Financial abuse was part of the abuse Latoya experienced before coming to a refuge.
Not allowing access to money, apart from for authorised spending is a common part of domestic abuse, often leaving people with no real idea where money comes from, nor of how much things cost.
For Latoya, money was something that “no one had ever wanted [her] to know”.
“Because I’m on my own I maybe wouldn’t have been able to manage my money. At the refuge you can get support with housing but if you’re not paying the rent on time you can end up homeless.
I still use my spending diary. What I have learned is that when you write things down you remember it. It’s really important. I used to spend a lot of buses and then I realised I could just walk home."
"Everybody looked fabulous but I had spent less than everyone"
During the course there was a special event at her church.
“Before, I would never go into a charity shops. Oh not, not me. Then I learned how it is and I found things. Now I’ve learned the secret, it’s lovely. I bought a suit for my son.
If I had gone inside a store I would have had to pay so much. I tell you it was amazing, it was such a lovely event. Everybody looked fabulous but I had spent less than everyone."
Happy and debt free
"Made of Money was really good for me. I’m happy and I’m debt free and Made of Money was a part of that. It helps so much.
It helps you to be independent. Even though we were at the refuge we needed help to govern our money.
We needed to build that strong foundation."
"It is not spending that makes you happy. It’s making a life that makes you happy. Taking the kids out and spending time with them.”
Latoya, Made of Money participant