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Articles & Best Practices

Teaching Kids to Save

When Sherry Thomas’ sons were 5 and 7, they stashed their crumpled dollars in Ziploc bags, pants pockets or dresser drawers, or handed their stockpile over to mom for safekeeping. So Thomas, of Boca Raton, decided it was time to teach them about saving.

“I told them there was a ‘safe house’ where they could put their money and make it grow,” she said. Thomas opened a passbook savings bank account for each child, and brought them to the bank to proudly make their first deposit.

“We live in such a disposable society. When kids get birthday money, they can’t wait to spend it,” Thomas said. “As parents, we need to teach kids how to save. The burden is on us.”

Now 16 and 17, Thomas’ sons, Brandon and Blake, are frugal and money savvy. Their healthy savings accounts are tapped only for special purchases like a bicycle, headphones or a wilderness adventure trip.

But money experts say teaching kids to save has more benefits than a heavier piggy bank.

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Financial Guide for Parents of Children with Disabilities Hits Web

There are 7 million children with special needs in the United States and their parents face a unique combination of financial challenges. They must meet day-to-day stresses and expenses of caring for a child with a disability, plan for that child's lifetime-care needs, and still provide for the financial needs of the rest of the family. To help parents meet those challenges, NEFE teamed up with the PACER Center, a national parent training and information center based in Bloomington, Minn., that helps families of children and youth with any disability. In 2001, the collaboration produced a booklet called: Possibilities: A Financial Resource for Parents of Children with Disabilities. The guide now has been expanded and launched in a new online format.... More

Study Reveals How Community Educators Reach Students

Teachers Share Insight on Getting Through to Adult Learners...In the first few minutes of class, Carol likes to learn a little about the adults she will be teaching. Tonight, there is a variety: half have a high school diploma, many didn't graduate, and a few have college degrees: several receive food stamps and other public assistance; and two have retirement savings and steady, well-paying jobs. Carol has them for one class only - three house to teach them about money, credit, and personal finances. This picture is a common one for teachers of community-based financial literacy programs, as illustrated in a 2010 NEFE-funded study at Penn State University. Financial Literacy Education for Adult Learners in Community-Based Programs surveyed educators from across the country to identify strategies they use to effectively teach adult students. Every strategy involved innovation and creativity that could be helpful to others in the field.... More

Credit Unions & Financial Education

In today’s world, financial education is fundamental, especially with the current economic landscape. It’s a foundational issue that needs to be taught in schools, at home, and in the workplace in order for people to take control of their financial lives.

“While many people have been given the opportunity to pursue academic or professional degrees, they have not been given access to the resources necessary to acquire a strong financial education,” said Amber Tynan, Member Relations Specialist for the League of Southeastern Credit Unions. Tynan serves as the team leader for LSCU’s financial education initiatives. “This huge gap continues to show in our credit union members’ financial choices, as evidenced through an increase in bankruptcies and foreclosures,” Tynan added.

Understanding the growing need for this type of education, credit unions in both Alabama and Florida are finding cost-effective ways to offer financial education services to members of all ages. According to Tynan, the goal is to enable members to better understand their financial position and take control of their finances. “The League of Southeastern Credit Unions wants to make sure that credit unions are the first place consumers turn to for reliable and comprehensive financial management information, advice, and education,” she said.

It is the LSCU’s commitment to provide credit union in Alabama and Florida with the resources to implement a financial education program that meets the needs of varied memberships. If members are given the tools to make wise financial decisions, the end result can be a positive impact on the credit union’s bottom line.

Innovative and effective programs are offered by credit unions of all sizes in both states. In this article, six successful credit union financial education programs are highlighted.... More

Neat Ways to Promote Debt In Focus on Your Credit Union Website

If your credit union is considering using Debt In Focus, take a moment to look at what innovations FCU is doing to promote the program on their website.... More

CUs Find New Way to Connect with Schools as More States Pass Financial Literacy Requirements

When Utah implemented a requirement that all students complete a financial literacy course before graduation, Mark Williams immediately started looking for curriculum to engage his students. Williams and the state of Utah weren’t alone.

More than 20 states have passed financial literacy requirements for their students in recent years. Williams, prior to teaching at Independence High School in Provo, was in the banking industry for 15 years and knew all too well why such a course was becoming a requirement.... More

Parents not likely to give college students credit

Before Matthew Crimmins, 20, started college at Northeastern University in Boston in 2008, his mother took him to open a student checking account at a local bank. The bank also offered Matthew a credit card. "I was very surprised that they gave him a credit card with a $1,000 limit when he had no real source of income,” says Lisa Conte Crimmins, Matthew's mother. "Those were the days when credit card companies could take extraordinary steps to attract college customers,” says Paul Golden of the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®). ... More

Americans Admit to Impulse Buys

Whether it’s a daily latte, an expensive pair of shoes or an even bigger purchase—say, the new motorcycle you just couldn’t pass up—Americans have a propensity for impulse buying. Eighty percent of American adults say they’ve made impulse purchases in the past year for themselves, others or their home, according to an online survey commissioned by the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) and conducted by Harris Interactive in August 2010. Many of these purchases result in regret and, unfortunately, wasteful spending. The NEFE-Harris survey found that 66 percent of adults who have made an impulse purchase this year say they later regretted that decision. ... More

Obama Administration Marks Back to School Season by Launching National Financial Capability Challenge for 2010-11 School Year

Today, the Obama Administration marked back to school season by emphasizing the importance of financial education and launching its National Financial Capability Challenge for the 2010-11 school year. The Challenge is a voluntary online exam and classroom toolkit that helps educators teach high school students about saving, budgeting, investing, the safe use of credit, and other important skills critical to developing strong financial knowledge and capability. ... More