By Alissa Weber
While attending the FLEX Retail and Marketing Summit this year, I was impressed with the number of bankers being recognized for their financial literacy efforts. While many of our peers go out into their communities and lead programs about important financial topics, it got me thinking about the importance of teaching financial education at home.
As bankers are well aware, money management, budgeting, saving, and basic math skills are the foundation of financial literacy — especially for our youngest consumers. In starting financial education early, parents and bankers alike can help to instill life-long financial habits and prepare children to build a secure financial future. While many banks have already taken a great first step in offering programs tailored to children and teens, it is important that we do not stop there. Many parents will attest that gamification is a great strategy in piquing a child’s interest. When opening new children’s accounts, bankers could also include a recommended list of financial literacy-focused games — such as Monopoly Junior or The Game of Life — alongside account disclosures.
Additionally, the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation (WBF) offers a wide variety of reading recommendations tailored for young learners along with a diverse selection of financial literacy resources, games, and lessons suitable for individuals of all ages. These resources are free and available for bankers to incorporate into their own presentations or share with parents, instructors, and those passionate about enhancing financial literacy.
The journey to improving financial literacy is ongoing, and adapting strategies based on feedback and evolving needs is crucial. By fostering a community approach and continually exploring innovative ways to make financial education relatable and engaging, bankers help make significant strides in ensuring financially capable communities.
Weber is senior marketing representative – brand management at Bank Five Nine in Oconomowoc and a member of the 2023–2024 WBA Marketing Committee.