The Jim Casey Youth Initiative, Keys to Your Financial Future is designed to help young people plan how to get, manage and use money now and in the future so they can have the life they envision for themselves.
ASSET BUILDING UNLOCKING THE DOOR TO LONG-TERM BENEFITS BUILDING
The first module of Keys to Your Financial Future focuses on building assets. Assets can help young people reach their goals, give them options and provide money in the case of an emergency. There are many different kinds of assets. The matched savings account available to young people as part of the Opportunity Passport™ is one example of an asset. A car is another type of asset. Social capital is another example of an asset. This module will focus on helping young people plan a balanced portfolio of assets so they can be financially independent as and after they transition from foster care.
In addition to asset building, this module of Keys to Your Financial Future covers the process of developing a vision for their life and setting goals. Vision and goals give young people clear direction to how they manage their finances.
GOOD CREDIT YOUR SCORE IN THE GAME OF LIFE
Credit. Most may think of credit as a bad thing. It can be—using too much credit may lead to crushing debt. Millions of Americans struggle because they have used too much credit. Credit is just a tool. When used right, credit can help young people build assets, build their credit history, improve their credit scores, and access other services.
This section will also focus on credit histories and credit scores. A good credit history and high credit scores can open doors. A poor credit history and low scores as well as a lack of credit history can create financial roadblocks. This information is especially important as young people transition from foster care to financial independence. Bad credit histories and low credit scores can keep young people from getting loans, a job, an apartment, utilities, a cell phone, and even insurance.
MONEY MANAGEMENT CASHING IN ON FINANCIAL SUCCESS
The third module of Keys to Your Financial Future focuses on managing your money. People often think managing your money is about discipline—following a set of rules. Discipline can help, but young people often think managing your money is about discipline—following a set of rules. Discipline can help, but there is more to managing your money. This module will provide young people with tools to help them set up systems to manage their money.
The goal of having a money management system is to put young people in control of their money—now and in the future. This can be a difficult concept, especially if you have never had your own money to control. Young people, who have been in foster care, may not have had the experience of managing an allowance, opportunities to earn money through babysitting or delivering papers, or even the chance to work part-time because they don’t have reliable transportation to and from a job. So, if they have not had income and do not have an income or any bills to pay now, these tools will become useful as they get older.
EDUCATION THE POWER OF KNOWLEDGE FOR WORK AND COLLEGE
This module of Keys to Your Financial Future covers getting and managing the costs of education and training. The information in this module will build on concepts young people learned about in the core modules. In the first module, young people learned about asset building and the role of productive assets. As a young person in or transitioning from foster care, access to education and training is one of their key productive assets. This section will focus on getting and paying for education and training to reach their career goals. If they are using their matched savings for training– or education-related investments, this module will be especially important for them. Having a job and income is a key to their financial future. Education and training after high school can help ensure they have both employment and income throughout their life. This is the key to independent living.
HOUSING REALITY IN REALTY
This module of Keys to Your Financial Future is about getting safe, stable, and affordable housing. Finding a safe, secure, and affordable place to live will be one of the first tasks young people need to take care of as they transition from foster care to independence. This module will cover how to estimate whether housing is affordable, budgeting to cover housing costs, and understanding their rights as a renter. Young people will learn how to evaluate a lease agreement. This section will also provide a brief introduction to home ownership designed to help young people see both the benefits and costs of owning a home.
TRANSPORTATION ENJOY THE RIDE
SAVINGS & INVESTING MAKING THE CHANGE BY KEEPING IT