Michelle Hobbs no longer feels overwhelmed when she opens her bills.

Earlier this year, the Melton resident completed two financial coaching courses as part of Good Shepherd’s Firmer Foundations program.

The program aims to support women in building financial knowledge and independence by giving them the information about developing and managing budgets and planning for the future.

Ms Hobbs, who has two children, said the courses had been a eye-opener.

“It has helped me learn to put money aside every fortnight, for birthdays and Christmas, and actually plan for those things now,” she said. “It also taught me to pay off bills a little each fortnight, so you are not overwhelmed when you receive them every three months.”

Firmer Foundations has been running since 2013, and in that time has helped more than 300 women.

Firmer Foundations coach Isolde Scherrer said the program helped women gain confidence and independence.

“Firmer Foundations is ideal for women who want to learn strategies for sustainable money management, build their own capability and tap into other training and employment services,” she said.

“We take a flexible approach to the coaching part of the program, so that women can work around their other commitments and responsibilities.

The program’s Let’s Talk about Money course runs at Hillside Community Centre for five weeks from August 9, and Westvale Community Centre, St Albans, for four weeks from August 22. Details: 8312 8800