Effective Financial Education Strategies

I’m just coming off a road trip leading two full-day Financial Education Boot Camp workshops attended by over 100 New Jersey teachers. A lot of valuable information was shared about personal finance content and engaging learning activities. Here are some insights that resonated with me:


Watch Your Language– Common words that financial educators use can be intimidating. Instead of talking about “the future” to people (especially students) who live day-to-day, use words like “now’ and “later.” Instead of focusing on goals, which seem intimidating and formal, focus on instilling good habits.


Tell Powerful Stories– Stories make difficult changes seem possible. One Boot Camp participant put it this way: “students want to know someone who has gone through it or is going through it.” The most important part of a story is not the happy ending but how people overcame obstacles between Point A and Point B.


Use Engaging Activities– Engage your students’ creative juices and senses. At Boot Camp, teachers shared financial advice on index cards and posted them online. I am pleased to share some of the results of their efforts.


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