Over 2,400 households have taken part in our financial capability workshops since Made of Money started in 2005.
People make change for themselves
Made of Money's outcome framework covers a wide range of differences people start to make in their lives themselves as a result of working with the project. These range from practical skills and knowledge to confidence, resilience and wellbeing.
"You learn how you can help yourself. They’re not there to tell you how to do it.”
Financial education workshop participant
Impact at a glance
In 2017/18 we ran 97 workshops to help 207 attendees on low incomes to manage their money.
Of past participants surveyed:
• 96% reported they're managing money better
• 91% are now better off with more money to spend on essentials
• 86% are feeling less stressed and anxious as a result
• 68% of parents feel children cope better with pressures of advertising
Long-term behavioural change around money
Made of Money’s aims and methods are designed to elicit long-term behavioural change around money.
Over time, the Made of Money way becomes second nature. “I share it with everyone without even realising it” one participant told us.
Our surveys help us understand what participants find helpful and how they use their skills, confidence and knowledge in their daily lives.
Putting Made of Money into practise
Using practical tools like the spending diary and menu planners turns into an ongoing habits for many participants.
"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."
From there people find budgeting far easier: “I now make a clear plan for my spending according to my budget”.
Parents use these tools to share their learning with their children: I now “give my children a shopping list, to stick to a budget, and talk more open about money”.
Gaining control and confidence
The small steps people can take like keeping a spending diary are combined with the opportunity to share their ideas and experiences with others.
People begin to feel less alone, less fearful and more able to think about money with confidence.
“I could not deal with my finances before, I was not confident to do this but now I can manage.”
“You realise you are not alone with finances and spending money.”
The emotional catalyst
Crucially people realise the pschological implications of money decisions.
Many tell us that "realising my emotional connection to money" is one of the most important changes they notice as a result of taking part.
Real action comes from this combination of knowledge and self-awareness: “Saving one pound a day, knowledge that money is complicated – looking for bargains and buying what I need rather than want.”
Dealing with problems
Made of Money is not a debt advice agency but many of our participants are having problems with debt when they come to the project. If you've ever had debts which you struggle to pay off you'll understand the psychological pressure this entails.
Whether in debt or not many of us have unhelpful behaviours when dealing with our money. Sometimes people are too scared or lacking in confidence to even open bills. If your income is already limited your debts can seem insurmountable and even feel inevitable. Some of them may have built up just to cover essential bills. Many of our participants tell us they've not ever shared their debt problems because of shame, or because they don't realise they can get help.
Opening up about debt
Participants tell us they feel safe to open up about their debts through Made of Money. Some do this through one-to-one sessions with staff, others feel confident enough to share their experience with the group.
Through Made of Money people learn where they can get help, how to negotiate with creditors, and how to prioritise their debts.
We help people get specialist advice from agencies such as Stepchange or Citizens Advice. Our local partners running debt advice tell us that we save them time through helping people prepare, and enabling them to be open about their difficulties.
55% of people who tell us they're in debt say they're now either seeking advice, or are planning to, as a result of working with Made of Money. A further 25% say they were already doing so during the course. Many say that the most important thing they learn from Made of Money is “the need to sort my debts out and where to go for help”. Some even go on to help others: “I’ve been able to discuss my in laws’ debt problem and trying to help by telling them who they can talk to.”
Being able to talk about money with your family as well as banks and other businesses is a key part of being financially capable.
Participants at Made of Money tell us this is often the hardest part of their learning but one of the most satisfying:“I feel more in control of my money than I did initially. Talking to my family (partner) is something that I find difficult.”
A key gain for parents is opening up conversations with their children about money:
“Made of Money has made my child more money wise.”
Made of Money participant