By Chloe Kent

CENTSIBLE Teen Talk (CTT) was founded by Rebecca Casey of Nature of Business and Jackie Newman of Fima Finance – two local mums who met through their sport playing children.

“I saw a massive niche and thought, let’s run with it,” Rebecca explains.

“It’s about being practical, knowing the things you need and not glorifying it.

“Breaking it into everyday language that is easily understood and able to be taken on board.”

Rebecca and Jackie’s main driver was to merge their passions and educate younger adults to help them grow their financial future.

“We wanted to make sure all teens had the best possible start to their financial journey to mitigate financial stress and hardship.

“We wished we had a program like this when we were becoming young adults.”

Also run in the community for ages 15 to 20, Bass Coast College year 11 and 12 VCAL students have just finished their second successful year.

“Out of 16 students, 10 have signed up for mentorship – where we will keep them accountable to their financial goals and be here to help along the way,” Rebecca added.

Budgeting is among the topics covered, where year 11 students are given the basic Victorian wage and from it have to deduct rent, electricity, phone, etc.

They soon discover not much is left.

Year 12 students are taken one step further with wages based on industry, allowing students to see the differences depending on which career they choose.

Other topics include:

• Affluenza: Making students aware of the effects the latest trends have on dopamine and thus can be financially damaging – teaching them to be aware, process, stop and think before they buy.

• Tech talk: How technology can help set and achieve financial goals.

• Financial smart goal setting.

• Credit ratings: How to check, protect and increase credit ratings, and understand when it’s affected.

• Banking: Setting up accounts, understanding the fine print, fees and charges for mortgages, credit cards, personal loans, etc.

• Insurance.

• Superannuation.

As Inner Gippsland Head Start coordinator Tanya Nelson explained: “Individuals think about money and explore how they can break into different employment areas.”

Tanya hopes the interactive finance-based training, along with other Head Start programmes, will give students the life skills they need to get ahead.

“Last year, 37 people were employed through Head Start: smashing the state’s target.

“We are working on getting the small tickets into schools – barista, food handling certificates. Ensuring students are work-ready.

“We are opening their minds. Once they get in, they’re discovering it can be fun. (There are many) different jobs in hospitality – not just washing dishes.”

With support from Bass Coast Shire Council and the state government, and Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale MP onboard, there is a push for program like Centsible Teen Talk to be available in every school.