By Jolleen Janelle George, Progam Manager, Assets for Independence, Office of Community Services
Our financial knowledge, behavior, and attitudes have short and long-term impact on our lives and lifestyles. The more you know, the more control you can have on your life and the easier it will be to: prepare for unexpected expenses, save for desired items, and feel financially secure. Most of all, financial literacy is for everyone!
Children can learn to save, students can learn to budget and how to use a credit card wisely, adults can plan for their long term future including buying a home and planning for retirement.
The Administration for Children and Families’ Assets for Independence (AFI) program plays a role in educating individuals so they can make smart financial decisions for themselves and their families. More than 200 local organizations run AFI programs throughout the country, strengthening communities from within through the use of matched savings accounts called Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). The programs require their participants to undertake financial education and as of fiscal year 2012, 79,433 AFI participants had completed a financial education course!
To ensure those nearly 80,000 participants get the most out of their financial literacy courses, the AFI Resource Center provides extensive resources on topics in financial literacy, including effective education strategies, and several financial literacy curriculums. Importantly, AFI recognizes that different populations have different financial education needs, and therefore showcases multiple financial education techniques and curriculums. For example, the AFI Resource Center has extensive resources on providing financial education for youth that walk through considerations such as: focusing on specific segments of the youth population, understanding their training needs, and tailoring financial education to fit those needs.
See how the AFI Resource Center can strengthen your financial education strategies!
The Office of Community Services (OCS) partners with states, communities and agencies to eliminate causes of poverty, increase self-sufficiency of individuals and families and revitalize communities.