Notes from the Executive Committee
Tax season is over (whew!), but opportunities for financial learning and growth continue throughout the spring. Here at Bank On Louisville, we are in the process of doing some "spring cleaning" of our own, so that we can better serve all members of our community, especially those who lack access to traditional checking and savings accounts.
What are we up to, you ask? Well, for one thing, we're revising and revamping the Start Fresh curriculum. By July, we'll have rolled out a new, more interactive and user-friendly workbook, and we'll be training or re-training workshop facilitators. Contact us if you're interested in learning more about Start Fresh, hosting the workshop or providing instruction to your clients or employees.
We are also advancing our work to engage employers in an initiative to encourage employee direct deposit and savings, and later this summer you'll find out more about our Financial Empowerment Provider Network, which will support stronger coordination of quality financial empowerment programs in the community.
And as summer approaches, excitement builds for Bank On Louisville's third anniversary celebration this August! Stay tuned for more details -- we hope to see you there!
Until then, stay engaged in our financial empowerment work by exploring the resources in this newsletter and sharing them with clients, co-workers, friends, and family.
How much does it really cost?
Payday lending and deposit advance products
Each year, millions of Americans borrow payday loans from storefront and online lenders. Do you know who borrows, where they borrow, and why? Find out more: take Pew's interactive quiz and check out their map of state loan usage and regulation.
Then, explore the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's infographic and white paper on how people are really using payday loans and deposit advance products. (Hint: unfortunately, it's not just for emergency costs.)
Financial literacy: learn early, learn often
Learning personal money management and the importance of saving, as well as understanding the overall U.S. economic system, are crucial life skills. But, as a recent New York Times piece reports, even in the wake of the 2008 recession and subsequent integration of economic education into many public school curricula, many students still don't have a firm grasp of personal finance or economic concepts such as the credit system. And a new report from Girl Scouts reveals that "girls need and want financial literacy skills to help them achieve their dreams, with 90 percent saying it is important for them to learn how to manage money. However, just 12 percent of girls surveyed feel 'very confident' making financial decisions."
So what would it look like for us, as a community, to take responsibility for our youth's financial capability? How do we ensure that all children have the opportunity to develop these life skills? How can increased financial knowledge also improve other educational outcomes? Perhaps we can take a cue from San Francisco and Mississippi and invest in youth savings accounts, which can motivate secondary education attainment (read more here and here). This is just one idea for getting all children on the path to financial security. What are your suggestions?
If you have questions or want to get involved in Bank On Louisville, contact Caitlin Willenbrink, AmeriCorps-VISTA volunteer.