It wasn’t long ago that Ms. Ladda Singgham was making a tidy sum from her coffee shop in Mahyadthai, Bangkok. Far away from the overflowing rows of affluent condominiums and hotels of central Bangkok sits Soi Mahyadthai, a bustling section of Lat Phrao district, where small business commerce dominates the scene. However, as more and more people became attracted to the vibrant district, the cost of living and doing business shot up, leading to a host of financial troubles for long-time small business owners like Ladda.
In Ladda’s case, she spent more than she could afford and purchased, in her words, “unnecessary items.” She then fell into a cycle of financial problems, coupled with rising costs in her area.
Images below illustrate the emerging contrasts in Ladda’s local area
Eventually, she hit rock bottom, and turned to Kenan through the ‘Citi Financial Skills Building for a Secure Financial Future’ project, in a last-ditch effort to deal with her mounting money problems. “I didn’t expect much, as I had been to many financial workshops already.” During the workshop, Ladda was guided on how to analyze business costs, such as raw materials, to help to start reduce expenditure.
With the help from Kenan and Citi Foundation, she is now debt-free and budgeting her daily spending effectively. “I managed to reduce my household expenses by 50%. My family and I now think carefully before we spend. This workshop has changed my life.”
Low-income workers, young people, and farmers have the lowest levels of financial literacy in Thailand. This has contributed towards Thailand’s household debt rising to the third highest in Asia.
Kenan and Citi Foundation have worked carefully with government, corporate, and other stakeholders to design solutions to address Thailand’s financial literacy issue. The learner-centered financial education programs have trained thousands on how money works, guiding them towards a life of financial freedom.
As the head of the Mahyadthai Housing Cooperative Group, Ladda has taught other members of her community how to manage money properly by sharing the skills she learned from her own saving journey.
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