"Before I took the course, I would not pay so much attention to things I considered to be minor expenses. But they add up quickly. Today I am much more aware of my expenses and know how to be careful with my money."
Following two previous successful family budgeting courses, a third course has reached its successful conclusion. The family budgeting courses were held at YEDID’s Safed Center with funding from UJIA of Great Britain. Sharley Shariki, director of the YEDID Safed Center and the one who initiated the course, tells us about it:
The course, led by Kochi and Sharley from Safed, is unique in that it emphasizes the familiar aspects of budget management. Impetus for the course stemmed from the many needs of a great number of YEDID clients asking for help with problems managing the household budget. These problems are not only a result of low income, but also stem from budgeting problems, since there are so many seemingly impossible demands on the family budget.
Take, for example:
M. was one of the program participants. "My daughter thinks that we have no end of money. She wastes money and demands things that I simply can not give her. Things like other people can afford, like an Internet connection. I simply do not have the money. I always felt bad that I was not giving her the things she needed and that I was not a good mother. I think that after taking the course, I felt better. I learned how to spend less money and to try to give what I possibly can within the limits of my ability. And more importantly, I learned to dare to deal with this honorably."
Course participants learned how to keep track of their income and expenses, yet also learned how to have family members participate in family budgeting. For example, each participant set goals for herself and made a list of budgeting priorities for her family. In this way, they are able to "protect" themselves from irresponsible shopping while learning to stay within the monetary limits that they themselves set up. In addition, they were given consumer advice, including electricity and water usage and purchasing. Moreover, the course facilitators tried to initiate in the participants an internal change, which is the most important measure of the course's success. To this end, sessions dealing with education, attitude, and changing habits were held.