East End Life (May 2013) - Getting finances back on track

Get finances back on track
By Staff Reporter

Women have been getting to grips with their money and learning how to avoid debt as part of a finance inclusion programme run by Toynbee Hall.  Last month, 49 women graduated from the Money Mentor programme, which aims to put financial confidence at the heart of the community when families are being put under pressure by welfare reform and the impact of the economic slowdown.

The money mentors have been attending classes over the last three months where they have learnt the skills to budget and manage money, understand financial products and use the internet to secure the best deals.  The have also achieved entry level 3 in community money mentoring, a nationally recognised qualification.  Becoming a money mentor has already made a difference to the women involved.

Dawn, a single mother of two who has found herself in debt before, explained why money management was so important for her: "With help from a support worker, I managed to get back on track with my finances and start budgeting.  The Money Mentors course has opened by eyes to financial realities.  I am now really careful before buying, I've found a lower tariff for my electricity and I turn off the electrics at home."

The money mentors now plan to share their new-found skills with their friends, family and the community.  Dawn is looking forward to volunteering at her son's school to help other parents of children with special needs to prepare for welfare reform.  The Money Mentors project was launched in 2012 and is part of the Financially Inclusive Tower Hamlets initiative, led by Toynbee Hall in Aldgate.

For more information on how Ian Mikardo supports financial inclusion please visit the Family & Welfare page.