Congratulations to winners of the Consumer Financial Information Award!
2019: My Life My Choices – Student Edition by Money Fit by DRS
My Life My Choices™ – Student Edition is a fun, free and interactive budgeting activity of choices and consequences, designed for the tastes and preferences of middle and high school student. Students time travel to the first month of their first semester of college, out of state and away from family and friends. They must prioritize their financial spending based upon what they value most, after which they are presented with day-to-day scenarios (some humorous, others mundane, but all real and relevant) that will affect their available cash for better or for worse, depending upon their chosen priorities. Can they keep their account balance above $0 to avoid overdraft fees, and can they end up in a financial position as good as or better than where they started? Students who complete the activity receive a certificate of completion via email that includes their name and ending balance so they can share their experience with friends and classmates. My Life My Choices has proven both fun and educational in the classroom. Now available online 24/7 at no cost, it will also prove far-reaching and affordable.
2018: Nothing Funny About Money
Nothing Funny About Money is a NPR-affiliated radio show co-hosted by Dr. Matt Goren and Michael Thomas that reaches an audience of 20,000 listeners. Matt has a Ph.D. in Psychology and teaches as an adjunct professor in the financial planning program at the University of Georgia. Michael is an Accredited Financial Counselor and Ph.D. candidate in the same program. The show puts a light-hearted spin on an otherwise scary topic: money. Nothing Funny About Money has the potential to be utilized as a tool to inform and encourage thoughtful conversations between practitioners/counselors/educators and their clients. Although it costs the hosts time and money to support the show, they believe the value of the segments is priceless. Matt and Michael firmly believe that Nothing Funny About Money provides the best opportunity to reach individuals and families who do not feel that they are capable of achieving higher levels of personal financial satisfaction. Although the show is currently broadcast locally, the hosts envision the potential to scale-up regionally and, eventually, nationally. The hosts’ sincerest hope is that their show helps provide the needed boost to encourage behavioral change among listeners that leads to greater financial-wellbeing and life satisfaction.
2017: Hands on Banking (Wells Fargo)
A public service provided by Wells Fargo, Hands on Banking® is a free, non-commercial program available in both English and Spanish that teaches people in all stages of life about the basics of responsible money management, including how to create a budget, save and invest, borrow responsibly, buy a home, and establish a small business. Hands on Banking and its Spanish counterpart are available online at handsonbanking.org and elfuturoentusmanos.org, respectively. The sites are hosted separate from wellsfargo.com, free from Wells Fargo product and service promotion. Since 2003, Hands on Banking has provided tools and educational resources to help people become smarter about money and achieve their financial goals. In fact, each year more than 1.5 million people from around the world visit Hands on Banking. The Hands on Banking program is used in a variety of settings, including schools in all 50 states, with non-profits and in correctional facilities, women’s shelters, and government agencies. The program is designed for individuals as young as 4th grade up to mature adults. We also serve teachers and other educators, non-profits, government entities, workplaces and Wells Fargo team members both in terms of community outreach and in developing their own financial capability. Hands on Banking is just one example of Wells Fargo’s longstanding commitment to promoting the economic health and well-being of the communities where our customers and team members live and do business.
Award accepted on behalf of AFCPE® Member, Mia Russell, PhD, AFC®.
2015: University of Idaho Extension’s Northwest Youth Financial Instititute (Luke Erickson & Lyle Hansen)
The initiative provides instructor support materials to be used with youth ages 8-18 in the Pacific Northwestern states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The materials, authored by AFC® professionals Luke Erickson and Lyle Hansen, are extremely innovative, combining instructional design theory on first-person gaming, as well as group and individual presentation adaptability.
Financial counselors and planners can go through the games with clients in order to present financial concepts in an engaging and memorable way. The information and materials are freely available on the web at no cost to consumers and have been produced by University of Idaho Extension with the financial support of Northwest Farm Credit Services.
2014: Rita Green
Dr. Rita Green understands the importance of savings and the positive impact it has on families. “Saving money is an important element in the financial security of families,” Rita notes. “Savings provides a firm foundation that can help families weather the financial storms that occur due to job loss or unexpected expenses.”
As the Family Financial Management State Specialist for Mississippi State University Extension Service, Dr. Rita Green provides leadership in personal financial education under the broad categories of basic money management, credit control, fraud and identity theft, youth financial literacy, and homebuyer education. In 2013, Rita secured funding from the Bank of America Charitable Trust through the Consumer Federation of America to develop the TV segment, Your Money Minute.
Your Money Minute consists of brief, one-minute segments designed to air during America Saves Week. It first aired in 2013 on two Mississippi Delta-based stations and has run in consecutive years as part of the Mississippi Saves campaign. At this past year’s AFCPE® Research & Training Symposium, Dr. Green was awarded the 2014 Outstanding Consumer Information Award for her work developing the series.
According to a recent report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development, only about 49 percent of Mississippians have savings accounts. Mississippi also has the highest concentration of payday lenders in the country. Your Money Minute airs on a station that reaches a population of over 1 million people in what is essentially one of the most economically vulnerable areas of the state.
The segments are designed to be brief. The brevity of the sessions increases the likelihood that viewers will listen to, and learn from, the important savings advice being offered. Not only do they air during America Saves Week, but also during the vulnerable tax season. During this time, many commercials are encouraging consumers to utilize predatory products for their refund checks. Your Money Minute offers a valuable message during a critical time. The segments replace the messages of predatory products with important advice on saving.
This week, Your Money Minute will air once again on television stations across the state. The series schedule includes:
Monday – Importance of Saving Money
Tuesday – SMART Goals
Wednesday – Identifying Sources of Money to Save
Thursday – Methods or Ways of Saving Money
Friday – Review of the Week’s topics
We applaud Rita, the innovative approach she developed to deliver important savings advice to consumers, and the good work she continues to do in the field. If you are a Mississippi resident, be sure to take the pledge to save at www.mississippisaves.org and tune in to Your Money Minute airing February 23 – 27!