It is widely acknowledged that social exclusion causes long lasting harmful effect to the quality of life and future opportunities. According to Eurostat statistics, around three out of ten young people in Europe are experiencing social exclusion. This problem is also relevant in the Baltic countries. Many young people live in families facing the risk of poverty. One of the reasons for social exclusion is inability to manage personal finances. Personal finance management skills are necessary for everyone – regardless of the age, occupation or social status; everyone purchases everyday essentials – necessity goods.
Social workers working with young people experiencing social exclusion not always can help, because often they do not have enough knowledge how to properly consult young people on personal finance issues.
Klaipėda State University of Applied Sciences, together with partners: Latvian Education Innovation Transfer Center (NGO) and Tallinn University of Technology, Kuressaare College, implemented Nordplus Horizontal project (Nr: NPHZ-2015/10009) ‘Learning Strategies for Learners with Poor Basic Skills in a Planning of Personal Finances’. Main aim of the project is to improve social workers’ (working with socially excluded youth) competencies in advising young people on personal finance management issues.
During the first year, a survey tool - a questionnaire was developed to identify the needs of personal finance management of youth belonging to social exclusion groups and social workers working with such young people. The study revealed that the most relevant issues associated with difficulties in managing personal finance are the lack of social skills, planning skills, and addictions. The most needed information for social workers was about personal budgeting, developing money saving skills, and matching revenue with expenditure. The results of the research were used to develop a training methodology and a methodological tool to improve the knowledge, skills and competences of social workers when advising young people about issues related to personal finance management.
Klaipeda State University of Applied Sciences, Finance and Accounting department lecturers have trained social workers and youth from Klaipėda region having difficulties with personal finance management.
The learners gained understanding of types of income and expenditure, personal budget planning. Allocating expenses to meet their needs and expectations, sorting out rational and not so borrowing needs, prioritizing expenses and proposing suggestions on how to save when shopping, participants had the opportunity to practice their savings, planning and borrowing costs planning skills.
During the project, teaching tool – handbook for social workers was prepared in English and in national languages - Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian.
Here you can find the project report: https://www.kvk.lt/file/manual/Projektai/Personal%20Finance%20Management%20Handbook.pdf
The project was implemented by the Klaipėda State College, the Tallinn University of Technology, Kuressaare College and the Education Innovations Transfer Center from Latvia.