Money comes and money goes, but monitoring the flows can be key to financial security and stability. A free ANZ Royal initiative teaches Cambodians the basics of financial literacy.
A common problem faced by many Cambodians, especially those already living in poverty, is continual debt, leading to short-term repayment solutions, replacing one debt with another. This is a vicious cycle that the central bank is working to change by equipping people from a young age with the financial know-how to avoid debt.
ANZ first launched MoneyMinded, financial literacy education programme for adults in 2003. ANZ has since rolled out MoneyMinded in 21 of the 34 markets it operates in, reaching 360,000 participants and making it one of the most widely used programmes of its type in the Asia Pacific region. In Cambodia, MoneyMinded was launched in October 2015, and has since been delivered to about 500 participants for free.
Understanding loan hazards is one of many aspects covered in ANZ Royal’s MoneyMinded programme. Launched in October 2015, the programme delivers financial literacy to adults and aims to build money-management skills to improve financial wellbeing for individuals and families.
As a facilitator of the programme, I’ve discovered a common pothole of oblivion, both from individuals and some family-run SMEs: “I don’t know where all my money goes.” This stems from not understanding personal spending leaks, which complicates the process of “making ends meet” and ultimately leads to failure in achieving planned goals.
In the MoneyMinded programme we encourage participants to start by visualising a clear and achievable goal with a defined finish line (anyone would become demotivated and lose commitment if they run a marathon without a finish line). Often, the lack of a measureable goal manifests into fear of failure or reduces the level of personal commitment to improving financial wellbeing.
A good way for people to begin looking at their financial stability is to ask: “Where does my money go?” Distinguish between necessary and impulse spending, and learn to control the leaks. Awareness fosters a sense of control over personal spending. Saving money then becomes a real possibility. Asking this question and actively monitoring where money goes is the first and often the most important step to realising better money management, which brings with it increased confidence and sense of control over finances, increased levels of saving, reduced debt, and a greater propensity to set goals and plan for the future.
Finally: Commit. Commit. Commit. Commit to executing.
A MoneyMinded participant once said: “I’ve been working for five years and have never learnt about financial planning tied with goal setting before today. It’s a wake-up call and I am now committed to having a car by 2020.” It may sound straightforward but a lack of commitment to managing your finances will always see you coming back to square one; it will stand in the way of you achieving your goal.
Shifting behaviour and attitudes is not something that can be forced upon someone, it is a journey of personal realisation and discovery. Only then can financial resilience be built, by moving individuals from precarious financial situations to a position of stability, and in many cases, growth.
No doubt it will be a collective effort from those in the financial industry to achieve a sustainable outcome. At ANZ, we’re making a start.
Contribution by Cheth Chankanika, Corporate Communication Manager at ANZ Royal