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Stepping stones towards tackling homelessness - talking about money

Citizens Advice, together with four local offices, worked with The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), and Homeless Link (the national support agency for organisations supporting homeless people), to produce two resources. The resources are aimed at providers who support homeless adults, young people, and those on benefits or a low income, to take control of their finances.

Local Citizens Advice involved in the project were Cambridge, Liverpool Central, Westminster, and Suffolk West.

Talking about Money tool

The Talking about Money tool [ 0.66 mb] supports front-line workers in having initial conversations with their clients about money and maths confidence, and enables them to link in with follow-on support. The tool has been designed to be flexible and client-centred and can be used in a range of informal settings. It is based around the following key sections:

  • Keeping track of money.
  • Planning how to spend money.
  • Setting up a bank account.
  • Managing benefits.
  • Paying off debt/paying people owed money.
  • Calculating with money.

Maths and Managing Money publication

The Maths and Managing Money publication [ 0.55 mb] includes accounts of how people have overcome their personal barriers, to learn about money management and maths, in order to improve their lives.

Each story illustrates how using the right tools and offering the necessary support can help support workers and their clients/learners to raise the topic of money as an issue. This can then provide the stepping stones to enable adults to regain control of their lives, while simultaneously improving their self-esteem, confidence, and overall independence.

It is hoped that these stories will help to dispel some of the fear of talking about money; that they will encourage readers to reflect on their own experiences of financial capability and maths learning and help them to identify why it is important in their daily lives; and that they will inspire other adults to develop and improve their own personal finance skills. The stories also reinforce the important policy message that encouraging financial capability among adults is good for both the individual and the wider economy.