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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: http://www.dfi.wa.gov/documents/financial-education/2015-financial-capability-month.pdf.

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, http://www.finra.org/Newsroom/NewsReleases/2013/P268095, http://www.usfinancialcapability.org/]

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 http://dfi.wa.gov/financial-education/ 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 http://dfi.wa.gov/financial-education/ and follow our Twitter @DFIConsumers and @FinEd4All blog www.finlit.blogspot.com and Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/wadfi.

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 katrina.roy@dfi.wa.gov 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 http://www.consumerfinance.gov/servicemembers/

Learn more about Washington Saves Week at http://www.dfi.wa.gov/saves-week/

Holly Petraeus Talks with Servicemembers

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Washington Saves Week

Governor Jay Inslee has proclaimed February 23 – 28, 2015 as Washington Saves Week.

Washington Saves Week is a part of the America Saves Week campaign coordinated by America Saves and the America Savings Education Council.

Started in 2007, the Week is an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status. Across the country, hundreds of organizations participate in the Week reaching millions of people.

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is a proud supporter of Washington Saves Week and encourages all Washington residents to review their savings strategies and to learn more about resources and programs available to them in their community.

Washington Saves Week Website

We have developed a Washington Saves Week website at http://dfi.wa.gov/saves-week.

On the website, you’ll find:
  •  Savings tips
  •  Information about local programs
  •  Links to resources
  •  And how your organization can get involved
Happy saving!


  

Thursday, February 5, 2015

FINRA Foundation-Funded Study Documents Effectiveness of State Financial Education Mandates

A FINRA Investor Education Foundation-funded study released today examines the effectiveness of state mandates on financial education for high-school students, documenting notable improvements in credit outcomes for young adults who were exposed to rigorous programs.

The study selected three states that mandated financial education in high schools after the year 2000 (Georgia, Idaho and Texas) and compared the change in credit outcomes for young adults in those states with young adults in adjacent control states where no state-mandated financial education was implemented.

The study found that three years after implementing a financial education mandate, all three states saw significantly increased credit scores, and young adults in all three states had lower delinquency rates on credit accounts.
  • Credit scores improved by 11 points in Georgia, 16 points in Idaho and 32 points in Texas.
  • These gains translate into a 2 percent, 3 percent and 5 percent increase in credit scores in Georgia, Idaho and Texas, respectively.
  • Three years after the states implemented their financial education mandate, 90-day delinquency rates on credit accounts decreased in all three states.
  • Texas had the largest decrease in delinquency rate—a 6 percentage point drop, which translates to a relative decrease in delinquency rate of 33 percent.

For full details check out the study linked below.

State Financial Education Mandates: It's All in the Implementation (pdf)