Friday, March 29, 2019

Four Easy Ways to Kick-Start Your Girl’s Financial Future Now

We can all agree that there’s more to money management than keeping a piggy bank. The current global economic challenges have made it clear: financial literacy skills matter, and girls need to learn them to thrive in today’s world—the sooner the better!

According to the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI), girls want to learn financial skills so they can achieve their dreams. In fact, 90 percent say it’s important for them to learn how to manage money, but only 12 percent feel comfortable making decisions about money. Perhaps the most shocking statistic is that women hold two-thirds of student debt in the United States! It’s time to change that and help more girls take control of their financial futures.

April marks the beginning of Financial Literacy Month, so all month long we’ll be sharing actionable financial literacy tips for girls on Instagram stories. Be sure to follow us: @girlscouts. We also want to empower YOU—parents, caregivers, troop leaders, and volunteers—with more ways to get the girl(s) in your life better equipped for a financially fit future. That’s why Toyota Financial Services (TFS) and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) are thrilled to collaborate to help girls become self-reliant; financially informed; and capable of using their talent, and resources. Through this multiyear partnership worth over $3.3 million, more than 40,000 4th- through 12th-grade girls in underserved communities across the United States will take part in the “Driving My Financial Future” program.

Check out these easy ways you can support your girl on her journey to becoming the CFO of her life.

1. Use the TFS “Driving My Financial Future” Tip Sheet: From becoming a savvy shopper to establishing credit to developing her negotiation skills, give your Junior, Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador a chance to flourish financially by using the TFS “Driving My Financial Future” Tip Sheet. Girls can earn 11 dedicated Financial Literacy badges designed to simulate real-life situations, ensuring girls in different age groups can all learn to budget, save, and spend like a BOSS!

2. Save, save, save: Helping her save money can be a rewarding experience for both you and your girl. If she doesn’t already have a savings account, take her to the bank and help her set one up. Chat with her about something she wants to save for, and help her come up with a plan to put money away by making regular monthly deposits. Have her create a budget sheet with a checkbox next to every deposit she makes successfully so she can visually track her progress. It will also give her a reason to celebrate her success!

3. Tread carefully with credit cards: Teaching her about needs versus wants is something you’re already doing, but helping her understand that the “buy now and pay later” strategy often comes with interest is crucial. Most credit card companies start marketing to girls as early as 18 years old, so make time to have a conversation with her about the benefits and dangers of credit cards.

4. Teach her how to be a smart shopper: 
Whether she’s saving for a dream car or a new computer, she’ll likely have to do some comparison shopping. Let’s say your girl is dreaming about her first car. How can you use this opportunity to help her become a smarter shopper? First pick one type of car, such as a sedan, hybrid/electric, convertible, etc. Then go online to compare the cost of three cars in your chosen category. Researching cars is a good way to learn the pros and cons of individual models. Read online reviews to see what experts and consumers say about the cars. Did she read anything that changed her mind?

Keep your girl on track for money mastery! Take matters into your own hands by starting a conversation with her about financial skills. Because when girls understand the value of properly managing personal finances, they’re better prepared for the realities of adulthood. That’s why GSUSA and TFS are committed to supporting tens of thousands of girls on their road to financial empowerment.

Learn more about our partnership with TFS.