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Learning who's boss with finances

18 August 2014

Demand is growing for a new program showing people how to take control of their finances.

As many people face increasing pressure to make ends meet, The Salvation Army’s ‘You’re The Boss’ group financial literacy program is seeing record enrollments.

Salvation Army Moneycare counsellor Kristen Hartnett says the program is meeting a very real need in the Australian community.

“We know that cost of living is the number one source of anxiety for Australians, and there is an ever-growing demand on welfare services,” she says.

“Financial markets are becoming increasingly complex. Added to this are issues such as how much super people need, the extension of pension age, and the fact that our young people are commercially active at a very young age.

“There are also many more options on where and how we can spend our money.”

“The goal is to help people stay on top of their money issues so that they can live happier and more fulfilled lives with confidence, knowing they are doing all they can with the resources they have.”

Developed by The Salvation Army’s Moneycare, ‘You’re the Boss’ workshops run in schools, TAFEs, community groups, prisons, aged care facilities and businesses. They are also available in many Salvation Army centres, including recovery services centres, emergency accommodation shelters and Moneycare centres.

Ms Hartnett says the program’s approach to financial literacy is more than just budgeting and facts.

“Through ‘You’re the Boss’, we also look at areas such as a family history of spending, budgeting habits, the motivation to spend and how to delay gratification, ” Ms Hartnett says.

“We also explore the psychology behind scams and encourage discussions about adult children living at home, and their contribution to household living expenses.”

Developed in a 2010 partnership with Virgin Money and recently updated in partnership with IAG (NRMA insurance), Kristen says the funding and the professional input from the corporations has helped make ‘You’re the Boss’ a particularly effective financial literacy course.

Run over two to four hours, topics include: creating new money habits; why a budget needn’t be scary; how to pay the bills on time; insurance that’s right for you; making credit work for you; don’t get down over debt; everyday banking; managing everyday expenses; taking care of Christmas; and shopping smart.

The feedback to date has been extremely positive Kristen reports, with participants finding the course informative, fun and non-judgemental.

The course can be run by Salvation Army facilitators, as resources permit, or the workbook can be to be downloaded free of charge for individual use.

Watch the full You're The Boss video

For more information, contact: Kristen Hartnett on (02) 4013 2901, or Shirley Schurmann on (07) 3252 8301 

By Naomi Singlehurst

Photo courtesy of Kristen Hartnett

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