Time to say goodbye…

Now it is the time when the FLY project is almost over. We have done a lot of work since autumn 2014. As a partnership of 6 countries, sometimes it has not been easy to make the things work. But we have with much effort finalised and published our main product – an e-course on financial literacy. The e-course is available in 5 out of 6 languages (English, German, Czech, Romanian & Bulgarian) of the partnership as the Italian partner has left the project too early. There have been also many workshops to raise awareness. The workshops were done in Austria, Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria.

It is also the time to thank to the great team of the FLY project for the cooperation, for all effort we put into the FLY project and for the great welcoming of new people who came into the project during its existence. I hope that our work will stay live for a long time and will fulfil the expectations of many people involved in the project and especially will help students, teachers and other people to understand the world of finances.

And because we had our final transnational meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic, and the autumn time is very beautiful there, I am posting my today’s morning photo while walking to the meeting 🙂Ostrava

Fiat money and value of modern money

20161019_092411Today virtually all currencies (money) are fiat money. That simply means their value is determined by the government saying what their value is and then of course the financial markets define their value according to search and supply. To illustrate this consider the following case: In January 2005 Turkey introduced monetary reform deleting six zeros from the Turkish Lira (TL) and replacing it with 1 New Turkish Lira (NTL).

Both banknotes at the left have exactly the same value. It happened for me to be in Turkey at that time and I was lucky to keep both these till today as excellent example of how the “value” of money is changed through government decisions. The international markets adjust fairly quick to such changes, as do the local prices and customers. So the zeros in a banknotes do not really represent “constant” value, rather they represent the current “assigned” by the government or markets value.

Debt clocks of the EU Member States – comparison

Are you curious to find out what is the different debt percentage around the different EU member states? Now you have access to real time clocks of the national debt and the budget surplus/deficit of the member countries of the European Union (EU) under the Maastricht Treaty in percent of GDP (debt to GDP ratio, surplus/deficit to GDP ratio). According to the Maastricht Treaty, the national debt should not exceed 60.0 percent of GDP and the deficit should not exceed 3.0 percent of GDP.

You can find the information you need here: debtclocks.eu/comparison

Good news on UK Financial Capability

A major new study published in August 2016 by the UK’s Money Advice Service highlights that people are changing their financial behaviours and developing positive habits to deal with money matters.

‘The Financial Capability of the UK’  points to evidence of how millions of people are adapting to deal with tough economic times, and working hard to manage their money. It says that 49% of adults are concerned about their finances but the evidence also shows how people have become more diligent  about their money matters and suspicious of financial scams.

67% agree that we are ‘very organised when it comes to managing money’. People are also checking bank statements more carefully – 54% of adults say they regularly check all incomings and outgoings on their bank statements to keep track of their money; and 40% look for suspicious transactions.

Furthermore, 85% of adults say they are saving – always a good sign that people are thinking to the future and being more responsible!

 

Brexit – what will it mean for the UK?

Last month the UK voted to leave the EU .. Brexit. Clearly it was not the outcome that everybody wanted, particularly those who work collaboratively with others on EU projects such as the FLY Project but the wishes of the majority should be acted upon in a Democracy… This article summarises the current sirtuation in the UK but who knows what the future will bring?

brexit_a

Click here to read this informative article from Money Saving Expert.

E-Course goes live!

 

Mod1 RO Mod3 germanThe FLY e-course is now available online in all the partner languages with direct links to the language of your choice from the E-COURSE section of this website. Once there you are able to decide which of the three modules is most relevant to you. The modules are designed to meet the requirements of our three main target groups, students in the secondary school age range, those at University level and finally members of the general public.

Mod 1 screenMod 3 screen

The content for each module is  different, although there is some overlap in the financial material covered, and there is no reason why you cannot work through any of the three modules which take your interest.

Mod 2 screenMod1 german

The tasks which appear from time to time throughout the Units of the e-course are there to help you to test your own understanding and the results are for you alone to see. At the end of each module there is an opportunity for you to take a quick test and submit your answers for marking and certification if you wish.

ROCapture

We hope you enjoy the e-course – please feel free to comment here!

FLY Raising Awareness Workshop in POLITEHNICA University of Bucharest

On 28.03.2016, the Centre for Advanced Technologies (CTANM) organised a Raising Awareness Workshop in the Faculty of Engineering and Management of Technological Systems, POLITEHNICA University of Bucharest.

About 75 students from the final year attended at the workshop and the moderators were prof. Andrei Dumitrescu, prof. Tom Savu and lecturer Mihaela-Elena Ulmeanu.

After the brief presentation of CTANM, the discussions focused on the topic of financial literacy in general and on the poor results of Romania (FLI = 22%), according to the last year Standard and Poor’s survey.

UPB 05

A lot of the workshop’s duration was occupied by discussions about general financial problems encountered by the individual: “Should I borrow and buy now or should I save and buy later?”, “Are the payday loans good for me?”, etc. and about financial processes that affected the commoner (“Who is to blame for the financial crisis of 2008?”, etc.)

Afterwards, the Module 2 of FLY e-course was presented and analysed in depth: content, aim, scope, outcomes, certificate etc. A lot of students asked questions and displayed interest in the course. 

The results of the workshop were analysed by the moderators and they decided that the workshop was a success, considering the number of active participants; number of requests for FLY e-course details and number of e-mails received afterwards.

Good debt – Bad debt

Test Capture

This is an interactive video quiz which really makes you think about whether there is such a thing as good debt – or whether it is always bad… The quiz is in English, but even if your English language skills aren’t  perfect we think you should get the idea!

Click here to give it a go

You then get the chance to see how your answers match up to over 15 000 people who have tried it already!

UK spending January / February 2016

This information is available on a month on month basis in the UK through ‘The Money Charity’. 
  • During January 2016 an average of 394 purchases were made in the UK every second using debit and credit cards
  • LV’s ‘Cost of a Child’ report estimates that parents now spend a record £231,843 on raising a child to their 21st birthday – £30.23 a day.
  • In Q3 2015, households in the UK spent £103.26m a day on water, electricity and gas – £3.78 per household per day.
  • In January 2015 the average price of unleaded petrol fell by 2.15ppl (pence per litre) to 102.23ppl.

Some other interesting statistics include:

4.2%: The household savings rate in 2015 – the lowest since records began in 1963

34 million plastic card purchase transactions were made every day in January 2015, with a total value of £1.57 billion.

8.4m cash machine transactions were made every day in February with a value of £334m.

For new loans, the average mortgage Interest rate was 2.5%. This means new mortgages would attract  an average of £3,764 in interest over the year.

 

The Cost of Christmas

christmas_nights-1920x1200

There has been a lot of discussion in the UK  about the cost of Christmas and whether we are spending more than ever over the Christmas period. The answer seems to be in most cases – LESS.

A survey by YouGov at the end of 2015 has shown that UK households spent less in 2015 than in 2014 – £796 on average. (Approx €1000 euros) It is the lowest level since 2012 and a drop of £24 on 2014. People cut back on food, drink and gifts, as well as cards and decorations.

The reason is thought to be fierce competition between retailers and the thought in people’s mind that they really shouldn’t get (further) into debt.

Marc Gander of the Consumer Action Group said: “I’m sure that parents are in a huge dilemma. It breaks their hearts when they get themselves into debt simply to bring their children a little magic and to make sure that their kids feel that they’re not left out or inferior to their friends. I have always thought that this time of the year is really Christmas for payday loan companies. It’s happy Christmas for the parents and the children – and a prosperous New Year for the payday loan industry.

Hopefully the FLY project will add to peoples’ knowledge and understanding of the dangers of payday loans …