As schools and other educational facilities moved online to safely teach while social distancing, so too did MoneyMinded – a financial education program for adults seeking to build money management skills, knowledge and confidence.
Of the 58,015 participants estimated to have completed MoneyMinded in 2019 – 2020, more than 3,100 of those were part of the MoneyMinded Online program, an increase from 1,189 the previous year however digital access remains a barrier for many participants.
The 2020 MoneyMinded Impact Report released today found 81 per cent of MoneyMinded Online participants reported the program had a positive impact on their financial wellbeing. This could be financial goal-setting, starting their saving habits or review their budgets. For others it may have completely overhauled their financial lives.
Going digital has also helped our MoneyMinded facilitators deliver the program flexibly in 2020.
As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, many MoneyMinded facilitators delivered financial education online for the first time in 2020. Sharon, who is a facilitator and also works with vulnerable families in Melbourne as a case manager at MacKillop Family Services completed her training with the Brotherhood of St Laurence through digital workshops and started using similar methods with her clients throughout the year.
Sharon says the greater flexibility provided by the digital program meant she was able to run classes in the evening which allowed her participants to manage other commitments during the day.
“When we started Melbourne was in hard lockdown,” Sharon says. “Many families were caring for their kids during the day because they were home from school and they had to teach them at home learning.”
“We had a lot of fabulous families who participated and shared many of their own ideas about how they save money and what works for them. Using the tools from MoneyMinded has been an excellent way to give them lots and lots of power and control over their own lives,” she says.
Digital access and competency remain barriers to a wider roll out of online financial education
However, getting online wasn’t always easy for some of Sharon’s participants and for a number of MoneyMinded participants overall.
86 per cent of MoneyMinded facilitators believed technology was a significant barrier for their participants.
Findings showed a wide digital divide among their participant groups with many reporting a lack of internet access or access to a suitable device, not having the confidence to use digital mediums, or a combination of all of these factors.
ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott says the results of the research have brought into view the significant issues of the digital divide and their impact on financial education and inclusion.
“We are working with our community partners and facilitators to find ways to adapt our programs post COVID-19 without unintentionally excluding those who cannot easily access online modules,” he says.
“It is encouraging to see similar positive financial wellbeing outcomes of online participants as traditional face-to-face participants.”