Financial Empowerment Intro – Bright Side 19

We find that personal finance is no longer
taught in school as a part of the curriculum, and a lot is lost in our society by not having
the knowledge to make informed decisions. 77 million Americans don’t pay their bills
on time. So another piece of evidence that says how important financial education and
literacy is. With those emergency needs, they may go to
a payday lender. Two, three, four hundred percent interest essentially. That’s a very expensive way to solve your
problem, and we found that a lot of our members were doing that. And we thought, hey, we’ve
got to come up with a solution. So much of what we do with finances is on
the back end. You know, we collect taxes. And we have the FDIC, an insurance group so
that if the bank goes bad, you’re protected. But we don’t have a whole lot on the front
end. We don’t have a whole lot to be proactive. And that’s what the financial empowerment
center was all about. My goal is to purchase my first home and my
other goal is to pay off my vehicle. This is our fifth annual Show Me the Money
Day event. It’s a kickoff to the tax season. And we were just chatting about the children’s
savings accounts, and Megan’s like, “You know, this would be a great thing to do in
a rural community.” And I said, “Gee, I happen to know one!” Some people say, “Well gosh, kindergarten
is just too early for kids.” Kids understand money. Are you excited about the piggy bank? YEAH! Everybody that walked through our front door,
they came because they didn’t have their own resources to solve their problem. And so if we continue to just help people
subsist and provide them the income they need to get by for a short period, we’ll never
quite empower them to get ahead. So financial empowerment is about arming people with the
information and tools they need to actually create their own financial stability.

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