Each month, your Kakeibo also asks you to answer 4 key questions:
- How much money do you have?
- How much would you like to put away?
- How much are you actually spending?
- How can you improve on that?
Following this method can support savings up to 35% per month, by making you more aware of what you’re spending your cash on.
Remember: Using kakeibo is a multi-step process. Some of the steps you do at the start of a new year, some you do at the beginning of each month, and others you do throughout the month. At the end of each month, you take some time to review your spending and goals.
Monthly Review & Analysis
At the end of each month, take a few minutes to review your spending and saving for the month. This review helps you answer the question “How can you improve?” Record how much you had to spend, how much you actually spent, and how much you saved. To find ways to improve, ask yourself some detailed questions:
Did you reach your savings goal?
What did you do to reach your goal?
Did you spend too much in some categories?
How can you improve next month?
B.Living expenses calculator is a useful tool that offers a get a clear picture of where money is spent. https://www.racq.com.au/banking/calculators/living-expenses
The phone app: MONEFY, Money Manager (available among other languages in English, French, Spanish Italian and Greek) https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.monefy.app.lite&hl=en
Session 3: Give back – understanding the value of giving back
Giving back should be a priority no matter where you are in your financial journey. This should not be limited to money. The youngsters should be encouraged and motivated to volunteer their time, too. This attitude and activity will support the realization of interconnection and will put all financial decisions into a better perspective.
Step 1: Discussion about the importance of volunteering and volunteering opportunities in the local communities.
Step 2: Link the volunteering opportunities to one of his/her passion or interest.
Step 3: Arrange for a meeting with a representative from the volunteering organisation.
Step 4: Prepare a Volunteering plan according to SMART method (See Annex 2_Volunteering Plan_SMART method).