Money management

To help people change their lives through improved income-generation, it may be essential to develop their money management skills. They will need to develop an understanding of profit as a goal; learn ways to calculate profit and minimise costs; learn ways to improve marketing decisions and manage the availability of cash to conduct transactions. Improving these skills will enable people to decide whether to use credit or not, to evaluate their risks and to negotiate with financial service providers.

Library Resources

resource title type year resource
Cash Management: A Toolkit for Microfinance Institutions Toolkit 2013 English (en)

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This Cash Management Toolkit is part of a suite of practitioner guides and tools developed by Women’s World Banking for use by microfinance institutions (MFIs). It integrates closely with the Tool for Developing a Financial Risk Management Policy (WWB, 2005) and expands on the fundamental guidance regarding liquidity risk management provided there. Cash Management includes all activities related to the efficient planning, procurement, investment and control of cash in a financial institution.

This toolkit is about managing cash: be it in the form of physical bills in the safe or in the care of field staff, in the form of balances held at other banks, or as liquid investments that can quickly be converted back to cash.

The target audience for this toolkit are those responsible for branch operations, treasury, risk management, accounting, finance or internal control functions. The toolkit should also be helpful to senior managers and executive directors who want a more detailed explanation of cash management best practice. The toolkit is accompanied by a complete set of Excel models that are extensively cross-referenced in the text. 

This publication is available in English and Spanish.

Cash Management: A Toolkit for Microfinance Institutions  -  English (en)

Explaining the Finance of Machinery Ownership Paper 2009

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This booklet is part of a series that is designed to be used by farmer discussion groups, farmer field schools and extension or advisory officers involved in agricultural or rural development.

The ability to adopt or introduce changes to agricultural production methods and non-farm enterprises depends on the availability of money. It is, therefore, very important for farmers to be able to think carefully about their financial circumstances. Predicting costs, prices, profit margins and cash flow patterns is vital for planning and decision-making and the poorer the farmer, the more important it is.

These concepts need to be explained in a way which small scale, possibly illiterate, farmers can understand. The "Talking About Money" booklets aim to introduce financial topics to farmers using a variety of tools, some of which can be used even when people are not able to read or write. The concepts are intended to provoke discussion and be used in a participatory manner.

Field officers involved in giving agricultural advice in developing countries are most commonly technical experts of some kind, e.g. agronomists, livestock, irrigation or engineering specialists. They usually do not have much experience in giving advice about money and this topic is generally avoided, apart perhaps from some simplified profit calculations. It is hoped this series will help them "talk about money" more readily and enable them to give good advice to farmers about the use of financial services such as credit.

Author Jennifer Heney
Number of Pages 21 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Farming, Machinery Replacement
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Explaining Profitability and Borrowing Document 2009

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This booklet is part of a series that is designed to be used by farmer discussion groups, farmer field schools and extension or advisory officers involved in agricultural or rural development.

The ability to adopt or introduce changes to agricultural production methods and non-farm enterprises depends on the availability of money. It is, therefore, very important for farmers to be able to think carefully about their financial circumstances. Predicting costs, prices, profit margins and cash flow patterns is vital for planning and decision-making and the poorer the farmer, the more important it is.

These concepts need to be explained in a way which small scale, possibly illiterate, farmers can understand. The "Talking About Money" booklets aim to introduce financial topics to farmers using a variety of tools, some of which can be used even when people are not able to read or write. The concepts are intended to provoke discussion and be used in a participatory manner.

Field officers involved in giving agricultural advice in developing countries are most commonly technical experts of some kind, e.g. agronomists, livestock, irrigation or engineering specialists. They usually do not have much experience in giving advice about money and this topic is generally avoided, apart perhaps from some simplified profit calculations. It is hoped this series will help them "talk about money" more readily and enable them to give good advice to farmers about the use of financial services such as credit.

