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The Money House: final evaluation report

Evidence type: Evaluation i

Description of the programme

The Money House (TMH) project delivered financial capability training to young people aged 16-25. The programme was based on a model designed by MyBnk and Hyde Housing in 2012, which had supported over 600 participants by 2016. MyBnk took over programme delivery in 2017. The target group was young people, including care leavers and students, seeking social housing or who were new to private sector renting. The aim of the programme was to equip young people with independent living skills, including financial capability training. The project was delivered in two London flats (one in Newham and one in Greenwich), and participants were referred from local authorities and other organisations in neighbouring boroughs. The programme was delivered to small groups (up to 10 participants), via one-day and five-day courses. Over 500 participants had completed the programme at the time of the evaluation.

The study

ERS Ltd were commissioned to evaluate MyBnk’s TMH programme. The evaluation took place between January 2017- October 2018. The evaluation aim was to determine the impact of young people’s transition into independent living, having completed the programme. This evaluation focused on the five-day course. The programme explored a range of financial capability topics, including budgeting, savings, credit and debt, and planning for the future.

The evaluators employed a mixed methods approach. Quantitative pre- and post-intervention surveys measured changes in participants’ ability and attitudes towards financial capability and independent living. The evaluation analysed 826 survey responses, completed by 451 participants. Three focus groups and additional interviews yielded qualitative insights from participants on programme delivery. Stakeholder interviews with funders, managers and staff were also conducted. Social value analysis was undertaken using the HACT model (adhering to HM Treasury guidelines).

Key findings

Process evaluation:

  • The delivery setting (two residential flats) was central to project success. The setting provided a welcoming learning environment, which helped participants relax and focus on the training.
  • The delivery model, emphasising practical skills development facilitated by expert trainers, was also positively received.
  • Support organisations reported efficiencies as a result of the project, which enabled them to work with more informed young people.
  • However feedback suggested pre-programme information for participants could be enhanced.

Outcomes evaluation:

TMH appears to be an efficient model for improving the financial capability of the target group. The programme met all of its Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), reporting the following outcomes:

  • 35% increase in participants actively using banking facilities to improve their financial situation.
  • 25% reduction in participants receiving bank charges or experiencing direct debits ‘bounce’.
  • 25% reduction in participants falling behind with priority payments including council tax, rent, TV licence, utility bills and court fines.
  • 35% increase in participants setting spending budgets.
  • 35% increase in participants regularly saving.

Course participants who completed the course also reported improved financial confidence, knowledge and capability to manage their money and live independently. Participants attributed much of this enhanced knowledge and confidence to the programme. Some participants also felt more empowered following course completion, and have maintained peer support networks.

Social value:

  • The study found that once established, the programme generated £3.36 social value for every £1 spent.

Points to consider

Methodological limitations:

  • The qualitative focus groups consulted a relatively small number of participants, but these were drawn from across the participant demographic. The findings provide insights to help explain the survey results. Overall participants felt confident sharing their views in a group setting, as this resonated with the MyBnk delivery approach. However some individuals were less confident speaking in a group setting and facilitators found it difficult to gain their opinions. The qualitative findings may not therefore reflect the views of the whole group.

Generalisability/ transferability:

  • The quantitative analysis is limited by a lower response rate to the follow-up surveys. This reduces confidence in the results, particularly for questions that were only asked to a subset of participants. Caution should therefore be used in generalising from the results to the wider cohort.
  • The survey results rely on participant self-reporting and therefore might be subject to social desirability bias, i.e. participants providing what they perceive to be the ‘right’ answer, rather than their real view. This limits the extent to which findings could be used to inform the transfer of the model to other settings.

Key info

Activities and setting
Workshops for young people aged 16-25, to build financial capability and support the transition to independent living.
Programme delivered by
Year of publication
Contact information

ERS Research & Consultancy, E: Bristol@ers.org.uk, www.ers.org.uk