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Financial Education 101

Financial education for teens is the process of teaching young people how to manage
their finances, understand the basics of budgeting, saving, investing, and other financial concepts. The aim is to equip teens with the knowledge and skills needed to make informed decisions about money, avoid debt and financial pitfalls, and plan for a financially secure future.

Program Relevancy

It is crucial for teenagers to learn about finance early because it sets the foundation for responsible financial behavior as an adult. Adolescence is a time when many financial habits and attitudes are formed, and it is easier to build good habits early than to try to change bad habits later in life.

1. Promotes responsible spending and saving habits: Teens who receive financial education learn how to budget their money, set financial goals, and make informed decisions about spending and saving.
2. Helps prevent debt and financial difficulties: Teens who understand the basics of finance are less likely to fall into debt and other financial difficulties.
3. Provides a head start on building wealth: The earlier teens start saving and investing, the more time they have to grow their money and build wealth.
4. Teaches life-long financial management skills: The financial skills learned in adolescence will carry into adulthood, giving teens the tools they need to manage their finances throughout their lives.

Program Activities

1. Budgeting and Expense Tracking: Teach teens how to create and manage a budget by providing them with a sample budget and tracking expenses for a week. Then discuss how to adjust the budget based on spending habits.
2. Saving and Investing: Teach teens about the benefits of saving and investing, including compound interest and long-term wealth building. You can simulate a stock market activity or have them track the performance of a virtual investment portfolio.
3. Debit Cards Versus Credit Cards Teaches the difference between the two, the benefits and downfalls of both, and knowing when to use them.
4. Credit Scoring: Teach teens about the pros and cons of credit, credit scores, and how to use credit responsibly. You can show them the effect of interest rates on the cost of borrowing and how credit card debt can accumulate over time.
5. Financial Planning: Teach teens about financial planning, including setting goals, creating a financial plan, and tracking progress towards financial goals. You can use a worksheet to guide them through the process of setting goals, identifying strategies, and implementing plans to achieve their goals.
6. Financial Literacy Games: Use interactive games to teach teens about money management, such as the "Money Management" game or "Cashflow for Kids." These games allow teens to experience financial decision-making and its consequences.
7. Guest Speakers: Invite financial experts such as financial advisors, investment bankers, accountants, or bankers to speak to teens about personal finance management, financial planning, and investing.

Program Outcomes

Fin-Ed 101 will empower teens to make informed financial decisions that will benefit
them throughout their lives, in support of our organization's mission to decrease crime,
poverty and recidivism.

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