- Posted by LiSA
- On April 10, 2015
- 0 Comments
- diversity, financial education, First Financial Security Inc., Gender Gap, LiSA Initiative, LiSA Literacy Project, National Financial Educators Council, NFEC
This is the sixth and final article in a series examining America’s growing Financial Literacy crisis and ways to combat it. The series’ goal is to drive awareness of the problem; encourage dialogue among diverse communities, corporate entities, and constituencies; and lead to the creation of educational opportunities and programs that can help people achieve a better financial future.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
LiSA Initiative Leads a Financial Literacy Movement in America
The thing about a cliché is even though the phrase or expression may become ingrained in our vernacular to the point of irritation, more often than not, it still retains its original intent or purpose. That certainly is the case for our headline. In fact, it may just be the perfect metaphor for the fight against financial illiteracy in this county.
You see if we are to stop this growing threat, it will take far more than a village. It will take small communities and neighborhoods, church groups and school boards, government leaders and activists, and most of all, every day people banding together and working toward a common goal. We must join forces to ensure that every American has access to a financial education despite age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background or region of the country in which he or she lives.
Over the course of the past six weeks, we’ve examined the unfortunate state of financial literacy in this country. The lack of a financial education not only impacts the lives of individuals and families, it takes an incredible toll on the small towns, rural communities and urban neighborhoods where they live.
If left unchecked, financial illiteracy will rob generations of people of opportunities to build a better life for themselves. With a lack of understanding of basic financial concepts and how money works, people make poor decisions that can leave them mired in debt, with poor credit scores that could not only cost them a place to live, but also a job for which to pay for it.
Financial illiteracy’s destruction doesn’t stop with the individual, it spreads to like a cancer through the communities and neighborhoods in which they live and work. When people no longer have money to save in their local banks, or spend at their grocery stores and other retail shops, these legitimate businesses flee. The void left behind is quickly filled with predatory lending operations that perpetuate a cycle of debt that’s almost impossible from which to break free.
For the more than 76% Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck1, the discretionary income is just not there to the purchase a new home or a car. It’s not a stretch to imagine the impact that financial illiteracy could have on a shaky, far-from-recovered American economy.
Financial illiteracy can be cured, but it is going to take a concerted effort. LiSA Initiative is ready to take the lead in that charge.
LiSA is prepared to serve as a beacon to light the way toward restoring financial literacy in this country.
We’ve already begun the fight by joining forces with the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) to form a partnership to bring financial education resources, workshops and awareness promotions to communities across the nation. The collaborative program, set to begin this year, combines the NFEC’s established financial education curriculum with LiSA Initiative’s dynamic financial literacy coursework to create LiSA Literacy Project.
LiSA Literacy Project’s practical lesson plans focus on such personal finance issues as budgeting, insurance, managing credit and reducing debt, investing basics, estate planning, and retirement strategies. The goal is to provide people with a solid financial education, so they can make smart choices about their money and create a secure financial future.
LiSA has reached out to community organizations in cities and towns across the country to invite all interested parties to take a seat at the table and discuss literacy solutions that will work for their respective citizens. Whether it’s ensuring that tax counselors and computers are available at community centers to help people file their taxes, or mobilizing parents to push educators to offer personal finance classes in elementary and secondary school curricula, or starting bi-lingual, after school classes to help children learn how money works, so they, in turn, can teach their parents, ideas and solutions are out there.
LiSA Initiative is determined to make sure those ideas get heard and implemented so that financial illiteracy soon becomes a thing of the past in villages across the United States.
1 Angela Johnson. “76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.” Money.cnn.com > Personal Finance. Jun. 24, 2013. http://cnnmon.ie/1j8l3tX