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Police improve their financial know-how

Posted to Financial Capability on 12-02-2016

Police personnel are being offered the chance to improve their financial know-how through the Police Moneywise Course, a collaboration between the Commission for Financial Capability and the Police and Families Credit Union.

Research has shown that financial pressures can be a high cause of stress for New Zealanders. The challenge of affording a home, while paying the bills and trying to save for the future, can bring significant pressures for people across all walks of life.

Now the Police and Families Credit Union is planning to invest $1m in police personnel (over 75% of whom are members of the Police and Families Credit Union) to help transform the way they think about and manage their money. If successful, it will look at investing even more.

The Credit Union has asked the Commission for Financial Capability to run its successful Sorted Workplace programme. The programme was developed and piloted by the Commission in 2014 and has already benefited many employees across several sectors and organisations, including the NZ Defence Force and the Warehouse.

The Police Moneywise Course is a nine-week programme (3 hours per week) with two follow up one-off refresher workshops and will initially be offered to 1,400 police on 70 courses through to June 2018.

Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell said: “These programmes can have a massive impact on people’s lives. It takes them from a position where they are stressing about money every day, to having a much better relationship with money where they own it, it doesn’t own them.

“The benefits have their own momentum, and stretch far beyond finances: car repairs done, holidays saved for, happier families and a better night’s sleep.”

The programme was designed for everyday people who want to take control of their finances and covers the basics of managing money, including goal setting; budgeting; saving; and dealing with debt, as well as investing; KiwiSaver, home loans; insurance; and wills.

The Credit Union’s focus is on helping its members take responsibility for their financial wellbeing, reducing the likelihood of financial difficulties arising and encouraging people to take action if they occur.

Credit Union CEO Helen Hatchard said: ”We are delighted to be partnering with CFFC to provide what we deem as a world class financial capability course to our members. 

“As a member-owned organisation, we are excited to be able to give back, in a very meaningful way, an opportunity to remove the shackles of financial stress and open up possibilities for our members.”

The agreement will help the Credit Union towards some of its strategic goals, which include supporting the financial wellbeing of its members, helping them to create wealth, providing financial security, safety and resilience for members, supporting families and providing education.

Many employers are realising that people who are coping financially also tend to enjoy better wellbeing, which has knock-on benefits for the workplace.

Evaluation of previous Commission workplace programmes has revealed an increase in the number of people who are confident dealing with day-to-day money matters and a transformation in those who have plans and budgets.

One of the great things about the workplace programmes is that they are held in a familiar setting, with people who know each other, which creates a safe environment for them to open up and talk about money.

Comments from previous participants included:

“The course is changing my life and I know it’s gonna change my family.”

“Every week is a learning curve. We cover new things that I have never thought about before.”

“Looking at my family, like my grandparents aren’t well off, my parents weren’t well off and just doing this course made me realise how they were living week-to-week on their pension…I doubled my KiwiSaver…I want a decent life when I retire.”

“It doesn’t matter how much you earn either. You could be on a low income or you could be raking in the bucks. I have a friend, they earn a lot of money but they overspend, they’re just struggling…I’d helped her with some of the stuff that I’ve done.”

“It took me ages with my husband and he’s finally seen the light, cause its practice, I put all this into practice and now we’re not getting bills screaming at us where the power bill is about to be cut off, everything’s sorted. Everything goes into an account and it all goes out. He’s seen the big picture.”

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