Financial Education for the Poor Paper 2006 English (en)

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The Financial Education for the Poor curriculum was published in English in March 2006 and in Spanish in April 2006. It is the result of three years of collaborative market research and testing with microfinance institutions in six countries to develop an effective toolkit which will help the world’s poor increase, protect, and improve the management of their assets. The core curriculum consists of five modules:

  1. Budgeting: Use Money Wisely
  2. Debt Management: Handle With Care
  3. Savings: You Can Do It!
  4. Bank Services: Know Your Options
  5. Financial Negotiations: Communicate With Confidence

Each of the modules includes a:

  • Content note that provides a basic overview of the topic
  • Trainer’s guide with step-by-step instructions for conducting each learning session in the module
  • Training-of-trainers manual to prepare financial education trainers

The material is targeted at those with limited education and experience and trainers, therefore, do not have to be experts themselves. The trainer's guide provides all the information needed to conduct a learning session with objectives, explanations, discussion points, problems, answers, summaries and handouts. Generally sessions are planned to last between 30 and 60 minutes and trainers can decide whether to use all the sessions or only those that seem most relevant to their target audience.

There is also an Implementation Guidance manual to accompany the modules which explains the financial education process and provides technical information on market research, training of adults, and measuring outcomes. Managers and trainers can use the various components of this guidance to adapt the materials to their target population.

To disseminate financial education throughout the world, the Financial Education Project is implementing a series of workshops around the world designed to train staff in organisations that can, in turn, train others in their home countries.

The price quoted below is for the full set of 13 manuals excluding shipping costs.

Financial Education for the Poor  -  English (en)

Author Cohen, M.; Sebstad, J.; Stack, K.
Publisher Microfinance Opportunities; Freedom from Hunger
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Financial Planning, Financial Education
Related Resources
Explaining Cash Flow and Savings Document 2005

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This is the first booklet in a series called "Talking about Money". It is designed for use by study circles, discussion groups or farmer field schools and can also be used by extension workers in their regular advisory work with groups or individuals.

The ability to adopt or introduce changes to agricultural production methods and non-farm enterprises depends on the availability of money. It is, therefore, very important for farmers to be able to think carefully about their financial circumstances. Predicting costs, prices, profit margins and cash flow patterns is vital for planning and decision-making and the poorer the farmer, the more important it is.

These concepts need to be explained in a way which small scale, possibly illiterate, farmers can understand. The "Talking About Money" booklets aim to introduce financial topics to farmers using a variety of tools, some of which can be used even when people are not able to read or write. The concepts are intended to provoke discussion and be used in a participatory manner.

The emphasis in this first booklet is on savings and how essential it is for everyone to be able to set aside money for future use. Cash flow patterns produced with or without numbers are introduced as a vital tool for someone to take stock of their current situation and determine when and how much they could expect to save over the course of a typical year. The final section looks briefly at alternative methods of saving and the role of financial service providers.

Copies of all the forms used in the booklet are made available here as downloadable word documents or excel spreadsheets. These can then be printed out in whatever numbers are required.

Author Heney, J.
Publisher Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Number of Pages 22 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Cash Flow, Savings, Working Capital
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Manage Your Business Money – Facilitator Manual Document 2004

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The success of a business and the ability to earn more depends very much on a client’s ability to manage business money. Many of the problems encountered among borrowers relate to pressures to use loan and business money to address personal problems or needs. However, problems can be reduced or prevented by developing safeguards and controls.

The purpose of the Manage Your Business Money Learning Sessions is to provide business people with the information, skills and motivation they need to manage their business money in ways that earn them more profit. The facilitator’s job here is designed so as to demonstrate how more money can be earned by the borrowers in the long run if they do their best to resist pressures spend money for personal needs and instead decide to invest money in their business.

By engaging in group activities, participants will practice how to:

  1. Separate personal and business money.
  2. Invest all of the loan money in the business.
  3. Calculate their profits.
  4. Track, plan, and invest their business money.
  5. Use their profits to meet business and personal needs.
  6. Manage business money losses.
  7. Manage credit sales.
  8. The manual is divided into 8 sessions, each of which begins by setting out the leaning session’s objectives, timing and preparation. Following this, the steps for conducting the learning session are listed. Accompanying the facilitator manual is the Manage Your Business Money Trainer Manual that contains a range of activities specifically designed to support the learning sessions described above. The purpose of the Trainer Manual is to provide trainers with a tool they can use to prepare supervisors and field staff to facilitate locally relevant learning sessions in a group-based setting. The Trainer Manual can be downloaded from the link below.
Author Stack, K with McVay, M and Vor der Bruegge, E
Publisher Freedom from Hunger
Number of Pages 78 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Money Management, Agribusiness Management, Profits
Related Resources
Financial Education: A Win-Win for Clients and MFIs Brief 2004

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Financial management for poor people in developing countries is a constant challenge, due to their lack of resources and opportunities. However, their struggle has been met with many creative and often complex strategies to manage money. These have often been developed through trial and error rather than by design and tend to be reactive rather than proactive, which can be detrimental in the long-term. Financial education can help the poor become better equipped with the information and tools they need to make better – more proactive – financial choices, which can enhance their economic security and well-being.

