Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fake Expert

Part of my graduate program is to participate in a Practicum to gain field experience for 20 hours a week for 30 weeks for our first year. My primary focus is homelessness at my agency, however I also working more and more with financial counseling/education. When I do case management meetings with my homeless clients, I almost always discuss budgets and savings. I create a budget plan with them, explain the importance of saving, go through the steps of how to save and what to save and why we need to save. I show them ways to create and follow a budget, etc.

The problem with a budget isn't a budget--it's the lack of accountability. Theoretically, I'm supposed to meet with them every week, hold them accountable, give them strict guidelines to follow, and we see improvement. That's the way the programs are designed and what most of the grants lay out. In practice, that doesn't happen. And it's frustrating.

But actually, that's not the purpose of this post. I'm also starting to do financial education classes. I've mainly been observing, but pretty soon I"ll be taking over and teaching.

Let's review who I am:
-I'm a college student, young, have my first lease in my name just a few months ago, just got my first bill in my name, don't have a career or stable job.

At my practicum:
-I walk people how to rent a place, what it means to sign a lease, and how that works.
-I explain the process of eviction and try to explain how not to get evicted.
-I explain how bills work and how to keep bill costs low.
-I help with job searches and make resumes.
-I do budgets and show how to save.

Essentially, I do everything that I've either:
1-Never done before
2-Just started doing within the past few months, but am certainly no expert in
3-Things I don't have a clue about
4-Things I'm really bad at.

I always feel like a "fake expert". What a learning experience..

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