Are Americans financially illiterate? Could a lack of financial education for children and teens, at home and in school, be a contributing factor? Financial habits that are developed in the teen years and early 20s—often learned by default or by following the habits of peers—can become the basis for adult money management skills. The strength of this foundation, or lack thereof, impacts spending, borrowing, saving, and investing patterns later in life. To achieve a dream of financial freedom as an adult, solid financial skills should be acquired as a youth.
Collaboration in the Classroom involves credit unions pooling their resources to hire a talented person to visit schools on their behalf. The person arranges and conducts large, auditorium style presentations on finances and informs students how they can receive $25 when they open a savings account at a participating credit union. In order to receive the money, the student must log on to the program Web site and complete a self-guided course on finance.
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