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5 Online programmes to enhance your financial literacy

Financial literacy lays the foundation for future wealth. We explore why you should boost your financial acumen, and list courses to help you achieve this.

9 May 2024 · Fiona Zerbst

5 Online programmes to enhance your financial literacy

One of the findings of the 2020 Financial Literacy Baseline Survey, conducted by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), was that many South Africans have limited skills to understand the complex financial sector.

Christiaan Scheepers, a financial management specialist and CEO of business consulting service C-Consult, and Thabo Qoako, a consumer financial education specialist at Momentum Metropolitan Holdings, provide some insights and list five financial literacy programmes for young people and adults.

Tip: Use a budget calculator to gain insight into your expenses and better manage your financial affairs.

Why focus on financial literacy?

Many South Africans struggle to manage their finances or to handle their debt.

“This cycle continues to prevent people from building wealth,” Qoako notes. “Financial literacy empowers us to overcome poverty through knowledge and changed behaviour.”

The results of the FSCA and HSRC 2020 Financial Literacy Baseline Survey showed that South Africans’ average financial literacy score for the period from 2012 to 2020 was 52 out of a possible 100.

This is despite efforts by the government, banks, and other financial institutions to encourage budgeting and saving in tax-free accounts.

Scheepers says, “Understanding how a budget works, and knowing the principles of saving for a rainy day, should be as common as knowing how to brush your teeth.”

How to choose a financial literacy course

A financial literacy course can provide foundational knowledge, help you to develop practical skills, and promote responsible financial behaviour, Scheepers advises. It’s best to target South Africa-specific course content, he adds.

“Although the basic principles are the same in other countries, certain financial scenarios are unique to South Africans,” he points out.

“If a course is offered or supported by a well-known South African bank or financial institution, you’ll be on the right track,” Scheepers advises.

If you require only a basic understanding of financial principles, a free course should do the job, but a paid course could be valuable for more in-depth knowledge.

Scheepers and Qoako recommend five solid online programme options.

1. Capitec’s Live Better Academy courses

  • Cost: Free
  • Target age: Young people and adults of all ages
  • Aim: To enhance your basic financial literacy.
  • What does it cover? The various short courses teach people how to invest, reach certain financial goals, and eventually be financially free. Participants can complete them at their own pace.
  • Visit Live Better Academy.

2. FunDza Literacy Trust: Making It with the Majolas

  • Cost: Free
  • Target age: Teenagers and young adults aged 14 to 25
  • Aim: To assist you with practically applying financial concepts in your life. 
  • What does it cover? FunDza has developed stories about the fictional Majola family to help readers gain insight into financial literacy concepts. The collaboration with the Momentum Metropolitan Foundation focuses on basic financial literacy, as well as entrepreneurship. The programme uses real-life scenarios, peer experiences, and non-fictional blogs written by financial experts to enhance functional literacy.
  • Visit Making It with the Majolas.

3. Money Savvy programmes

  • Cost: Free courses, as well as paid programmes ranging from R750 to R12,000.
  • Target age: Children, teens, adults, organisations, and customised groups (such as people with hearing or physical disabilities).
  • Aim: To help you build your wealth, and keep it. 
  • What does it cover? The workshops cover a wide range of topics, for example, how to make and manage money, basic saving and investment principles, money and mindset management, parent and child workshops, financial accountability, and more.
  • Visit Money Savvy

4. FSCA MyMoney Learning Series

  • Cost: Free
  • Target age: Youth and adults 
  • Aim: To provide basic consumer financial education in a picture-based, peer-to-peer format. 
  • What does it cover? This online series presented by the FSCA is built on six key themes – financially smartfinancial safeguardfinancial protectionfinancial knowledgebusiness finance, and life experiences. It is further broken down into various sub-topics.
  • Visit MyMoney.

5. MoneyTime

  • Cost: R1,000 a year
  • Target age: Children aged between 10 and 14 years.
  • Aim: The courses can be used for school programmes, homeschooling, and home use, to help children get financially savvy from an early age.
  • What does it cover? This financial literacy programme uses interactive learning, quizes, and more, focusing on everything from earning to investing.
  • Visit MoneyTime.

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