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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Money Smart Week Reading Days

As part of Financial Capability Month and Money Smart Week®, the Jump$tart Washington Coalition brings you Reading Days! Reading Days are a great opportunity for our community leaders to go and bring about change in their communities. We ask our school board members and city council members, as well as other city officials, from around the state to make a one-hour commitment and go to a local elementary school where they will read a story to the children about using money wisely and teaching the benefits of saving versus spending. This year’s book is The Berenstain Bears’ “Dollars and Sense,” by Jan and Stan Berenstain. When Brother and Sister Cub start to earn an allowance, they learn that spending it all at once isn’t the best option. The book teaches kids about putting money into an account and saving it for later as well as basic budgeting. The book also comes with sample tear-out checks so you can set up your own savings account with your little ones at home!

This year’s Reading Day participation has been incredible. We have had community leaders from all over the state volunteer to read at their local elementary schools. We greatly appreciate all of our volunteers and their commitment to help the youth. For any extra information on the Reading Day events, please contact Katrina Roy at (360) 902-8761 or .

Here are our scheduled volunteers: 

  • Vancouver-April 3rd at Minnehaha Elementary School
    Reader: City Council Member Bill Turlay 
  • Auburn- April 13th at Pioneer Elementary School
    Reader: City Council Member Yolanda Trout
  • Clarkston- April 13th at Grantham Elementary School
    Reader: School Board Member Meghan Pierce
  • Centralia- April 17th at Edison Elementary School
    Reader: City Council Member Gabe Anzelini
  • Vancouver- April 17th at Walnut Grove Elementary School
    Reader: City Council Member Larry Smith
  • Ellensburg- April 20th at Mt. Stuart Elementary School
    Reader: School Board Member Meg Ludlum
  • Vancouver- April 20th at Anderson Elementary School
    Reader: City Council Member Alishia Topper
  • Vancouver- April 20th at Walnut Grove Elementary School
    Reader: City Council Member Anne McEnerny-Ogle
  • Longview- April 22nd at Northlake Elementary School
    Reader: City Council Member Mike Wallin
  • Olympia- April 22nd at Lincoln Elementary School
    Reader: School Board VP Allen Miller
  • Spokane- April 22nd at  Roosevelt Elementary School
    Reader: City Council President Ben Stuckart
  • Vancouver- April 22nd at Franklin Elementary School
    Reader: School Board Member Nada Wheelock
  • Spokane- April 23rd at Holmes Elementary
    Reader: City Council Member Candace Mumm
  • Centralia- April 24th at Edison Elementary
    Reader: City Council Member Patrick Gallagher
  • Kennewick- April 28th at Westgate Elementary School
    Reader: City Council Member Bob Olson
  • Enumclaw- April 28th at Sunrise Elementary School
    Reader: Enumclaw Mayor Liz Reynolds
  • Wenatchee- April 29th at Columbia Elementary School
    Reader: City Council Member Bryan Campbell
  • Auburn- April 30th at Terminal Park Elementary School
    Reader: City Council Member John Holman
*NOTE: Members of the media, please contact Katrina Roy at 360-902-8761 for information on how to contact a school in your area regarding sending reporters/photographers/camera staff on campus grounds and photo permissions PRIOR to the days’ event(s)

Friday, April 3, 2015

CFPB Releases Mortgage Shopping Toolkit

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) earlier this week released a new toolkit designed to guide home buyers through the process of shopping for a mortgage.

 “Know Before You Owe” is a great resource for home buyers and was designed to help explain the complicated mortgage process in detail. Included in the toolkit is a detailed explanation of the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms that lenders are required to begin providing in August.

The toolkit was designed to replace an existing booklet that creditors must provide to mortgage applicants.

Toolkit Features
  • Interactive mortgage shopping worksheet
  • Lender shopping checklists
  • Information on how to handle problems
  • Disclosure forms
  • Rate Checker tool
  • And more
Online Version
Order Hard Copies
Copies can be ordered from the GPO website:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Financial Capability Month is Here!

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is pleased to be one of the many partners celebrating April 2015 as Financial Capability Month in our state. Understanding the importance of financial education, Washington Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed April as Financial Capability Month:

This month presents opportunities for partners like DFI, the Jump$tart Washington Coalition and the Financial Education Public Private Partnership (FEPPP) to collectively highlight and support the work being done in our state to increase and improve financial education - and urge that more be done to improve the financial capability of all Washington residents.

As organizations continue to assess our nation's financial literacy, results continue to illustrate the need for personal finance education both in and outside of the home:

Results from the Financial Industry Regulator Authority (FINRA) Foundation’s 2012 State-by-State Financial Capability Survey reveal that:

  • Fewer than half (41%) of Americans surveyed reported spending less than their income.
  • Over a quarter (26%) reported having unpaid medical bills.
  • More than half (56%) do not have rainy-day savings to cover three months of unanticipated financial emergencies.
  • Over a third (34%) reported paying only the minimum credit card payment during the past year.
  • On a test of five basic financial literacy questions, the national average was 2.88 correct answers.

[FINRA Investor Education Foundation, FINRA Foundation Releases Nation's State-by-State Financial Capability Survey, May 29, 2013,,]

Representatives from local community groups, financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations, businesses, schools, libraries, government agencies and media outlets will conduct classes, seminars and other activities to educate consumers about money management and generating awareness of financial education available on a wide range of topics.

DFI’s Financial Education Clearinghouse provides access to resources - from budgeting and saving, credit and debt, to health care and mortgages, and has a special section on avoiding scams – into a single site.

For more information about DFI outreach, workshops, partners, programs and information, visit and follow our Twitter @DFIConsumers and @FinEd4All blog and Facebook page

Friday, March 27, 2015

Community Leaders: Join In Financial Literacy Reading Days

Jump$tart Washington and the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) are sponsoring Financial Literacy Reading Days in Washington classrooms during Washington Financial Capability Month – in conjunction with Washington Money Smart Week April 18-25.

The reading days program provides a venue for community leaders to step out of their offices and into one of their city’s elementary schools to read a financial education story to Washington youth.
Each community leader also will lead students in an activity that more fully explores the concepts raised in the book: such as the importance of and power in saving, compound interest, investing, donating, working for money, not spending more than you have, etc.

Previous community leaders have included Washington State Treasurer James L. McIntire, mayors, legislators and city council members. The visit time would be approximately 30-45 minutes in the classroom.

Sign Up
If you are interested in being one of this year’s community leaders reading to elementary students, please select four dates and times during the month of April and we will work to secure a school to bring a Financial Literacy Reading Day to your community.

Additionally, if there is a particular school or classroom you would like to work with, please share the contact information with us and we will do our best to facilitate it.

Please email Katrina Roy at with dates, times, and specific schools.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Military Saves Events Happening Across Washington

As part of the Washington Finance Alliance, Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is pleased to support our military personnel with four Military Saves Week events this week – at Fairchild Air Force Base, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor and the Coast Guard in Seattle.

The Washington Finance Alliance is a group of organizations - including Army One Source, The Dept. of Financial Institutions, American Red Cross, Better Business Bureau, and more - devoted to promoting and enhancing financial education throughout Washington State, particularly for military servicemembers and their families.

Holly Petraeus, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Assistant Director of the Office of Servicemember Affairs, is headlining these events – talking directly with base leaders, servicemembers, family members and local organizations supporting our military personnel about the financial challenges our military members face and how the CFPB and local organizations can help.

Learn more about how the CFPB is helping servicemembers at

Learn more about Washington Saves Week at

Holly Petraeus Talks with Servicemembers