MOST of us struggle from time to time to manage our money, so when a free and easy-to-use tool comes our way, it's well worth checking it out.
ANZ's Money Minded is a free, easy to use, online money management website.
"ANZ has invested in financial literacy for many years, working on programs in the community," Michelle Commandeur, ANZ senior manager financial inclusion said.
"The programs are designed for people to build their money skills and confidence.
"We have worked with the Smith Family and Benevolent Society NSW, and others who deliver face-to-face Money Minded workshops."
The basic face-to-face financial program has been adapted to suit online with the Money Minded website helping users to create a budget, work on reducing debt or start saving, and develop good financial skills along the way.
"It's not linked to any products or services that ANZ has," Ms Commandeur said.
"The only thing we ask people to do is register with an email address so that we can keep in touch with who is using the program."
The face-to-face program and online activities are available to anyone, not just to ANZ customers.
There are eight activities to be worked through. Each takes between eight and 15 minutes.
Users can save their progress if they want to stop at any time or come back and change some of the information they have used.
The eight activities are -
1. Know yourself - discover your attitude to money.
2. Spend wisely - identify needs, wants and spending leaks.
3. Clarify your goal - set smart goals.
4. Plan your spending - get started with budgeting.
5. Bank smart - get the right bank account.
6. Avoid dangerous debt - understand credit files and types of credit providers.
7. Watch out for credit cards - manage your credit card.
8. Plan for your future - get the most from your superannuation.
A user can choose any one or all of the activities they want to do and then complete them at their own pace.
If a person doesn't own a computer they can access the Money Minded website through one at their local library or retirement village recreation room, or attend a Money Minded workshop, or even organise one for themselves and their friends at no cost by sending an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms Commandeur said all the information entered into an activity remains confidential and contained within Money Minded.
Once a person has completed the Money Minded activities, and depending on each person's situation, the next step may be for them to talk to a financial advisor at their own bank.
For more information on Money Minded, go to www.moneyminded.com.au.
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