Myrto Karampela-Makrigianni: On Money and Fate

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.

What is financial education for you?

For me, financial education is a process that helps you manage financial decisions in your everyday and professional life effectively. It is a very important part of the education that young people need in order to achieve stability and social engagement.

One way or another, money decides our chances and thus, in order to decide your fate, you need to know how to manage money. In my opinion, this knowledge is irreplaceable in our life.

What was your favourite session and why?

Exploring the bicycle culture and the economy around it during the outdoor day was truly inspiring. It made me realise how economy can be used to create a better society. It was a rare example of an economical system that exists to serve society and its dreams in a very effective way.

What are the three most important things you learned about financial education during the youth exchange?

  1. How to manage a specific amount of money given specific possibilities (using beecoins during the Pay2Play simulation game)
  2. How to plan a budget in a monthly and annual basis (programs to help and prioritizing)
  3. How to invest (basic criteria that one needs to consider before investing)

How did your life change after the training? Do you save more? Do you have a bank account? Do you invest?

After the training I have a more active behaviour towards money and the way I can manage them in my life.

Your opinion on Erasmus+ projects?

Erasmus projects are an excellent opportunity to participate in a multicultural environment and create a European identity. It plays a crucial role in the understanding of the differences and similarities between citizens of different countries, cultures and religions and in the active participation in the society. They also explore interesting topics and complete some educational gaps that make the modern human dysfunctional in his everyday life.

How did you experience The Netherlands?

Staying in Netherlands has been a unique experience. It has given a lot of inspiration in the field of civic society and in the organisation of a successful economy and job market. What is more the landscape by itself was one in a lifetime experience.

Share 3 personal highlights from the whole experience?

  1. The trip to Groningen was an excellent experience to get to know one of the happiest and most eco-friendly cities of Europe while wandering around universities and parks riding a bike and getting to know the bicycle culture.
  2. Celebrating King’s day among Dutch and experiencing the authentic village Dutch culture was definitely a highlight for me.
  3. The bike ride from Ommen to the next village through forests and canals and the visit at the center for people with mental issues was inspiring. It made more think of all this actions that make humans civilised and it made me want to work more in the fight against segregation.

Did you manage to read the book you received as a gift at the end of the youth exchange? What did you learn from it?

Υes it helped me start managing my savings. It was really motivating.

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