Victoria is 21. Four years ago she came to The Money House our financial capability programme dedicated to preventing youth homelessness

This piece originally featured in 24 Housing.

It’s been four years since I came to The Money House. I was 17 and just had a baby girl.

We were shifting between my grandad’s and my mum’s flat where there were eight people living. I aint gonna lie, it was hard, we were always on the move, with all the newborn stuff.

I was referred by The Point, Greenwich council’s youth housing office, to do The Money House so I could get my bidding number. I was young and sceptical. I thought I knew it all, but I was very scared about coming here – I’m not academic and wasn’t great at school.

I can honestly say, if I hadn’t had come here I’d have been kicked out. The experience matured me and opened my eyes to the seriousness of having my own place. I was already turning into an adult, on my own, a kid, responsibilities!

Budgeting, council tax, electricity use, saving money, paying your rent on time. I did not know how to do any of it and no one was showing me how. I’d have said to myself, “oh, I’ll skip the rent this week, have a good time and pay next week”. The horrible letter would come, and I would not had known how to handle it.

I moved in on my birthday and it was really hard at first. But six months in, I saw how all the things I’d learnt at The Money House kicked in – now, I’m an expert! No rent arrears, I even use my budgeting book from the course when I’m running low to figure out what I can spend less on.

I’ve referred three friends here who were in the same situation as me, here’s the number, call them. Go, because you don’t know. You need to have this knowledge because you will get in trouble with money. They were sceptical at first too, but The Money House isn’t an exam, there’s no pressure, there’s people just like you. That’s important, things are scary enough and lots of young people suffer from anxiety. Having lunch on the third day, I felt like I was with friends I had known for ten years.

They got me before I hit rock bottom. It’s not a silly course. You are not alone, that’s what I’ve taken from my heart here.

The Money House is an accredited week-long financial literacy programme aimed at preventing youth homelessness. Run by the charity MyBnk, it takes referrals on a continuous basis and is mandated by several local authorities. Based in Greenwich and Newham, London.

The Money House is an accredited week-long financial literacy programme aimed at preventing youth homelessness. Run by the charity MyBnk, it takes referrals on a continuous basis and is mandated by several local authorities. Based in Greenwich and Newham, London.

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