A Unique Framework
Financial Literacy through Character Development (ABCs of Wealth) is an innovative approach that provides a framework for combining character development with financial education, in order to raise a generation that is mentored to become financially stable and independent, and to use various forms of WEALTH such as knowledge, expertise, talents, money, and time as well as physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual muscles (virtues/character traits: Patience, Responsibility, Moderation, Thankfulness, Selflessness, Generosity, Truthfulness, and many more) to build stronger families, neighborhoods, communities, and a new world.
Basic Level program is appropriate for all ages with an emphasis on children and youth and concentrates on developing habits and muscles.
Advanced Level program is appropriate for ages 16 and up and includes various elements of banking services, credit, earning & taxes, retirement, and investing. Through our financial literacy curriculum, attendees learn to build a solid foundation in saving, investing, sharing, and spending by developing key habits and muscles. This development is complemented by learning the goal setting, consultative decision making, borrowing, and budgeting processes. Furthermore, attendees learn the value and concept of WEALTH and various elements of local financial services. While participants attain the necessary understanding of financial systems during workshops, they are mentored to work as teams within their family and community structure to implement and practice this knowledge in their daily financial lives as well as in others around them.
Financial Literacy Habits are Essential
The ABCs of Wealth financial literacy program focuses on helping participants develop various habits, therefore workshop learning must be practiced at home and in the community environment. In this context, although not required, it would be best if participants have the capability to receive allowance (from parents or guardian) or generate their own income on regular basis (amount is not important at all). Every lesson in the Basic Level includes a take-home handout that allows participants to share their learning with family and community members.
One Challenge, Many Effects
Financial Illiteracy causes broken homes, school dropouts, dependency on predatory lending (payday loans) and government benefits, health issues (stress, depression, anxiety), bankruptcies, foreclosures, divorces, homelessness, deficiency in economic development, and even murder-suicide in some extreme cases. Due to lack of adequate financial skills, majority of youth follow the same patterns as their parents with no or little chance of breaking the cycle.
Financial Illiteracy is costly
In 2011 Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, declared Financial Literacy as an essential component of elementary education and in 2013, California Assembly Bill 166 incorporated the need for Financial Literacy in textbooks however as of today this education is missing in public schools. Today’s financial challenges are a testimonial to a growing need for specific education as more and more families and individuals become victims of their financial illiteracy. Based on a 2012 report by the PEW Charitable Trust, every year 12M Americans utilize payday loans for their life necessities and pay $3.4B in excess fees. These difficulties pose greater challenges in the socioeconomic disadvantaged areas.
Effects of Financial Illiteracy on Physical, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual Health
Various forms of illnesses and health are linked to how individuals manage their finances. Nutritional benefits are often sacrificed because of poor financial decisions.