It’s more guilt by association than any criminal culpability.
The word “habit” has been unceremoniously cast with a bad reputation. Smoking is a bad habit that must be kicked. Biting your nails is an unsightly habit. Gossiping is a habit that can land you in a world of complications with friends and peers.
The word “habit” in and of itself, however, isn’t really that bad at all.
We know exercise is a good habit to start early and instilling good eating habits at a young age can lead to healthier lives in adulthood.
And, more and more, we’re now hearing about how engaging children and young adults in financial literacy efforts early can develop a positive habit of lifelong fiscal stability and responsibility, as well as help people avoid financial missteps that can haunt them for a lifetime.
Many young adults are finding out too late that being snared in unsound financial habits is a tangled web that is difficult to escape. An Entrepreneur article from 2021 noted that more than 75% of U.S. residents ages 18-24 are accumulating debt by spending more every month than they earn — and since they are lacking credit history, they are paying higher and higher credit card interests on the resulting debt.
It’s a concern that just keeps growing. In August 2022, the results from the 12th edition of the Realty Check: Paycheck-to-Paycheck research series found that 61% of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck in June 2022, up from 55%in June 2021. Plus, it’s not just an issue for low-income earners. The biggest increase was found in paycheck-to-paycheck consumers earning between $100,000 and $150,000 annually.
It’s why there is now such a strong push for financial education initiatives in high school and even lower grades.
Financial literacy nurtures the basic skills and tools to improve personal finances by providing an understanding of budgeting, managing and paying off debt, credit and investment products, and savings and investing for the future — the fundamental building blocks for avoiding monetary pitfalls later in life.
Although roughly half of U.S. states require high schools to offer a personal finances class, only 15 states require it as condition of graduation. Yet the good news is that the financial literacy movement continues to grow. Over 100 financial literacy bills have been introduced across 40 states in the last two years, according to the Financial Planning Association; and more than lawmakers are taking notice of the issue. Credit unions, private organizations and the business community are also contributing to the effort to help strengthen the likelihood of success for clients, customers, members and the community.
Credit unions especially have a unique opportunity to bolster financial literacy opportunities for youth in their communities, creating a “win-win” scenario. Teaching kids the basics of money management can help them develop the healthy habits necessary to achieve financial success as adults and in turn create more loyal and financially healthy credit union members.
At Ever Green 3C, a credit union service organization wholly owned by Reseda Group, we are here to help credit unions establish better engagement, loyalty and lifelong relationships with their members and communities through financial education solutions. Our K-12 classroom workbook series, digital financial education content, customized presentations and seminars, and Reality Check financial fairs for teens and college students are designed to provide credit unions with the tools to bolster financial education for everyone from children to adults and build a stronger membership base that is poised for financial comfort for life.
Ever Green 3C has built a financial wellness platform full of engaging content for any credit union to leverage to help engage with members and build trust. We are your one-stop shop for blogs, articles and other resources to be a community consultant for students, educators, and your members that will enable you to cultivate lifelong learning and lifetime relationships.
Reach out to us today and see what we can do you for by visiting evergreen3c.com.