CHRISTIANS Against Poverty (CAP) is encouraging churches to undertake its new money-coaching training, due to be launched yesterday in Talk Money Week.
The initiative comes after CAP’s latest YouGov survey, which suggests that two in five people do not know how to budget, and that as many as 3.7 million may lack the confidence.
More than one third of UK adults in the survey believed that nothing that they did could make much difference to their financial situation. More than half (54 per cent) had faced barriers that made it challenging for them to budget effectively.
CAP reports that it is supporting increasing numbers of people who have had to borrow money just to pay for essentials such as food, bills, and energy. The survey of more than 2000 UK adults showed that more than one quarter were finding keeping up with bills and credit commitments a heavy burden. Nine per cent had debts that they did not know how to repay.
Millions are facing financial difficulty, the charity warns, and case studies show how a single factor, such as change of employment from full-time to part-time, can almost immediately lead to an inability to pay the bills. CAP’s money-coaching expert, Peter Snell, says: “Millions of people across the UK currently feel overwhelmed when it comes to trying to manage their finances though this constant barrage of rising costs.
“It’s totally understandable that many feel downhearted about their finances right now, but there are simple actions that people can explore which could result in really improving their situation.”
Mr Snell commended the money-coaching scheme as “user-friendly and easy to deliver. We already have hundreds of churches running money coaching, but would encourage any church to contact us for more information on how to run money coaching in their local church. It’s really easy to set up and run, and it will make a massive difference to the lives of those living in their communities.”
More than 900 money coaches have already undergone CAP’s training, which covers topics such as how to build and balance a household budget, how to use credit wisely and navigate unmanageable debt, and how to find realistic ways to cut costs.
The coaching is designed to run alongside any ministries and services that a church already offers, such as foodbanks. In 2022, 645 churches started money coaching or ran a course. Among the clients surveyed who are receiving the charity’s free, FCA-accredited debt advice, 81 per cent said that debt had affected their mental health, and half had considered taking their own life, or had attempted it, as a way out of debt, before seeking help.