The Pulse (05-05-16)

Volume 5, Issue 18.5

The Pulse Archive

Youth Financial Literacy: Where to Start?

As we conclude financial literacy month, some credit unions might be asking – how can I improve my program? Is what I am doing making a difference? There is so much to teach, where should we focus? I know this is important… so how can I get started?

Following are tips provided courtesy of Dr. Joyce Serido, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Dr. Serido was the keynote speaker at the Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition Annual Conference held April 27 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Based on our own research and a continuing dialogue with students, researchers from diverse disciplines, and field practitioners, we identified three principles for promoting financial literacy among youth and young adults:

1. Personal finance is personal

Teaching objectives

  • Personal goals and values are the foundation of personal financial style
  • Financial style refers to the way individuals’ approach financial choices; financial style emerges from self-understanding and self-expression
  • There is a “cause and effect” inherent in financial choices

Outcome: Financial Awareness regarding

  • Personal goals, values, attitudes
  • Available financial practices (what one can do)
  • Financial knowledge (understanding how financial services operate)


2. Financial literacy is a dynamic, life-long learning process

Teaching objectives

  • Financial decision-making is a daily event
  • Individual understanding of financial choices and implications evolves with practice and observation
  • Understanding comes with practice in making financial choices

Outcome: Personal relevance of financial literacy regardless of age, gender, or social class

  • Financial well-being is a personal assessment of satisfaction with one’s finances.
  • Financial well-being contributes to quality of life
  • Financial well-being derives from managing your resources well
  • Financial well-being and wealth are not the same thing


3. Proactive financial coping promotes good decision making

Teaching objectives:

  • Start with a goal or purpose
  • Incorporate information from multiple sources
  • Evaluate/assess the information
  • Make the best choice (for you)

Outcome: Financial well-being is a personal responsibility

  • Invest in yourself
  • Realize that career planning is one of the most important financial decisions you will make
  • Things change… things are always changing



Personal finance is not a “class” but a life skill; it is never too soon to learn about personal finance.

  • At home, involve children in the family’s financial decision making to teach them how to make good decisions on their own
  • In the classroom include instruction and practice that is relevant to the experiences students encounter outside the classroom.


Effective financial education goes beyond content to promote critical thinking about the benefits and consequences of financial choices.

  • Learning put into practice makes content real


Financial capability emerges from an understanding of the basic principles of sound money management in one’s own life.

  • Opportunities to practice money management skills promote self-awareness and understanding
  • Positive dialogue about financial topics is a powerful learning tool


Intentional behavior improves well-being.

  • Opportunities to act encourage action;
  • Even small actions, when followed- through, develop behavioral control;
  • Behavioral control promotes well-being


Stress and inexperience increase the likelihood of making poor financial choices

  • Before making a financial decision, evaluate all options
  • Introduce strategies for coping with common financial problems
  • Sometimes the best choice is one with the fewest negative outcomes - rather than one with the best outcome.


Be a mentor - not an expert to encourage exploration and promote understanding

  • Encourage self-directed learning - put responsibility on learner
  • Active engagement is a motivator


There is no perfect financial education class - or teacher

  • Each class, each interaction sows the seed for the next class, seminar, workshop
  • Individual understanding is continually evolving; progress is not uniform
  • Listen first then offer tangible advice


Questions or comments? Contact Joyce Serido, (612) 301-9693 or


Follow the links on the stories below to read more about the outstanding programs, new initiatives and well-deserved recognition received by your peers recently. Got news of your own? Send stories, pitches, press releases and published articles to MnCUN Communications Specialist Laura Whittet


CEO Conference Registration Open

Below is a summary of the Minnesota Credit Union Network's April educational sessions. Browse the listings below and click the links for more detailed information and online registration. Look for a complete schedule on the Event Calendar section of the Network website!


Peer-to-Peer Sessions:


Webinars On Demand

MnCUN's Webinars On Demand bring important information on credit union hot topics, updates and compliance standards to you -- no matter where you are. These sessions are provided via web link, enabling you to learn at a time that's convenient. There are several new sessions that are now available, plus more! Go to the Webinars on Demand page of the Network website to order these sessions.

Chapter Meetings:


NCUA to open $2M grant round June 1, informational May 11

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has announced that it will accept grant applications June 1 – 30 from low-income designated credit unions that serve low-income communities.

The four eligible initiatives and maximum grant awards are:

  • Capacity and growth: Credit unions considering new lending programs, deposit products or other growth strategies to increase members’ financial service opportunities may apply for up to $15,000 in assistance.
  • Cyber security: Up to $7,000 will be available for each eligible credit union to enhance cyber security and protect member information.
  • Staff training: Grants of up to $3,000 will be available for selected credit unions to pay for training related to credit union operations, including compliance, lending and collections.
  • Student internships: Up to $4,000 will be available to each credit union to hire students enrolled in high school or college.

A full list of eligible grant projects and NCUA’s evaluation criteria can be found on NCUA’s grants and loans page.

The NCUA will also offer a 90 minute informational  regarding the grant process on May 11 at 1 p.m. To register, see the NCUA Grants 2016 registration page

If this describes you, then you are invited to join The Crew. This group 
If this describes you, then you are invited to join The Crew. This group 

 Joanna Drennen
 Nathan Dormody

Minnesota Credit Union Network
555 Wabasha Street N, Suite 200
St. Paul, MN 55102

(651) 288-5170
(800) 477-1034