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Money Smart

Money Smart Newsletter

August 2023

Last Updated: August 14, 2023

In This Issue

August Monthly Message from the FDIC

August is the start of Back to School Month. During this time, many families and teachers transition from summertime activities to routines that involve educating youth. FDIC Money Smart works with community partners and banks to connect financial education to schools and their communities.

If you plan to teach Money Smart sessions that will include topics on financial readiness for youth, you might consider these two instructor-led financial education curricula: Money Smart for Young People and Money Smart for Young Adults.

FDIC Money Smart for Young People, developed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is a set of four grade-specific curricula, which includes lesson plans and Parent/Caregiver Guides to help educators deliver basic financial concepts to students in Kindergarten through 12th grade.

Updated in 2022, Money Smart for Young Adults is a 12-module curriculum that includes fully scripted instructor guides for bankers and those without teaching experience to easily help young adults (ages 16-24) learn the basics of personal finance. This curriculum can also prepare them for future life events, such as renting a home, buying a car, or paying for college.

Join us on social media using the #FDICMoneySmart and show us how you put Money Smart products in action!

Money Smart Fresh Starts and Resets

As summer fades into autumn, we often think of fresh starts and resets, like a new school year or the first year of college. Resets are improvements on the things we have already begun, like going back to college after being away for years.

If you want a fresh start with financial literacy for youth in your area, you might try a Reality Fair. A reality fair is a simulation of an adult’s financial life that provides youth with an interactive experience for making real world financial decisions and managing money. Participants experience what it is like to have an account at a financial institution, decide how to use their money, obtain a loan, manage debt, and more. For youth, a reality fair can be an eye-opening, exciting, and fun way to build financial knowledge and skills. Our toolkit makes it easy to create and engage youth in the program.

With a Money Smart reset, you can continue to help our young people, young adults, and their families be more financially independent. You can use Money Smart modules to talk about budgeting, saving, payment methods, cash flow, smart shopping, scams, and more. The modules you can use include:

Money Smart for Young People: Pre-K – 2: Learn to Earn and Super Savers; Grades 3 - 5: Make a Plan and Which Way to Pay; Grades 6 - 8: Being a Savvy Shopper and Go With the Flow; and, Grades 9 - 12 The Almighty Dollar, and The Halls of Knowledge.

Money Smart for Young Adults: Module 3 - Making the Most of Your Income, Module 4 - Your Spending and Savings Plan, Module 5 - Building Your Credit History, and Module 9 - Protecting Your Money and Your Identity. You can download each module at 2022 Money Smart for Young Adults.

Consider sharing or adding a link from your website to our online suite of financial education games -- FDIC How Money Smart Are You? This 14-suite of games offers everyday financial topics and information including Credit Reports and Credit Scores, Managing Debt, Using a Credit Card, and more.

Students can be teachers, too. If students in your life would like to teach Money Smart, Money Smart for Young Adults is a great way for them to teach and learn at the same time. Some Money Smart for Young Adults modules that students may consider teaching are: Your Income and Your Expenses, Your Spending and Savings Plan, and Credit Reports and Scores, available here.

Find all the handouts and slides affiliated with the Money Smart modules at the FDIC Online Catalog.

Whatever Money Smart program you use to help others start fresh or reset financial habits, we are eager to hear and share your success stories! If you have successful strategies, promising approaches, or memorable Money Smart moments, please share them with us at

Upcoming Money Smart Back to School Train-the-Trainer Event

The FDIC will host a Back to School Train-the-Trainer event featuring the newly updated curriculum: Money Smart for Young Adults, on August 23, 2023 at 1:00 PM ET. The Money Smart for Young Adults instructor-led curriculum provides participants with practical knowledge, skills-building opportunities, and resources they can use to manage their finances with confidence. Registration information can be found here.

Latest FDIC Consumer News Edition

The August 2023 edition of the FDIC Consumer News is “Credit Cards for Young Adults.” The article provides tips to help students to manage credit cards and avoid costly mistakes. Read the full article here.

Tips and Techniques

Incentives can be used to promote positive financial behaviors and study habits throughout the Money Smart curriculum and school year. Introduce Smart Bucks to recognize students’ positive financial and classroom behaviors. As students accumulate Smart Bucks, they may spend them on prizes, toys, or special activities (for example, extra computer time or free reading time) at the end of the week or month, or whenever you normally provide rewards. For more information, visit Smart Bucks.

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