January is often a time that people hit the gym to focus on physical fitness, but this week residents joined our Talk Money workshop to focus on financial fitness instead.
At one of our busiest courses ever, almost 20 residents began the New Year by exploring a fresh attitude towards tackling debt, budgeting and saving. We started with an icebreaker looking at words and feelings surrounding money and what residents wanted to get from the workshop. The main topics raised by residents were learning more about prioritising debts, how to budget better and being keen to start saving.
A series of talks followed from our income team, beginning with an explanation of different types of debts and how to prioritise them. This was then followed by a session on budgeting and ideas on increasing income. We were also joined by Ravi from Lewisham Plus Credit Union and Katherine from South East London Energy Community (SELCE), and specialist debt advisors provided by the Money Advice and Pension Service were on hand to carry out a series of one-to-one appointments.
There was then time for the ‘Savvy Shopper’ competition, where participants had to guess the price of a basket of shopping. The winner, Ahmed, was able to guess the price of the basket within a few pence – despite saying he never usually does any shopping!
The course ended with a presentation on ‘steps to financial freedom’ and an open discussion looking at participants’ concerns and fears about topics such as universal credit and monthly budgeting. The first question asked at the end was “When is the next course?”