Career Learning for Adult Self-Sufficiency (CLASS)

Helping Youth Develop Financial Literacy Skills

Posted by Maisha Meminger - On January 16, 2013 (EST)

Helping youth become financially literate is an important component to any youth program.  Understanding what it takes to open a checking account, pay bills on time, and even begin saving a little bit at a time is critical to a young person’s future success.


There are several tools which have been developed to help young people gain financial literacy skills.  FDIC’s Money Smart for Young Adults Program, for example, helps youth ages 12-20 learn the basics of handling their money and finances, including how to create positive relationships with financial institutions. Also, The Youth Guide to Budgeting, developed by The Finance Project, provides step-by-step instructions, tips and strategies that youth leaders can use to develop a budget.  Another great example, The Road to Self-Sufficiency, produced by the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals, provides new approaches to helping out-of school youth become economically self-sufficient.


For youth who may have already received basic financial literacy training or who are employed, the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration has developed a website, Saving Matters, which offers resources, tools and information on saving for the future.  One specific resource that may be beneficial to share with a young worker is the New Employee Savings Tips – Time is on Your Side.  It focuses on tips to make a plan and build savings, and it highlights a Video discussing the importance of getting an early start on saving for the future. 


So share with your peers. Do you talk about money, financial literacy and/or savings with the youth in your programs?


Which financial literacy resources or approaches do you use with young people? How have they worked for the youth in your program

User Comments (2)
On January 17, 2013  Sara Hastings said:
Another Financial Literacy resource is the National Council on Economic Education (NCEE). You can find it at Designed to promote economic literacy for students and teachers, NCEE offers educational tools that encourage young people to be financially responsible. It also provides links to other financial educational tools and programs.

On January 17, 2013  Holly Hunt said:
We conduct the Real World Event, a one-day simulation of the real world. The event concretely addresses education and employment decisions youth make in combination with lifestyle choices such as housing, transportation, leisure, etc. Participating youth are given an occupation based on an employment-education assessment. The occupation provides the salary. Youth are challenged to take their salary and develop a budget based on every day needs (food, electricity, rent, etc) and situational crisis such as medical, emotional, social and accidental. It has become so popular and beneficial, that we host it every year for our WIA participants. The program was development by Independent Living Resources, Inc.- They conduct training sessions and planning materials at a low cost for agencies that are interested in learning how to conduct the simulation.

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Modified On : January 17, 2013
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