This weekend Money Saving Movement (MSM) placed itself back on the streets (well actually on a lovely piece of grass) in Walthamstow (Or “Awesomestow” as they like to call it). We have been itching to get back there and talk to the lovely people of this diverse area for a while as Walthamstow really interests us.
Walthamstow has been home to a number of research visits for MSM. It sits within the Borough of Waltham Forest which has some of the highest concentrations of deprivation within the U.K. Its High Street is notable for its long market (apparently the longest in Europe). The high street is busy with high cost lenders and high cost retailers, unfortunately. Both of which MSM are not fond of. However the people of”Awesomestow” are brilliant and we found them great fun to talk to. This might have been helped by the Free Cake, more about that in a bit.
The objective of this trip was to spend some more time talking to ordinary people about how we might design an alternative social enterprise service to high cost rent to buy retailers. So when we arrived we were all prepared with a pre-planned discussion structure, gazebo and the all important MSM banner. Most importantly of all (well maybe) we were also offering Free Cake supplied by the lovely Dee.
I’m pleased to say that we found out A LOT. Here is a quick snapshot –
- People continue to use rent to buy retailers.
- People are also paying for warranties to cover themselves in the eventuality that something goes wrong with an appliance.
- People like brands that have a solid reputation.
- People would purchase from a social enterprise.
It was great to hear people’s opinions and the data provided us with plenty to think about. For me it underlined the importance of “getting out of the office”. I wonder how much emphasis is put on this within business. I hear plenty of people talk about it but I struggle to find actual examples. It is core to our approach at MSM and we are looking forward to doing lots more of it.
Have a great week everyone.
Money Saving Movement
Money Saving Movement started with the idea that more could be done to help people with the cost of living. I worked in a Housing Association at the time, which strangely was the same one who managed my parents’ house – the same one that I grew up in. I guess because we didn’t have a lot of money when we grew up I was always interested in getting more for less. This after a career working with big retailers in product marketing and buying gave me more than a bit of a healthy interest in buying at the right price.
Like many, my parents kind of struggled by. They weren’t in any way on the “bread line” but certainly life was always a bit hard when it came to the cost of living. I would always try to advise my parents about ways to save money, and often thought that many people would benefit from information that would guide them to find ways to make life a little easier.
I knew that more and more people were struggling financially. I mean you really couldn’t escape from the stories that were repeated day after day about the financial crises and the credit crunch. There had to be a way of getting more money saving information to people. So I was really pleased when I saw an advert asking for people who had ideas about way public services could be improved. At the time I thought my Housing Association could do more, and wanted to talk to people about how that idea could be developed.
That is where we started this little adventure. My ambition is to develop a social enterprise that helps people with the cost of living and more importantly helps them to live more enjoyable lives. After all, money worries are something that none of us need – so let’s create something to get rid of them.
As an On Purpose Associate, it is my personal mission for this year, to engage with as many social enterprises as possible in order to add more value to my time with On Purpose.
Money Saving Movement (MSM) gives me a chance to do just that; it also gives me a chance to contribute to the sector and to work on a meaningful project that aims to support people in making their money go further – an increasingly more important need given the impact of the economic recession and the rising cost of living. Working with MSM can help me make a meaningful contribution to those around me and to gain invaluable experience working with talented social entrepreneurs on the frontline of innovation in community-based service delivery.
I heard about Money Saving Movement through a friend while working on another social enterprise project, Move Your Money. As a person that benefits from money saving ideas on most purchases, I was attracted to the idea of a Money Saving Movement providing money saving tools for those that need it most.
I was shocked to learn that 22% of the U.K. population are living on or below the poverty line, even though many of them are in employment. In recent years it has become more expensive to be poor with the rapid rise in the cost of living and austerity measures undertaken within welfare reform.
The costs and effects of living on a low income are being further compounded by added costs to families and individuals through being financially excluded and lacking access to money saving ideas in an already difficult situation.
I joined the Money Saving Movement team in the hope of enabling those in need to get the most value out of every pound they spend, and to be part of something that will help level the playing field and restore some justice in the purchasing power of those on low incomes.