Debt is not just a problem of the socially vulnerable, many people can experience trouble paying their day-to-day bills and if they are suddenly hit by an unexpected bill the entire budget will collapse. This is problematic as it will turnover their entire day-to-day life and they may be forced to take a loan in order to finance the extra bill. Debt is a huge problem across Europe both at an individual, regional, and national level. At an individual level debt is known to cause stress and all the secondary complication which follow hereof, such as cardiovascular deceases and depression. At a national level this is problematic as well, as people who suffer from these ailments have difficulties functioning in society, they may loose their job and end on social security, they are more prone to use health care due to the deceases, and thus they become an extra burden on society, even if they do not wish to be so.
Education is one of the best ways to help these people out of debt, or to prevent them from entering into debt in the first place. Many of our member organisation work with education, both on creating new tools to educate, but also on what is important for people to know about if they want to keep their budget.
CRESUS in France
Generally speaking, the French and Europeans citizens have difficulties understanding various budgetary and financial concepts that could enable them to better control their purchasing power. Field experience shows that lectures, in a logic of unilateral transmission from teacher to student, rarely succeeds in generating a dialogue. Presentations that are deemed as more or less dynamic are not conducive to sharing experiences or changing sustainable behaviors. Budgetary and financial education programs are very rarely provided within the education system. At the end of their studies, young people start their working lives with very little practical knowledge enabling them to acquire their independence and avoid the risks of impoverishment.
Dilemme® is a budget and financial education programme available throughout France, created by CRESUS, based on several fun tools, including:
- Boardgame Dilemme ® Education : A playful educational tool that offers the possibility to approach different themes (banking, savings, insurance, etc.) with any type of audience and to build tailor-made sessions. The game allows you to learn about budget and finance in a fun way.
- Boardgame Dilemme ® Entrepreneurs : When entrepreneurship becomes a serious game! Dilemme has developed a version of the board game especially for entrepreneurs. The objective is to allow players to understand several aspects of the different stages of entrepreneurship, from the start-up to the daily life of an entrepreneur.
Social Legal Aid in Denmark
The Social Legal Aid in Denmark has been fighting for years to get private economy on the primary school curriculum, and as of December 2019, this task seems to have been successful, as the Danish government as part of a larger reform on short-term loans and private economy has decided that teaching in private economy should indeed be a part of the curriculum for the older classes in the primary school, to ensure that all Danes have basic knowledge on how to manage a household and interact with the relevant public officials.
The Social Legal Aid has also been working on courses for young people and adults who are in financial difficulties, in debt or over-indebted. The purpose of these courses are to teach the attendees how to deal with major changes in their financial situation, give them tools for how to run their household, and how to handle their debt, creditors, the bailiff’s court etc.
SKEF in Poland
MABS in Ireland
The Money Advice & Budgeting Service (MABS) is a free, confidential, independent, non-judgemental and non-profit making service for people in debt or at risk of getting into debt. MABS also carries a Money Management Education brief which at its core, has the main purpose of educating in order to prevent over indebtedness. One of the core objectives of MABS is to facilitate the target group to develop the knowledge and skills required to avoid getting into debt or to deal effectively with debt situations when they arise. We achieve this by delivering Money Management Education programmes to a variety of groups including:
- Pre-release prisoners
- Members of the travelling community
- Migrants and refugees
- Local authority housing tenants
In addition, MABS has engaged on a national level with Global Money Week, an annual financial awareness campaign organised by the OECD designed to inspire children and young people to learn about money management, livelihoods and entrepreneurship.
In collaboration with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), MABS has delivered bespoke Money Management Education in the workplace. Annually, we deliver targeted Money Management Education programmes with specifically identified groups such as school going teenagers, school leavers, single parents and adult groups.
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