Asian Development Bank says that “Financial literacy can generally be defined as a person’s ability to understand financial concepts and the skills to manage his/her financial resources.” 


As of October 2023, only 65% of Filipinos had bank accounts1, and this is the highest rate it has ever been. However, the World Bank estimates that only 34% of poor Filipino adults have savings accounts2. Taken together, it is not surprising that no Nehemiah beneficiary has had a family member with a bank account. Basic financial literacy and inclusion is something we take for granted in the western world. 


To try and close this gap, Nehemiah has taken a multi-pronged approach to improving our beneficiaries’ understanding of how to use money wisely. Residents over 18 are given work around the center, such as encoding data, or from time to time we are able to offer vocational skills training by making shampoo bars, laundry detergent, or silk screening t-shirts. 


20% of their earnings from these activities are set aside as savings that they can receive when they leave Nehemiah. With the rest, they practice budgeting through a monthly bill payment simulation that emulates the need for adults to set aside money to pay for things such as rent, food, and utilities. Everything else is theirs to do with as they wish, though we still encourage them to set some aside on their own. With time, they improve in their consistency in making payments on time, and those who have graduated have since told us that they now, facing real bills, appreciate these lessons. 


1BusinessWorld: Oct 25, 2023: 

2BusinessInquirer: June 30, 2022:


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