Sam Webster, from Everyday Kingston, shares his experience of the CAP Money Course, a free course developed by Christians Against Poverty to help you save, budget, and prevent debt.
Sam, why did go on the course?
I was very conscious that money made me anxious and that I felt out of control with it. I didn’t know a course like this existed, so when the CAP Money Course was advertised in Kingston I realised it was definitely something I should be doing.
What was the course like?
Wonderful! It gave me skills and tips on how to use my money wisely, steward it and plan for the future, especially unforeseen costs, which used to send me into crisis mode, because I didn’t know what to do.
It was interactive and Rob, who ran the course, was helpful and very clued up. He patiently explained anything I didn’t understand – it was finances for dummies, which is exactly what I needed!
Has the course changed how you think about money and how you use it?
I thought that putting a budget together would be really restricting, but I found that as I started to categorise everything, work out my outgoings and income, put money away for the future, it was actually freeing. I have control over my money again. Before, the bank card would go in and money would come out and I wouldn’t want to check my statement because I didn’t want to see what I’d spent my money on. The cash system was revolutionary for me.
Can you explain more about the cash system?
What I took away from it is that if you have hard cash in your hand, you can see where money is going and where you need to reign it in a bit; it makes you feel more in charge of it, instead of a card with its hidden expenditure that’s hard to keep track of.
You also separate your money into different accounts – savings for the future, a monthly account which your direct debits come out of, and then the cash account (hard cash in your wallet) for expenses like transport and food.
What would you say to someone considering coming on the course?
We have been saving for a large holiday and by doing the course I discovered that we had been living to a budget and within our means, which I didn’t expect. The problem for me wasn’t that I was living beyond my means, it was that I didn’t know what was happening and felt out of control with money. Now I can see it in a spreadsheet, see it in my CAP Money portfolio, and keep track of where that money is going and where it should be, any day of the month.
My wife is good with admin and money, and I’m shocking with money. It made me feel guilty that I couldn’t lead my wife and my home in that regard, and CAP Money has really put that power back in my hands.
If money makes you anxious, if you feel a little bit out of control with your money, or if you just want to lead your household well and be a good steward of what God’s given you, then do it, do it, do it! It’s an awesome course and I would recommend it to anyone!
* * *
General information about the course is available here, as well as details of courses in your area. If you’d like to know when Everyday Church will be running a course at one of our venues, contact us via our Connect Form.