Teens in Monroe County are on the path to financial knowledge thanks to the new Dollars and Sense program launched by United Way of Monroe County, in partnership with the Financial Stability Alliance for South Central Indiana (FSA). Dollars and Sense aims to nurture and encourage good financial habits and provide access to appropriate financial products and services for Monroe County teens.
“We’re partnering with a variety of local agencies where teens already congregate to present customized interactive workshops. Many of these workshops tie into and complement their current activities. We are meeting youth where they are -- both in terms of physical location and their level of financial knowledge. For example, Rhino’s Youth Center creates a space for teens to grow their creative media skills. We developed financial programming that goes hand-in-hand with the radio, video, creative writing and visual art programs so that teens can enjoy learning new financial skills while building upon their artistic skills,” commented Jamie Kuzemka, United Way Community Initiatives Director.
Workshop topics range from money management and goal-setting to investing and recognizing the difference between wants and needs. The programs offer a fun and approachable way to give teens the power to identify their values, challenges, and goals related to money management, increase their knowledge of financial concepts, and understand how to choose appropriate banking products.
Dollars and Sense partners currently include Rhino’s Youth Center, Bloomington and Ellettsville Boys and Girls Clubs, South Central Community Action Program, and the Monroe County Public Library.
According to a recent study from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA), approximately 62% of Indiana residents display a “lack of financial knowledge and decision making,” in comparison to 38% nationally. Additionally, 17% of Indiana residents report they spent more money than they made, and 63% do not have emergency savings. A lack of financial knowledge has been linked to debt problems, less accumulated wealth, and poor preparation for retirement.
“As a community we recognize that smart money management leads to a better quality of life. United Way want to ensure all residents have the financial skills to save money and build their savings. Local teens are anxious to learn how they can translate their hard work into financial stability and we are glad to be part of helping them achieve their goals,” said United Way Executive Community Barry Lessow.
This program is made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation through a partnership with United Way Worldwide.
For more information contact Amy Leyenbeck, United Way Community Initiatives Director, at Amy@monroeunitedway.org or (812) 334-8370 x11.
Would you like to help ensure our community members have their basic needs met?
Please consider donating to the United Way Essentials Priority Fund. This fund helps individuals and families meet basic needs with access to sufficient food, a stable place to live, low-cost health care, and the information and skills to manage crises.