Naubartas Urmanas’ Takeaways on Financial Education from Bee COINs

Bee COINs: Financial Education Debunked was a 10-day youth exchange that took place in The Netherlands from 24 April till 5 May 2017. It gathered 42 participants from 7 different countries and empowered them to learn from each other about financial education. The project is funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the EU.

I have been having doubts on how to manage my personal finances after I finished high school. 12 years of studying and taking subjects such as maths or economy, but the topic of personal finances was barely discussed in formal environment of school. Thus, I decided to participate in an Erasmus+ youth exchange organised by Bees Empowered, “Bee COINS Financial Education Debunked”.

Throughout 10 days spent in a small town in Netherlands called Ommen, a group of participants from seven different EU countries took a non-formal approach to financial education. I had an opportunity to participate in an economy simulation with “real” currency, stock markets, bank, services etc – this was the simulation game Pay2Play. I was given a certain amount of Bee Coins, with options to invest, hold, save it in a bank or keep it in my sock. This simulation lasted throughout the whole project. In the end, we had a reflection on how we deal with our finances. After the project, I realised the need of change in my current financial habits.

In addition to that, we shared knowledge by organising workshops on financial education. Apart from getting insights in investing and saving, I have gained a different perspective about goal setting. I realised an importance of prioritizing in my spending and cutting off some unnecessary expenses.

The key moment of youth-exchange was the Road-Trip! We had a chance to present a project to the group and organise a trip to any city in the Netherlands. My group and I went to Groningen to explore Cycling Culture in the Netherlands, and its effect to local economy. Here you can see the final video of the day-project: https://youtu.be/NYa1M-p3ei4

Concluding, I am glad to have this opportunity to participate in projects as such. I have grown fond of experiential learning, and found it as an invaluable tool for personal development.

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