By AnnMarie Marlier, executive director, Business Ethics Alliance
Two things recently caught my eye about finances and financial literacy. A recent article in Yahoo Finance recently caught my eye. The headline read “1 in 3 Gen Z and Millennial Adults Are Still Financially Reliant on Their Parents, Study Finds.” For as large a part of the workforce as this population comprises, a lot of workers struggle with finances. The second thing to catch my eye was a proposal written by a student to provide financial literacy education to high school, college, and university students.
April also brings urgency to finish filing taxes and checking financial status through this process. Some people better understand what it means to be financially literate and reach financial goals, while others struggle to become financially independent. In Omaha, we are very fortunate to have several programs and resources to teach financial literacy, starting at a young age and moving through any stage of adulthood. Here is a sampling of some of them; there are more than this article has space to mention:
Public K-12 School Systems:
Nebraska has been leading the way in financial literacy for K-12 for a while now. LB452 is a bill passed by the Nebraska Legislature requiring financial literacy standards and instruction in K-12 public school districts. After the bill was passed, several stories were written to show how LB452 was implemented across the state.
Many colleges and universities use Inceptia for financial literacy education. Inceptia started by providing education primarily about student loans, but they have expanded to some other student levels. They are based in Lincoln, but their programs are online.
Although not specifically for college and university students, The UNO Center for Economic Education is based out of the UN-Omaha campus and provides economic education for K-12 students. It is one of five centers overseen by the Nebraska Council of Economic Education, which operates out of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. The UNO center is accredited by the national Council for Economic Education.
Financial Institution Programs:
Several financial institutions offer free financial literacy programs to the community. The Nebraska Bankers Association provides statewide financial literacy education to youth. Centris Federal Credit Union has also provided financial literacy education to the community for several years. Centris’ partnerships with the Financial Hope Collaborative at Creighton University teach single moms and young adults financial literacy skills, while programs like Mad City Money teach youth financial literacy skills. Another financial institution offering financial literacy programs for youth is First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO).
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Several community organizations also provide financial literacy education, especially for youth. For example, organizations like Junior Achievement of the Midlands and Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands offer financial literacy programs for teens. Financial Beginnings is a national organization that provides financial literacy education to youth through a large network of volunteers, and they have a Nebraska group. LendingLink “provides responsive financial coaching coupled with affordable, alternative loans.”
There are many more financial literacy programs to mention than space in this article. What is heartening to the Business Ethics Alliance is to see so that most of the organizations listed above which provide these programs are also Trustee Partners of the Alliance. Additionally, other programs (and some individuals from) these organizations listed above provide service to the Alliance through Governing Board membership, attendance at Signature Events, and other forms of support.
Ethical financial practices, and knowledge of them, contribute to financial success for individuals and the community. Ultimately, this translates to financial stability and success for future generations. When you consider the many types of learning that take place over a lifetime, please make sure to include financial literacy as part of that education.
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