Budgeting needs to be sexier

Last updated 05:00 20/07/2014

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A recent article in a local newspaper talked about the need for more organisations to dedicate time and resources to teach families about money.

At first I couldn't believe what I read. The main town where that paper is based has five large budgeting services, teaching thousands of client families about money every year.

But on reflection I decided I shouldn't have been surprised - it's not uncommon for people to be totally unaware of valuable services (many of them voluntary) that are there to support people in ways we've never even considered. They are invisible, until they are needed.

That's true for many of our budgeting clients - they never knew the budgeting service was there until they needed it.

Most people think budgeting is not sexy.

We live in a consumerist culture where spending money and doing things (often expensive things) are perceived as doing well, having a good time, being interesting people.

Budgeting can be seen as the opposite of all that.

The article finished by saying we just need better self-discipline. There's no question that self-discipline makes budgeting much easier - but is it all we need? Perhaps there's also the opportunity to flip on its head the perception that people who are sensible with their money are boring, and make budgeting sexy.

Raewyn Fox is chief executive of the Federation of Family Budgeting Services

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