Financial Literacy – Increasing the Pool of Informed Consumers
In a largely consumer-driven economy, being money smart has become more of an essential skillset. The 21st Century Harvest Foundation, Inc. envisions consumers being equipped with the necessary information required to make wise financial decisions. We see this knowledge serving as a safeguard against the ‘buyer beware’ environment that takes advantage of less informed individuals every day. To increase the general public’s financial literacy we see a greater need for money smart conversations/lessons in: homes, schools, and within the community.
Although the emphasis on financial literacy education has increased within the last decade, the resources dedicated to properly educate the general public are insufficient. Within our homes and in the community, we are bombarded by advertisements and strategic messaging that prompts many to allocate unsustainable portions of their income/credit to consumer spending. We largely live in a society that rewards expensive status symbols over practical sustenance. Within our schools, limited financial literacy education typically falls victim to time needed to address yearly progress deficiencies, as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act. The unfortunate end result of a lack of focus on financial literacy education is: heavy credit card indebtedness, limited to no personal savings, an over reliance on regulation, in some cases, to protect vulnerable consumers, and the high and sometimes hidden public cost associated with bankruptcies and defaults.
41% – Percentage of U.S. adults who gave themselves a C grade or lower on personal finance knowledge
Our Piece of the Solution:
To increase the public’s financial literacy we will:
- Advocate for the expansion of financial literacy education;
- Provide resources that increase the understanding of basic financial literacy concepts such as budgeting, credit, saving, etc.
- Reduce the unbanked population
- Work to increase the underserved’s access to capital