by Robert M. Church, DoughMain Financial Literacy Foundation
Planning for Your Health
Millions of Americans are coping with stress and anxiety as they deal with the unpredictability of their personal financial situations and the future due to the economic uncertainty created by the pandemic.
At-risk populations including moderate-low income, impoverished, women and single parents are increasingly burdened with fears that include the lack of savings, job loss, inability to afford daily expenses, pay debts and their children’s future abilities to afford college. These are very real fears and their impact affects present and future generations of families.
ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN + GIRLS: Development of financial literacy skills in women provides them with a skill set that serves as an opportunity for women to develop self-confidence and understanding of concepts that they have traditionally been denied access to. While women make up approximately 47% of a valuable and highly productive workforce in America, more than 41% (pre-COVID19) of the female population struggles financially. Many are poor, at the brink of being poor, or living from paycheck to paycheck. Women are eager for information about personal finance, financial planning and investing, and studies prove that 92% of women want to learn more.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and other studies show that women have lower financial literacy levels than men in both developed and developing countries. Specific groups of women ─ young women, widows, the less educated, and low-income women ─ tend to lack financial knowledge the most. Financial literacy can help abused women ─ Improved financial literacy training for domestic violence victims can help eliminate the dependency that often keeps victims trapped in dangerous relationships.
Financial exclusion also plays a significant role in increasing poverty and limiting prosperity for all. Financial exclusion has been widely researched in the United States, particularly regarding consumer credit and access to mortgages. Studies show that ethnic minorities – in particular African Americans and Hispanics – have lower access to mortgage funding, they pay more for mortgages when they get them. Additionally, they are more likely to be subject to predatory lending practices. The inability to access quality personal and financial education also stands as an impediment toward achieving overall economic success and to the success of future generations of families. By providing quality personal finance education that is relevant and relatable to minority populations and communities combined with significant opportunities for financial inclusion and growth (Sm. Business Loans, Mortgages, Financial and Business Mentoring Programs, Education and Trade School Opportunties etc.) we can empower generations to succeed in achieving their financial dreams.
Are we doing enough to prepare Americans with the skills needed to secure a lifetime of financial responsibility? The answer is a resounding NO! Only SIX States require a standalone course in personal finance be offered under k-12 educational standards. While most schools fail to address comprehensive personal finance education under current financial literacy standards adopted by 45 states.
As a society, we need to do more to encourage youth, women, families, and communities to acquire the personal financial skills necessary to ensure that future generations of Americans succeed in achieving their financial goals and aspirations and ensure that community stability.
While providing quality personal finance education can benefit anyone, regardless of age, income, or background. DoughMain Financial Literacy Foundation (www.dmfinancialliteracy.org) believes that for at-risk populations the impact can be increasingly more positive. Personal Finance education helps people make informed choices, day-to-day, during difficult times, and throughout their lives. The FitKit Comprehensive Personal Finance Program and Community Express Programs seek to empower, build self-confidence, build personal finance skills, and give voice to financially at-risk individuals and families to ensure future generations thrive.