Teaching Financial Literacy

In late July, Tim and I attended the National Youth Involvement Board (NYIB) Conference in San Diego. The NYIB focuses on financial education for youth, primarily school-aged kids and teenagers. With Young & Free’s focus on the 18-to-25 age group, it is a natural complement. 

 Photo by  @DOUG88888

Photo by @DOUG88888

Tim was brought in to conduct a full-day pre-conference session, "Moving The Young Adult Needle." Attendees learned to connect with young adults and discovered what makes Gen Y and Z tick. Tim also discussed what young potential members really look for from their financial institution, including which products, services and technology credit unions needs to remain relevant. The session also touched on credit union staffing with an eye towards how to attract and engage the next generation of leaders. The session was capped off with an in-depth look at Young & Free. 

This isn’t the typical crowd that Tim presents to, like the marketers that you and I might conference with. These were the financial educators that are in the schools on a daily basis, doing the hard work of making our children financially smarter, in practice, not just in theory. They were a really great group, showed wonderful hospitality and made us feel very welcome. 

My big take-away: According to Ted Beck, the President & CEO of the National Endowment For Financial Education (NEFE), 87% of teachers don’t feel comfortable teaching concepts related to financial literacy.

Wow! Grown adults who are smart, educated and manage their own finances in some way, aren’t comfortable teaching a concept that is a reality in everyone’s life, like cooking or walking.

If these teachers aren’t comfortable, who is? That’s where the financial educators come in. What a huge role they play, being confident in their knowledge and taking that to the classroom! As we all know, society has a mega need for financial literacy, at all ages.

Do you have a financial educator on staff? If you don’t, should you? How are you supporting these roles with creative financial literacy tools? Let me know in the comments!


Sandy Pitkethly is the Vice President, Marketing for Currency Marketing and manages new business development and overall client service. She has over 20 years of marketing experience, and will stop at nothing to turn you into a curling fan. If you are interested in Young & Free, Money Mom, or finding out what curling is all about, Sandy's the one to talk to.