Your Spending Your Savings Your Future: Guide to Financial Readiness
Money management skills are important for everyone, regardless of their current financial condition or what financial mistakes they’ve made in the past. Based on NEFE’s publication Your Spending, Your Savings, Your Future: A Beginner’s Guide to Financial Readiness, this workshop emphasizes a basic approach to spending, saving, and planning and will help you provide tools for learners so they can achieve financial stability.
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Each kit provides workshop facilitators with the materials needed to run a workshop straight out of the box, or the choice to adapt any of the detailed presentations, scripts or learner action plans to suit their unique audience’s needs. Here is what you can find in each workshop.
Display these PowerPoint slides during your presentation to keep the workshop engaging and on track.
Consult the script for tips on how to prepare for your workshop, what your primary talking points will be, and follow-up resources.
Activities and Info Sheets
Guide your workshop participants through the hands-on activities and informational sheets to bring the financial skills to life.
Find additional suggested resources that can help round out your educational offerings.
The FAQ section for each workshop can help answer your questions about working with your intended audience.
How do I get participants to open up and be honest about their spending habits? What motivates their financial decisions?
Creating a welcoming and supportive environment will help participants open up and be honest. Explain the importance of confidentiality and show compassion towards the participants and their experiences. Sharing stories helps you connect with the participants, stresses equality, and facilitates greater understanding and application of the materials. Building a solid relationship between you and the participants and among the participants themselves, will make the program more successful all around. Also asking questions that cause participants to really think about their experiences will help.
How do I stress that change will come gradually and patience is important?
Have the participants identify their short- and long-term financial goals. This will show them that not all goals can be reached quickly. Also, point out that making good financial decisions requires a change in behavior and habits, which can take a long time and requires practice.
Will explaining the difference between various savings, checking, and investment options overwhelm my audience?
Depending on your audience, you may decide to leave out detailed information on some of the more complicated investment information. For example, if the majority of your participants have never had a checking account, spend your time explaining the basics. If most of them understand checking and savings, then spend more time delving into investment information.
How do I help participants decide what kind of investment tools are appropriate for their situation?
There are different types of investments that may make sense depending on the individual or family. Once a budget is created and followed and an emergency account is funded, participants can put leftover income into a variety of financial products, depending on their needs. If a participant is interested in saving for retirement, taking advantage of an employer’s retirement plan and any potential matching contributions is a good place to start. After that, an Individual Retirement Account or Roth IRA might be appropriate. Investment choices such as stocks and mutual funds can be more expensive and risky than Certificates of Deposit, but as long as the risks are explained, a participant can make an informed decision. While low- and moderate-income individuals and families may just be trying to save for emergencies, some may have a surplus of money to invest in different products now or –hopefully– in the future.
How can I emphasize the importance of starting a savings plan early?
Explain that those who start saving earlier in life have an advantage over those who start later. Use the example on page 23 of Your Spending, Your Savings, Your Future: A Beginner’s Guide to Financial Readiness, which illustrates the difference between Alletta, who started saving at age 22 and saved for nine years, and her twin brother Cory, who started saving at age 31 but contributed for 34 years. Participants may be surprised to learn that Alletta ended up with a significant amount more in savings than did her brother by the time they reached retirement age.
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