Evaluating the Wesley Mission 'In charge of my money' financial literacy program for vulnerable populations

Zanoni, L, Warburton, W, Russell, R, Warburton, M and Flynn, L 2016, Evaluating the Wesley Mission 'In charge of my money' financial literacy program for vulnerable populations, Wesley Mission, Sydney, Australia


Document type: Commissioned Reports
Collection: Commissioned Reports

Title of report Evaluating the Wesley Mission 'In charge of my money' financial literacy program for vulnerable populations
Author(s) Zanoni, L
Warburton, W
Russell, R
Warburton, M
Flynn, L
Year of publication 2016
Publisher Wesley Mission
Place of publication Sydney, Australia
Subjects Finance
Abstract/Summary In response to Wesley Mission's 2010 third financial stress report (Wesley Mission, 2010), Wesley Mission developed and launched its financial literacy Program In Charge of My Money, targeted at vulnerable populations, in 2011. This report details the first evaluation of the In Charge of My Money program, which was conducted by Macquarie University and funded by Financial Literacy Australia. In addition to examining the effectiveness of the program, this research also explored the usefulness of text message reminders ('nudges') after the program. The four main goals of the project were to: - Ensure the program content is relevant and evidence-based; - Identify whether the program facilitates sustained improvement in financial behaviours; - Estimate changes to participant financial knowledge and understanding at the end of the program, and estimate their retention after several months; - Ascertain how incorporating a practical strategy, such as text message reminders, increases the chance of sustained change. This program evaluation employed a mixed method approach, collecting both quantitative and qualitative data. Participants were surveyed twice - Time 1 was immediately after the program and Time 2 was approximately five to seven months later. The Time 1 sample included 113 participants and the Time 2 sample included 54 participants. Study participants were drawn from 11 different not-for-profit services in Sydney and surrounding regions addressing drug, alcohol and gambling addictions, homelessness, or family dysfunction. These participants, on average, had very low incomes, with government support being the main source of income for 85%. Text messages affirming positive money behaviours were sent every 3-4 weeks to half the participants to test if reminders (a 'nudge' intervention) had an impact on the financial behaviours of participants.
Commissioning body Wesley Mission
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