A specially-designed course is teaching some Calgarians with disabilities how to manage their money.
The financial literacy class is being offered at Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research (formerly the VRRI), a non-profit agency that helps people who are developmentally disabled.
Using a stack of fake $100 bills, instructor Scott Bietz teaches his students how to choose between their needs and their wants.
Bietz said the pace is slow, the lessons are hands-on and the language is simple as he attempts to demystify topics such as banking, credit cards and budgeting for his Vecova clients.
"Money is hard for everyone. But I think for people with developmental disabilities, if they haven't received some training around money, then it’s going to be harder for them to manage their money,” he said.
"In Calgary there's really nothing like this.”
The class has changed Loraine Luterbach's spending, she said.
Living on a limited income, she had to start looking after her own finances after her mom and dad's ailments made them less able to help.
“It’s hard to figure out what to do with your money if you don’t try it before, like, I never had to try to keep my money before because I had my mom to do the money thing,” she said.
"It was really hard because I don’t want to save too much money for one thing and then not have enough money for the other thing.”
The program is proving so successful Vecova says it is hoping to expand and include people with other types of disabilities.