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Financial literacy program targets most disadvantaged

Rising numbers of families living under financial stress to receive public education on money management.

Community service provider Wesley Mission has partnered with St George Bank to launch a financial literacy program to support struggling families in NSW to manage their money.

Wesley Mission’s CEO, the Rev Dr Keith Garner said its own research showed that one third of people in NSW don’t know how to manage their basic daily finances.

The education program, ‘In charge of my money,’ aims to help people make more informed decision-making about their spending and borrowing.

“Wesley Mission has always promoted the need for more financial counselling because once people’s financial situation becomes unmanageable, it can affect so many other areas of their lives – their mental health, their relationships, their families and their livelihoods,” Garner said.

“This has a flow-on effect to the wider community and places increased demands on all sorts of services.”

Garner said research showed financial stress was on the rise and there was an urgent need to boost people’s money management skills. The program, which has already been adopted by the Western Sydney Domestic Violence Support Service for roll-out to its members, will complement the organisation’s existing financial counselling services.

“This new program means that people need no longer be overwhelmed by money management,” said Garner.

The financial literacy program will be promoted through community centres and organisations, government agencies and Wesley Mission’s own community services. It is designed both for people who are experiencing financial difficulties and for those wishing to proactively manage their finances.

St.George Bank Chief Executive Rob Chapman said Wesley Mission had a strong reputation in providing financial counselling and financial literacy services in the community.

“This program, which we have developed with Wesley Mission, will provide a vital new financial education service to those Australians who need additional assistance with taking control of their finances,” he said.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission also assisted in the development of the education training which includes three modules on managing income, debt and expenses.

Topics covered by the program include:
* Identifying income and expenses.
* Differentiating between needs and wants.
* Setting up a budget.
* Understanding the costs related to credit card use and other forms of borrowing.
* How to save.

For more information visit: http://www.wesleymission.org.au/

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