Financial education involves teaching the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to adopt good money management practices for earning, spending, saving, borrowing and investing. Providing financial education can be of benefit to microfinance institutions (MFIs). Institutions that provide financial education can attract more customers, since better informed clients will be more willing to use financial services if they more clearly understand them. Institutions offering education may also gain greater customer loyalty, superior feedback and market information that can be used to improve their products and services and remain competitive. All in all, financial education is dubbed a ‘win-win’ relationship for both clients and MFIs.

This Microfinance Opportunities Technical Note presents the three key elements needed for MFIs to develop an effective financial education curriculum. They are:

  1. Market research -- to learn what to teach and how to teach it;
  2. An institutional and human resource assessment - to understand the skills and capacities of the staff expected to deliver the training;
  3. A systematic planning process -- to ensure that the information learned in the above two steps is incorporated into the final curriculum.

Market research into understanding the financial education needs of poor people, was undertaken during Microfinance Opportunities' Financial Education for the Poor Project – a collaborative 3 year exercise with Freedom from Hunger and the Citigroup Foundation. The project also involved partnerships with six MFIs in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. They found that there was a consistent demand for these broad themes of financial education:

  • Money Management: How to proactively manage money;
  • Debt Management: How to control debt and avoid over-indebtedness;
  • Managing Savings: How to save regularly and in a safe location;
  • Financial Negotiations: How to strengthen clients' bargaining position vis-à-vis input suppliers, other household members, and financial institutions;
  • Use of Bank Services: How banks work and impose charges; How clients can maximize bank services, interact with banks and effectively use ATMs.

These findings were incorporated into the development of their pilot financial education curriculum that has been modified and implemented in several different microfinance education projects.

Author Cohen, M., Stack, K. & McGuinness, E.
Publisher Microfinance Opportunities
Number of Pages 6 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Client Advice, Money Management, Financial Education
Related Resources
Financial Education for SEWA Bank Members Document 2003

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In June 2002, SEWA Bank introduced Project Tomorrow, a project for its members to gain skills in personal financial planning. The program is intended to help members to escape cycles of poverty, make informed decisions about their finances, build their own future and live a secure life. It is reasoned that financial education for members is becoming increasingly recognised as a key element to ensure that members are active and knowledgeable participants in their financial decisions and that households are able to fully utilise and leverage the financial services available to them.

The goal of Project Tomorrow Financial Education Program is to build the capacity of SEWA members in urban and rural areas to be better financial planners. By the end of the program the aim is for members to have:

  • Stated the importance of financial planning
  • Analysed their money management practices
  • Recognised life-cycle financial needs and managed future risks
  • Analysed trade-offs between various financial options
  • Recognised how SEWA Bank and other financial products can help them to improve their financial situation
  • Made a financial plan for their household

The intended outcome of the Program is for SEWA Bank members to be able to make informed decisions about personal financial management and planning through better understanding of the implications of various financial choices they can make. This Facilitator’s Guide on Financial Education for Members had been developed to assist urban and rural SEWA Bank staff and community leaders to achieve the goals of the Project Tomorrow Program. Some sessions have separate examples or activities for urban and rural audiences. There is a workbook for members in the appendix that provides exercises to do, corresponding to each learning session. The guide draws heavily on story-telling, posters and metaphors, such as animal behaviour, with which participants can easily relate. Although developed by SEWA Bank, given the aims of the Project Tomorrow Program, this guide is useful to a much wider audience involved in the provision of financial services. The Guide itself is also tailored to different levels of trainers and trainees.

