Financial literacy is fundamental to strengthening financial inclusion and helping people make good decisions with their money. This goes a long way to improving communities and their economic sustainability.
The financial industry plays a key role in spreading financial knowledge, predominantly aimed at Cambodians who lack access to correct information or are vulnerable to informal and less reputable lenders.
A common problem faced by Cambodians, especially those already living in poverty, is ongoing debt, leading to short-term repayment solutions that often merely replace one debt with another. This is a vicious circle that the National Bank of Cambodia is working to change by equipping people from a young age with the financial know-how to avoid debt.
Understanding loan hazards is one of many aspects covered in ANZ Royal’s MoneyMinded program.
Launched in October 2015, the program delivers financial literacy to adults and aims to build money management skills to improve individual and family financial wellbeing.
One of the program facilitators shared a common complaint among attendees, “I don’t know where all my money goes.” This also applies to some family-run small- and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs). The complaint stems from a poor understanding of personal spending habits, which can result in a leaky budget, complicate the process of “making ends meet”, and ultimately lead to a failure to achieve goals.
In its MoneyMinded program, ANZ encourages participants to visualize a clear and achievable goal with a defined finish line (anyone would be demotivated if they ran a marathon without a finish line). Often, the lack of a measureable goal manifests itself as fear of failure or reduces a person’s commitment to improving their financial well-being.
A good way for people to look at their financial stability is to ask “where does my money go?” Distinguish between necessities and impulse spending to learn to control the leaks. Awareness fosters a sense of control over personal spending. Saving up also becomes a probability and no longer a possibility. This is often the first and important step of realisation that encourages better money management behaviour, increased confidence, and a sense of financial control. It leads to increased levels of saving, reduced debt, and a greater propensity to set goals and plan for the future.
Finally - Commit. Commit. Commit to following through.
It may sound straightforward but a lack of commitment will take you straigtht back to square one and prevent you from achieving your goal.
Shifting your behaviour and attitudes is about action, not talk. It’s 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 then growth.
No doubt it will be a collective effort from those in the financial industry to achieve a sustainable outcome, and at ANZ, we’re making a good start reaching over 800 participants since the launch in October 2015.
About Money Minded
ANZ first launched the MoneyMinded financial literacy education program for adults in 2003. Since then, ANZ has rolled out MoneyMinded in 21 out of the 34 markets in which it operates, reaching 360,000 participants. This makes it one of the most widely used programs of its type in the Asia-Pacific region.
MoneyMinded was first launched in October 2015 in Cambodia, and has since been delivered free to over 800 participants.