The Fin-Ed Centre (Financial Education and Research Centre) has developed a new series of certificate courses as a part of its continuing programme to help New Zealanders become more financially savvy.
The centre, which is a joint venture between Westpac and Massey University, is celebrating Money Week by producing a financial health checklist (see next page), and launching the ‘Fin-Ed Improving Your Personal Finances’ series of certificate courses. A second series of courses, designed for personal finance educators, is also in the pipeline.
“Our main objective with these certificate courses is to give people the tools they need for the life-long process of managing their finances,” says Fin-Ed Centre director Dr Pushpa Wood. “Personal finances do not remain static. You need to review your financial situation as your circumstances change, and according to the life stage you are at.
“If we can improve people’s financial knowledge, and give them the confidence to put that knowledge into practice, then I think we will set them up for a much more secure future.”
Dr Wood says the courses are designed for anyone in search of the skills and tools to take charge of their personal finances. The first course, ‘Understanding Your Financial World’, is now open for registration, and the following five courses that make up the series are ‘Your Pathway to Financial Success’, ‘Fundamentals of Managing Your Finances’, ‘You as a Consumer of Financial Products and Services’, ‘Your Financial Documents’, and ‘You and the Wider Economic World’.
The papers are complementary, but each can be taken on a stand-alone basis, and there are no entry requirements. The courses are taught by Massey University through distance learning, and are ideal for people who want to improve their financial literacy, but who do not want to undertake a full degree or diploma programme.
“If someone completes the whole series, they will come away with an understanding of their place in the wider economic world and have sufficient knowledge and confidence to ask the right questions about financial products,” Dr Wood says.
“They will also understand the difference between needs and wants, and good and bad debt, the power of regular saving, importance of reviewing their financial situation regularly, importance of planning for future and basic investment principles. They will also learn lots of practical skills like creating individual and household budgets and maintaining a spending diary.”