‘Money Mentor’ mums get Level 3 at Toynbee Hall in household budgeting

Mums learning how to manage the household budget are graduating tomorrow from a course aimed at keeping families out of debt.

The 49 women have been learning the financial ropes on a Money Mentor programme at Whitechapel’s Toynbee Hall, in London’s deprived East End.

They’ve been figuring how to cope with the cash flow and avoid the stress and anxiety money has on family life.

Half the people in the East End owe money, with many behind with payments, Toynbee researchers have found. Those in debt borrow from lenders to make ends meet, many running out of money before pay day.

“Financial exclusion makes struggling families even poorer,” explained Toynbee Hall’s Sian Williams. “But our Money Mentors have already felt their new confidence and we’ll support them to help others.”

The ‘financial confidence’ tutoring helps prepare for welfare reform and dealing with the impact of the recession.

The ‘graduate mums’ have been attending weekly or monthly classes to get their Entry Level 3 in Community Money Mentoring, a nationally-recognised qualification.

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They have learnt to budget and manage money, to understand financial products, use the internet to get best deals such as gas and electricity and how to help others.