Money To Live

February 22, 2010

Learning to Budget

Filed under: Uncategorized — by moneytolive @ 4:04 am

A friend sent in a story that made me happy:

I thought you’d appreciate this story…  I’ve been thinking about personal finances help recently as I’m living with a person (with a disability) who is learning to live independently.  She needs “money to live”…and she definitely loves living it up but doesn’t have a lot, so she needs to budget 🙂  My house-mate receives a pension, and has a person to help her with the budgeting.  It reminds me of the world of written-down budgets, once-a-week-withdrawals, once-a-week-shopping, cash-only and forward planning.  I realised these are all things I manage with ease in my head rather than as an explicit activity, and I take it for granted that I can manage my money; but seeing them from the eyes of my house-mate, I am reminded that these are skills to be learnt and an important part of functioning independently with “money to live”.

This is so great because it sounds like the person who is learning to live independently has a great support structure. Someone is helping her with a budget *before* she has gotten into debt/trouble. She has an awesome roommate who can give good advice and also is a positive role model about money.

The more I work in the area of personal finance, the more I think that financial education is important at early stages of (financial) independence. It is easier to avoid debt in the first place than it is to dig out of a deep hole of bills. Some people learn about money management from their parents or older relatives, but many do not.

My AmeriCorps team is working on a fun project to make finances more accessible to a younger audience. I will be sure to post the result online when it is ready.

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