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Be the boss of your finances

11 October 2019

Do you feel financially secure? If you don’t, you’re not alone –over two-thirds of Australians are in the same boat. Yet too many people leave it until they are at crisis point before they do anything about it.

Many people think that financial literacy and counselling programs are only needed by those who find themselves in a debt crisis. But the services offered by The Salvation Army’s Moneycare are helpful for all because everyone has to deal with money on a daily basis.

Moneycare has been part of Australia’s financial counselling landscape for more than 30 years and its flagship program, You’re the Boss, has been running for 10 years. This financial capability resource was born out of the Army’s desire to create a learning space that was vastly different to the heavy, school-room learning, which often focused more on the theoretical side of dealing with money.

“We discovered that this kind of learning is having little to no impact on people’s dealings with their finances,” says Tony Devlin, the National Manager of Moneycare. “So, we began to develop a simpler, practical program, which hones in on the key areas people need to know. It has been having a real impact on people’s lives.”

A client who accessed Moneycare’s services described the experience as the best thing she could have done. “I was worried about how to manage the debt after I went to a debt collector, as they were calling all the time,” she says. “Now I have a system in place on how to deal with it. The best thing I ever did was talk to someone at Moneycare.”

Kristen Hartnett is a Regional Manager for Moneycare and the creator of You’re The Boss. “The Salvation Army is in the unique position of seeing where things often go wrong with money and so we are able to see what good preventative measure should be put into place to help people, and this is where You’re The Boss comes in,” says Kristen. “Each day our Moneycare team see hardship and injustice and each day they are living, loving and fighting alongside others transforming Australia one life at a time.

“Whether you are 18 or 80, money is something we are all managing. Financial literacy and understanding money is relevant for all people and it is our desire to work collaboratively with all faith and social services across The Salvation Army to help people in this area.”

The You’re the Boss program is delivered by over 130 trained facilitators across the country and Kristen and her team ensure the program is constantly evolving to fit the landscape. The program has a holistic approach towards managing money, moving beyond talking only about technical things like budgets, to using behavioural science and helping people to understand their often unspoken relationship with money and how to be a good steward of it, in line with their value systems.

Kristen says the program is for everyone. “It is for people in the corporate sector, we do workshops in workplaces, we can go to a women’s Bible study group, or we can even visit schools and retirement homes.”

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