Money Smart is designed to help each client improve basic household budgeting and debt management skills. All clients undertake a ﬁnancial capability assessment as part of their support and from this data we seek to understand the critical ﬁnancial pressure points and identify where additional help and support would be beneﬁcial.
By working closely with our strategic partners. the Money Smart programme upgrades our money guidance capability to professional standards. prioritizing ﬁnancial literacy, debt management & resolution, as well as enabling us to explain citizen's rights and welfare entitlements in more depth.
In terms of money and debt management, our main focus is upon helping clients to make the ﬁnancial transition out of debt (where debts exist) and from reliance upon welfare beneﬁts into employment, quite possibly into low paid or part-time work initially subsidized by welfare beneﬁts, and from there into sustainable employment that provides ﬁnancial independence.
This journey will involve enabling clients to objectively estimate the ﬁnancial impact that taking a job will have on their overall ﬁnancial position. This can be exceptionally complex and we believe the vast majority of people who ﬁnd themselves in this position would beneﬁt signiﬁcantly from having support through this transition.
In regard to complementing the programme, Money Smart aims to ensure that clients have in place the standard provisions that employers expect of new recruits e.g. a bank current account or similar into which to pay their salary. We are seeking to identify and introduce helpful ‘tools' such as “jam-jar type bank account that has essential spending ring fenced (rent, energy, etc.) to meet monthly bill payments and assist with good money management. And for clients who are ineligible to open bank accounts we propose offering hands on training in using alternative options, such as Pay Point terminals to manage bill payments and cash receipts and cash accounts.