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Money Smart - A Financial Education Program

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Money Smart Adult Financial Education Curriculum

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) recognizes the importance of financial education, particularly for people with little or no banking experience. That's why we created Money Smart, a training program to help adults outside the financial mainstream enhance their money skills and create positive banking relationships.

Financial education fosters financial stability for individuals, families, and entire communities. The more people know about credit and banking services, the more likely they are to increase savings, buy homes, and improve their financial health and well being. The Money Smart curriculum helps individuals build financial knowledge, develop financial confidence, and use banking services effectively.

The Money Smart program may be used by financial institutions and other organizations interested in sponsoring financial education workshops. Collaboration is important to the success of any education effort. The FDIC encourages banks to work with others in their communities to deliver financial education and appropriate financial services to individuals who may be unfamiliar with the benefits of having a relationship with an insured depository institution.

The Money Smart program can help banks fulfill part of their Community Reinvestment Act obligations. The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (CRA) encourages federally insured banks and thrifts to help meet the credit needs of their entire community, including areas of low-and moderate-income. When a bank's CRA performance is reviewed, the institution's efforts to provide financial education and other retail services are a positive consideration.

Money Smart is available in two versions: an instructor-led version and a computer-based instruction (CBI) version. Both versions consist of the same 10 modules.

The instructor-led version of Money Smart is for those who plan to teach financial education to others in English, Spanish, Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Vietnamese, or Russian. A version for the visually impaired is also available.

Each of the 10 modules is structured in an identical manner and includes:

  • A comprehensive, fully scripted guide for instructors. The guide includes everything necessary to start teaching the program, including easy to follow cues, script, and interactive class exercises.
  • Overheads, in Word and PowerPoint format.
  • Take-home guide for participants.

Each module takes between 1-2 hours of classroom time to teach. The modules may be taught in any order or combination.

The CBI version enables individuals to complete Money Smart at their own pace on a computer in English or Spanish. The CBI is available online or can be ordered on CD-ROM.

The FDIC provides the Money Smart curriculum to interested parties free of charge. A limited number of copies are available to each party; however, the materials are easily reproduced and have no copyright restrictions.

FDIC staff is available to provide technical assistance and to help facilitate partnerships among interested parties.

The FDIC Money Smart curriculum has been revised and improved since its original release: read more about the revised curriculum.

The 10 Money Smart Training Modules

Bank on It
an introduction to bank services

Borrowing Basics
an introduction to credit

Check It Out
how to choose and keep a checking account

Money Matters
how to keep track of your money

Pay Yourself First
why you should save, save, save

Keep It Safe
your rights as a consumer

To Your Credit
how your credit history will affect your credit future

Charge It Right
how to make a credit card work for you

Loan To Own
know what you're borrowing before you buy

Your Own Home
what home ownership is all about

Last Updated 04/27/2009 CommunityAffairs@fdic.gov

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