Governor signs proclamations for financial literacy

Today, April 21, Governor Terry Branstad signed proclamations promoting financial literacy awareness in Iowa. The proclamations declared April 22-29 Money Smart Week in Iowa and declared the month of April as Financial Literacy Awareness Month in Iowa.

Looking for ways to get involved in financial literacy during Financial Literacy Month or during Money Smart Week? Visit the Money Smart Week website for more information about Money Smart Week.

April 21, 2017 at 1:06 pm

FDIC pilot shows benefits of financial education programs

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) released a report last week outlining the results of its Youth Savings Pilot. The pilot consisted of 21 participating banks carrying out different financial literacy programs to identify the most effective approaches to financial education. The report is essentially a blueprint for creating a successful financial education program.

The participating banks were successful in creating more than 4,500 youth savings accounts and identified several key benefits to providing financial education programs to local schools. A few of those benefits include the fact that financial education helps children build a foundation to improve their financial future while helping banks achieve their goals of supporting their communities. The report also indicates that financial literacy programs help individuals throughout the community build trust with their bank as they see the bank’s commitment to future generations.

Participating banks also offered advice on how to create successful programs. Following are some of the top comments from the report.

Quote: “The program needs to be relevant to kids’ lives. Kids like to see how the skills they are learning have real life value. One way to do that is role-playing.”

Who said it: Richard Martinez, Young Americans Bank, Denver, Colorado.

Why it’s important: For information to stick with a large number of children, they need to know how it applies to their lives. Showing real-world applications to financial education can ensure that children will retain that knowledge into adulthood.

Quote: “Kids [are] talking about spending. Students are having conversations about college debt. They are thinking about saving.”

Who said it: Kimberly Vaughn, Muscle Shoals High School, a partner of First Metro Bank, Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Why it’s important: This shows that the children who went through this program are motivated to start saving. Getting kids to understand early in their lives what it will cost to achieve their goals can spark a stronger interest in saving.

Quote: “By the end of the school year, the student is more outgoing and has gained confidence.”

Who said it: Kim Drudi, Athol Savings Bank, Athol, Massachusetts.

Why it’s important: Financial education provides much more than knowledge. When that knowledge helps children become more outgoing and confident, they become better equipped to function in the real world.

Quote: “Using students as the educators makes the material relatable.”

Who said it: LaKia Williams, Capital One Financial Corporation, McLean, Virginia.

Why it’s important: When financial education is interactive, it creates stronger engagement among the students, and they can see the application of that knowledge firsthand. By involving students as bank tellers at school branches, those students not only gain financial education, but the role may spark an interest in a future banking career.

Quote: “Students across the board in the early ages are understanding much better the difference in needs versus wants. The upper grades are beginning to understand how money and business works.”

Who said it: Patty Fleming, Treynor Elementary School, a partner of TS Bank, Treynor, Iowa.

Why it’s important: Starting early is important. Financial education is an ongoing process that should begin in elementary school and continue through high school. There are many financial lessons that children can learn about early that will help them advance into more complex subjects as they get older.

April 5, 2017 at 2:02 pm

FDIC provides resources to use during National Financial Literacy Month

Did you know April is National Financial Literacy Month? The goal of National Financial Literacy Month is to educate Americans on the importance of financial literacy and to help individuals establish and maintain healthy financial habits.

That sounds great, but what resources are available to help us educate others? Well, the FDIC has many financial education tools to help people of all ages build their financial knowledge and skills.

These tools are free and include lesson plans for educators, materials to help education adults on how bank accounts work, information to help older Americans avoid financial exploitation and much more.

The free resources also include:

  • Money Smart for Young People, Money Smart for Adults, and Money Smart for Older Adults, age-appropriate financial education material available in nine languages.
  • Money Smart for Small Business, in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, which provides useful information for new and aspiring entrepreneurs and is available in English and Spanish.
  • Money Smart News, the FDIC’s newsletter featuring tips, updates, and success stories for financial educators. A recent edition of Money Smart News highlights youth financial capability resources, including an FDIC report to help banks and schools enhance financial education efforts through access to a savings account.
  • Teacher Online Resource Center, which offers resources to help teachers develop financial lessons for children from pre-K through age 20.
  • FDIC Learning Bank, a site that provides information for young people about using money wisely, how banks work, and the differences between types of bank accounts.
  • FDIC Consumer News, an FDIC newsletter, offering practical guidance on how to become a smarter, safer user of financial services.
  • Savings-Related Resources, a website that provides savings-related resources for financial institutions, community-based organizations, and others.

For a full list of the FDIC’s free financial education resources, visit


April 4, 2017 at 11:09 am

Money Smart Week Bike Bash- register today!

Money Smart Week Iowa is partnering with the Des Moines Bike Collective to host the 2017 Bike Bash on Saturday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Join us for a day full of biking with family and friends.

There will be three route options that will all begin at Mullets. The bike routes include:

  • Penny Pinchers (short route): Approximately 5 miles
  • Savvy Spenders (medium route): Approximately 10-12 miles
  • Super Savers (long route): Approximately 25 miles

All the routes will be on trails, and maps will be available prior to the event, at Mullets.

Register today to join in the fun! Participating in the Bike Bash is free, but registration is required. The first 100 riders to register will receive a free t-shirt!

For more information and to register, click here.

March 30, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Teach Children to Save Day- just one month away

The 2018 Teach Children to Save Day is exactly onemonth away and will be celebrating its 20th birthday! Teach Children to Save Day is a free national program sponsored by the ABA Foundation, and was started in 1977 to coordinate bank volunteers in helping young people develop a savings habit early in life.

On Friday, April 28, 2018, bankers will be teaching young individuals about the value of saving and encouraging them to start young in order to save more. Bankers will be volunteering in classrooms, at after-school programs, at youth centers and in many more locations.

How can you get involved with the Teach Children to Save Day you ask? Simply register for free at the ABA website. Once registered, you will have access to free presentation planning tools, lesson plans, social media guides and much more.

To learn more about Teach Children to Save, click here.


March 28, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Resources for teaching about taxes

We are in the midst of tax season, so what better topic for the classroom than taxes?

This year, the Iowa Department of Revenue has a tax year 2016 Student Income Tax Packet available to help educators and students gain a better understanding on how to complete the Iowa individual income tax return. To download this free packet, visit the Department’s website.

Also available is an Iowa Tax Information for Students publication. This publication includes details about filing Iowa income tax returns in a Q&A format.

Take the time to teach your students about taxes. You never know, you might learn a thing or two as well.

March 17, 2017 at 10:56 am

FDIC offers new Money Smart curriculum for older adults

Money Smart for Older Adults (MSOA) is an instructor-led training developed jointly by the FDIC and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The curriculum has been recently enhanced with new information and resources that allow older adults and their caregivers to make comprehensive financial decisions with confidence.

Learn about common types of fraud and scams and how to prevent elder financial exploitation. Most importantly, discover ways to keep your information safe and secure through advanced planning.

The curriculum covers seven topics:

  • Common Types of Elder Financial Exploitation
  • Scams Targeting Veterans
  • Identity Theft
  • Medical Identity Theft
  • Scams that Target Homeowners
  • Planning for Unexpected Life Events
  • How to Be Financially Prepared for Disasters

The FDIC is offering a free webinar on Thursday, March 30, to learn more. Click here to register and to learn more about MSOA.

March 14, 2017 at 9:23 am

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