Following the introduction, the guide begins by setting out useful points for facilitators when preparing for each session, including a number of generally important principles to remember. The start of each session also sets out the objectives, time, preparation/materials needed and the teaching methodology to be used. The sessions are then broken down as follows:

  1. Introduction to financial planning
  2. Daily money management practices
  3. Planning for future events
  4. Savings and investment
  5. Borrowing and loan management
  6. Insurance and risk management
  7. Making a financial plan
Author SEWA Bank et al
Publisher SEWA Bank
Number of Pages 72 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Financial Planning, Budgeting, Risk Management
Related Resources
Money Managers: The Poor and Their Savings Document 2002

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This Briefing Note addresses the main money management problem of the poor: assembling large lump sums of money. Rutherford examines the different ways that the poor are able to convert savings into lump sums (i.e., saving up, down and through) and the means by which they are able to do so (i.e., RoSCAs, ASCAs, savings clubs, indigenous insurance schemes, money guards, deposit collectors and pawnbrokers).

Rutherford suggests that "Quality Financial Services" for the poor help the poor turn savings into lump sums by providing differentiated products and terms, as many different time periods as possible and to provide these products and services in a convenient, quick, appropriate, flexible and affordable manner.

Agri-Entrepreneurship Training Manual: Record-keeping Document 2001

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This training resource is a section of the Agri-Entrepreneurship Training Manual prepared by the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC). NSAC has a long history of working with Ghanaian partners to assist in the development of the country's agricultural sector. In 1995 The College began the design of an Agri-Entrepreneurship project in the north of Ghana, which aimed over a period of five years to introduce entrepreneurial concepts and skills to groups and individuals working in the agri-food sector. Research was conducted in the selected area, followed by the design of training materials in collaboration with local partners. The result was the Agri-Entrepreneurship Training Manual.

The Manual is divided into five sections or modules. Each begins with notes for the facilitator, some general guidelines and a warm-up exercise. Then the module themes are introduced using fact sheets and a visual aid poster, followed by session guidelines, exercises, discussion questions and answers. In this module the following themes are covered:

  • Introduction to record-keeping
  • Cash book
  • Record-keeping for inventory
  • Credit book
  • Cost of production records

Each component in this module can be used in the following ways:

  1. A lecture based upon each fact sheet, followed by the corresponding workshop, which would serve to reinforce the concepts discussed in the lecture. The timelines listed beside the fact sheets above will be helpful if you choose this method. Total contact time is approximately 18 hours.
  2. The fact sheets can also be used as background information for facilitators, and not presented in a lecture format. With this method, facilitators would conduct each workshop with participants, and impart the information from the fact sheets as needed for the participants to complete each exercise.

The fact sheets are intended to provide stand-alone information for use as reference materials. The workshops, however, are not intended for use without the support of the fact sheets. This manual has been designed to facilitate learning with both literate and illiterate learners. The facilitator may decide what print materials are appropriate for dissemination to participants.

The material is made available for downloading as a complete module for those with fast internet connections or theme by theme in smaller file sizes for those with slower internet connections. It is clearly explained on the NSAC website. You can also request a hard copy using the contact details given below.

Author Nova Scotia Agricultural College
Publisher NSAC
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Cash Book, Stock Control, Credit Book, Costing
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Enhancing Farmers' Financial Management Skills Document 2000

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The policy area examined in this book is that of education and training in financial management skills. The case is made that if farming families are more familiar with the requirements of formal financial institutions, can supply the right kind of information to them, have the right attitude concerning contractual agreements and can monitor money as it is acquired and spent by the family, then they become more attractive potential clients of the formal financial sector. This would enable more financial institutions to expand their activities in rural areas in a sustainable manner.

Alternative ways of promoting these skills are examined - in schools, literacy classes, community meetings, farmer groups or through training courses and individual counselling from agricultural extension workers and the staff of financial institutions.

Author Heney, J.
Publisher Organización de Alimentación y Agricultura (FAO)
Number of Pages 85 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Money Management, Financial Literacy, Bookkeeping
Related Resources
Simple Book-keeping and Business Management Skills Document 1997

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This training manual is designed to teach small scale entrepreneurs how to use their numeracy skills in improving their businesses. The material was developed and tested in Ghana but it an easily be adapted to suit local situations in other countries. The manual covers the following topics:

  1. The importance of book-keeping
  2. The use of symbols in book-keeping
  3. Income and expenditure
  4. The use of the cash book
  5. Profit and loss
  6. How to use the profit
  7. Buying and selling on credit
  8. The credit book
  9. Costing and pricing
  10. Business planning
  11. Business management
Author Meijerink, R.
Publisher Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Number of Pages 83 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Bookkeeping, Business Management, Accounting Principles
Related Resources
From Financial Literacy to Financial Capability Document

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