Realising that Money Week – the annual series of events and activities across the country – is on next week, for some reason I thought of this saying:
“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”
Consider the overwhelming challenges we face today: climate change, refugee populations, child poverty. It’s fair to say that there will never be a single corporation, government, NGO or community group that will resolve these entirely on their own.
The same can be said for issues that aren’t quite so much in the spotlight, like lifting people’s money skills. Just one organisation isn’t going to manage to shift people’s habits and help them get ahead.
It’s going to take a shared approach by many organisations working together, and there has been some great work done on a collaborative model called “collective impact” that we can now take advantage of.
Happily we already have the National Strategy for Financial Capability in place as a framework for many organisations to work together: schools, communities, profit and non-profit companies, government agencies. And next week, Money Week, is a clear opportunity for all of them to work together to raise awareness and get us all talking and learning.
When it comes to making financial decisions, the fact is that most of us can manage some things, but we find it more difficult when it comes to comparing complex products or planning ahead.
Money Week is designed to help us talk about money, which is often not part of our culture. So many of our decisions remain behind the scenes. Or we share the wrong sort of things, like one-upping each other about the amount of debt we can shoulder instead of sharing tips on how to get it under control and make it work for us.
In reality, we could probably all use a “money month” each year – or perhaps a “money week” once every three months. That way we could check in on the finances every quarter. For now, though, let’s start with next week.
And since we’re in this together, out of all the people you’re close to and care about, who could benefit the most and lift their skills?
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