Understanding that no matter what your income, there are priorities you need to make if you are to avoid costly consequences. This is one of the more important lessons in the youth budgeting course taught in Dunedin by Family Works.
This principle is more important, and a lot easier to understand, than the intricacies of the Credit Contract and Consumer Finance Act, or the Consumer Guarantee and Fair Trading Acts, laughs social worker and budget advisor Jan Hughes.
Jan employs role play to get many messages across to the teenagers in the YouthGrow and South Dunedin courses. Participants take on the role of retailer or consumer, and debate the rights and responsibilities each has in various transactions.
Sessions discussing Christmas hamper traders versus grocery store Christmas Clubs, and the difference between needs and wants, also generate lively discussion.
“There are many traps to fall into if you are living on a tight budget and it's satisfying to know that we're giving these young people the tools to make wiser decisions” says Jan.
“I didn’t realise how much a credit card really costs. They’re so easy to get, but you can be paying them off for years. It’s pretty scary,” says one young participant.
Preparing young people for life as an adult is just one of the youth services we provide in Otago. None can be fully undertaken without community support. Thank you, your help is making a difference.
Image: Jan Hughes talks budgeting at YouthGrow