Financial literacy sessions equip students for success
Youth2Independence students living at Trinity Hill in North Hobart are learning the art of money management from Anglicare’s team of financial counsellors.
Anglicare’s Senior Youth Development Coach at Trinity Hill Rebekka Gale (pictured above with financial counsellor Ron Grassl) says the students are on low incomes and may not have been exposed to this important life skill before.
“Each student lives in their own self-contained unit and they pay a percentage of their Centrelink or employment income on rent,” she explains. “This includes electricity and internet but they still need to budget for food, clothing, transport, mobile phone expenses, going out and the things they need for their study. And like any young (and not-so-young) people, they don’t always understand the dangers of using credit through Buy Now Pay Later schemes like AfterPay.”
Financial counsellor Ron Grassl held a series of one-on-one sessions with the students and offered to set up a budget with them. Some them put their hands up for ongoing case management, for support typically with debts to telco providers.
“There was one young person who hadn’t been paying his monthly gym membership and the debt had been handed over to a collection service,” Ron said. “We assisted him to negotiate an affordable payment plan. Now he’s paying off the debt with nil interest or fees. He also has a better understanding of how important it is to include everything in your budget, including gym fees.”
Rebekka reports that one student had found it very challenging to try and negotiate a more affordable payment plan with a creditor: “He’d been feeling overwhelmed and out of his depth. The financial counsellor supported him to set up a payment plan that he could afford. He stuck with it and has now paid off the entire debt, which is a great result,” she said.
Here are Ron’s top tips for any young people who live on a limited income:
- Stay well away from credit cards, Buy Now Pay Later products and pay advance apps, with their high and hidden fees
- Instead, reach out to NILS, the No-Interest Loans Scheme for items related to your education, such as a laptop – or to pay for things like car repairs, a sofa or a new fridge. You can also use a NILS loan to cover medical and dental expenses
- Be aware of how little things, such as your morning caffeine fix and subscriptions to gaming and streaming services, can quickly add up
- Shop around for your service providers. Look for a bank that offers no fee/low fee accounts and a ‘no-frills’ phone/internet company
- Make sure you include everything in your budget, including a provision for special splurge items or experiences
- If you find yourself in debt, seek assistance straight away via the National Debt Helpline by ringing 1800 007 007 from 9.00a.m. – 5.00 p.m., Monday to Friday
- This will get you through to an Anglicare financial counsellor. Our advice is friendly, confidential and FREE. We can help you to negotiate an affordable payment plan. In some cases, we can arrange for some of the debt to be waived.
Do you belong to an organisation or community group interested in a training session in financial literacy?
What is Youth2Independence?
Youth2Independence is the model used by the Tasmanian government at three accommodation facilities (Trinity Hill in North Hobart, Eveline House in Devonport and Thyne House in Launceston). All managed by Anglicare, they provide stable, affordable accommodation and holistic support to 16-24-year-olds at risk of homelessness.
Anglicare Tasmania has been awarded the tender to manage a new facility in Campbell Street, Hobart, adjacent to the existing TAFE campus.