Future Planning

Girl Scouts Boost Financial Education Programming

BY Tribune News Service TIMENovember 27, 2022 PRINT

By Steve Rosen
From Tribune Content Agency

Girl Scouts: It’s not just about cookie season and selling boxes of Thin Mints, Lemon-Ups, and Caramel deLites. Girl Scouts is also about learning money management skills, entrepreneurship, and other financial concepts.

And that focus on stimulating the financial mind-set and enlightening scouts about the importance of being money smart is being emphasized in a bigger way thanks to a partnership between Girl Scouts of the USA and the FINRA Financial Education Foundation.

The program—announced in early November—will roll out nationwide in the coming year and will touch more than 1.7 million Girl Scouts from 111 scout councils, including more than 570,000 scouts and their families in low-income and underserved communities, the organizations said.

The FINRA Foundation, an arm of the nonprofit investor protection agency, worked with the Girl Scouts to develop the “Financial Empowerment Playbook.” It’s designed to teach important concepts such as wants and needs, counting correct change, philanthropy basics, and how to save. The financial playbook will provide materials in both English and Spanish.

The new programming also includes financial education events with scout councils in Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Southeast Florida, and the Washington D.C. area. FINRA volunteers will participate in the events, which target 271,000 scouts, including 88,000 girls of color.

The Girl Scouts have long focused on teaching young girls about the importance of being money savvy, often through skills taught through the cookie program that lead to financial literacy badges. Even kindergarten-age girls are taught some money and entrepreneurial basics, such as how to count the correct change and understanding the difference between wants and needs.

Research shows that introducing financial concepts to children at a young age can pay huge dividends down the road. Indeed, FINRA Foundation president Gerri Walsh said in a statement that children who participate in at least 10 hours of financial education exhibit better financial behaviors than those who don’t.

In the bigger picture, over the years there has been a persistent confidence gap between men and women when it comes to investing and making other financial decisions.

A survey on women and money earlier this year by UBS found that more than half of married women defer to their spouses when it comes to long-term planning and investing, although that gap has narrowed slightly from previous surveys. The Own Your Wealth survey applied to women of all ages, income levels, and education.

How else can girls boost their money management skills? Parents play a big role.

Regardless of whether you are into scouting, parents can raise their daughter’s financial IQ by consistently practicing smart money decisions themselves and talking to their kids about those choices. After all, kids tend to mimic what they see from Mom and Dad.

(Questions, comments, column ideas? Send an email to sbrosen1030@gmail.com.)

©2022 Steve Rosen. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

The Epoch Times Copyright © 2022 The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors. They are meant for general informational purposes only and should not be construed or interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation. The Epoch Times does not provide investment, tax, legal, financial planning, estate planning, or any other personal finance advice. The Epoch Times holds no liability for the accuracy or timeliness of the information provided.

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