The opportunity of managing one’s own money has a strong symbolic meaning, but also entails many concrete consequences when becoming independent. How well the young person will succeed in that task, depends not only on the young person her/him/themself, or on how she/he/they are doing now. How their immediate family has handled the household may also influence the way in which the young person lives on their own. Other possible impactful factors from previous life episodes include, for example, whether or not a young person has existing debt. There is a lot of good practical material regarding the development of financial skills needed to manage one’s personal household. In addition to the materials offered here, one must also remember that, for some young people, money and finances doesn’t necessarily mean how to cope on insufficient means, but rather how much to save or invest to reach a stage of prosperity, sometimes even quite quickly. 

How can I manage so that the money will last? Where does the money go?

Piggy bank on calculator

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Sources of knowledge

Through discussions, a youth worker can help young people to get through desperate times, for example by giving advice on where the nearest food bank or soup kitchen is located. Another practical tip is about the last-hour food reductions in the stores. Many may also take this last option into consideration for environmental reasons. On the other hand, as project manager Eeva Piha of the Financial Skills -project of Deaconess Foundation has reminded, those living in poverty are also allowed to have a quality of life, which might mean, for example, getting a facial treatment, if there is a need to do that (Piha 2021).

NAL – The Youth Housing Association offers a lot of information on how a young person can manage their finances. The pages include information about housing and living, about entering working life but also information concerning the subsidies offered by Kela (Kansaneläkelaitos, The Finnish Social Insurance Institution), as well as different kinds of budget calculators. 

References for this part:
Piha, Eeva (2021) Saako köyhällä olla elämänlaatua? [Is it allowed to have quality of life when in poverty?] Diakonissalaitos. [Deaconess Foundation] The text is available in Finnish.

Pieces of methods

Rahakramppi_money_trouble is a game that includes an action-based aspect of youth information and counselling launched by city of Lahti Youth Services. The game’s premise is based on how money is used independently by young people. It is tailored to be used by groups, for example school classes. A single game lasts about 90 minutes. The link takes you to a folder that includes instructions and all the material needed for playing. What makes this method an especially rare phenomenon is that young people participated in the designing of this game.