MoneyWi$e: Helping teens and families to manage money

Audrey Perrot conducted training on managing money for teens.
Published: Saturday, December 05, 2015

Consumer Action’s Audrey Perrott led two trainings last month using the materials the organization’s Moneywi$e financial literacy partnership with Capital One created.

The trainings were developed to provide community-based organizations with the tools to help clients and community members achieve greater financial literacy.

Financial management for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts

Girl Scouts do more than go on camping trips and sell cookies. The Girl (and Boy) Scouts have evolved with unique programming that offers young participants opportunities to learn about money management, goal-setting, small business enterprise and e-commerce in an effort to help them become future leaders. In November, Consumer Action’s Audrey Perrott contributed to this effort by training members of the San Leandro Girl and Boy Scouts troops and adult volunteers using the MoneyWi$e Teens and Money module.

Girl Scout leader Julie Draper invited Perrott to provide the financial literacy training to her multi-level troop of cadettes (grades six through eight) and seniors (grades nine and ten) and their families. Scouts earn badges by participating in certain activities and programs, and the cadettes were excited to find out that the training would help them earn three proficiency badges in financial literacy: budgeting, comparison shopping and “financing my dreams.”

As a Girl Scouts alumna and adult volunteer, Perrott said, “It is always an honor to have the privilege to combine my two loves: consumer education and youth enrichment. This time, I enjoyed the added bonus of having some Boy Scouts in the audience.”

The training included discussions on tracking spending, budgeting, identifying wants vs. needs, goal setting, selecting a financial institution, saving, understanding the deductions on a paycheck, and learning how to write checks and manage checking accounts.

“Thank you for presenting your financial literacy program for teens. You are a great presenter,” said troop leader Draper. “And the Scouts really enjoyed it.”

Families and money management

Perrott kept the momentum going with another MoneyWi$e training, this time on Tracking Your Money at the San Francisco-based non-profit Portola Family Connections (a longtime partner of Consumer Action). The agency had received a Family Resource Center Initiative grant from San Francisco’s Department of Children, Youth and Their Families “First 5” program and from the Human Services Agency of San Francisco in order to carry out a six-week “Family Economic Success Series.” The series is designed to improve the financial wellbeing of families.

Portola Family Connections support manager Erika Rendon said, “Thank you so much for the workshop on tracking your money. The families and I learned a lot about budgeting, most importantly how to reduce expenses so that we can save for short- and long-term goals.”

The training covered the following concepts: How to budget, how to reduce spending, ideas to generate income or free up funds within the family budget, how to save more and how to set financial goals. The training even inspired Rendon to cut down on her cable expenses and redirect the money she saves to her retirement savings.

The attendees were able to work through case studies within the Tracking Your Money lesson plan. The studies helped them to consider their own financial decisions without actually revealing anything about their personal finances. Perrott provided the families with budget and goal-setting worksheets and encouraged them to discuss some of their personal goals, which ranged from saving to fully fund a wedding without debt to developing emergency savings funds.

Consumer Action collaborates with our network of nearly 7,000 partners to educate consumers across the country on MoneyWi$e and other educational modules. Consumers can benefit from on-demand training at home or in a computer lab through our MoneyWi$e computer-based educational modules. Past webinars may be viewed on Consumer Action’s YouTube channel. For more information on the MoneyWi$e project, click here.




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