April is Financial Literacy Month and if it’s one thing Girl Scouts are passionate about, it’s promoting financial literacy – in fact, it’s one of our four pillars.
The most well-known opportunity for girls to learn the ins and outs of financial literacy is through the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Everything from creating a business plan and financial strategy to handling countless transactions, puts girls front and center when it comes to managing their own business.
When cookie season is over, the chances to learn about financial literacy continue: how to balance a budget workshops, discerning between needs and wants, learning to become a savvy shopper and understanding the value of a savings account. The more we immerse our girls in the world of financial literacy and the freedom that stems from it, the benefits for both her and any leadership role she’ll take on will be positively overwhelming.
So why is financial literacy so important, and how can it impact her future? First, let’s talk about what girls think about finances in general.
According to a report from the Girl Scout Research Institute, girls have very strong opinions when it comes to money.
87% of girls want to directly give back to their community (84% would go through a charity)
92% are optimistic about being able to retire comfortably
96% are similarly optimistic about being able to provide for their families while 95% say they’ll be able to own a home
On the other hand, the task of turning these dreams into reality offer a challenge.
51% of girls feel confident when it comes to making financial decisions (only 12% are “very confident”)
They demonstrate significantly less knowledge on credit-related things (good credit – 46%, what a credit score is – 38%, how credit interest or fees work – 37%)
One-third of girls know how to invest money and make it grow and just 24% know what a 401K is
The one thing we can take away from these numbers is that while the opportunities for us to teach them have been missed, our girls are still very much interested in preparing for a financially set future. And now that cookie season is over, there are even more ways we can set them up for success.
Do you take your Daisy or Brownie grocery shopping? Letting her count out the tender will sharpen her math skills. Is your Senior applying for her first job? Now is the perfect time to discuss income taxes! Remember how you felt when it seemed like half of your paycheck was missing? Spare her from that experience by keeping her informed from the very beginning. And if your Girl Scout Ambassador is heading off to college, the conversation of credit cards, credit scores and how to maintain one will come in handy.
Whatever her age, it’s never too early for her to start learning about money. Teach her to be financially savvy #likeaGirlScout.