Beth reasoned that her financial education for women program would have the most impact if it focused on those who did not know the basics of personal money management, regardless of age.
Debt, savings and budgeting would be the three main topics, each with a minor focus on financial psychology. This would give women the strong foundation they need for financial independence and her curriculum schedule would allow for the intended level of knowledge.
Curriculum Considerations in Designing a Course About Financial Literacy for Women
The curriculum had to be flexible enough to allow these self-empowered women to go at their own pace and explore specific areas they were drawn to, yet structured enough to push them to keep up and keep them challenged. It was important that the program meet formal educational standards which would increase the program’s legitimacy. Just-in-time learning would also be a valuable feature.
The last day of the online personal finance for women class was cause for celebration. Beth presented Completion Certificates along with instructions on how to leverage them for future success in various types of applications. In order to solidify the students’ new knowledge and help them use it in their lives, Beth kept the closed Facebook group active and sent weekly emails with resources and information. It was just a matter of time before Beth’s first financial literacy education for women class became a powerful force affecting positive change.
Foreclosure, joblessness, debt, bankruptcy—although the financial problems so many Americans face today are partly the result of recent economic conditions, a marked lack of financial education must share the blame. And women, especially single mothers, may tread an even tougher road toward raising financially independent teenagers. Women often feel that they can’t discuss their money problems with others; they think they have to put on a brave front, a façade to show the world that everything’s okay. Bringing women and financial literacy into the spotlight could have tremendous impact on the future of our country’s youth.
Before women will be empowered to provide their children with a practical money education, they need to gain confidence in their own financial competencies. The National Financial Educators Council offers free financial literacy materials that can help. This independent, for-profit, socially responsible organization is dedicated to raising awareness about the need for financial literacy training and providing resources that are free and easy to access.
Women who receive no practical money education are likely to find themselves in dire situations by the time they reach retirement age. Too many women rely upon their husbands’ pensions, Social Security, or an inheritance to fund their retirement. Unfortunately these retirement sources are likely to dry up within the next decade. More than ever, women need to be placed in contact with a financial literacy campaign that will give them the knowledge they need to plan for future independence and security.
The NFEC provides the equivalent of a financial literacy institute in the form of workshops, classes, campaigns, and online learning resources. Here women can learn how to avoid common money pitfalls and also become savvy to pass money skills down to their children. So why is financial literacy important to women? Because they can be the ambassadors who help change the lives of the nation’s youth.