Spreading Financial Well-Being
In my professional travels I meet individuals from all over who know about the AICPA’s financial literacy programs and use our resources in many creative ways. While some are CPAs, the majority is not, and yet each is equally committed to improving the financial well-being of their loved ones, friends and communities. If I had a dollar for every time someone sang “Feeeeed the PIG!” to me after seeing our campaign promotional items on a conference display table, I just might have enough money to pay off my student loans. (I never get tired of this serenade!)
Here are some of the many ways these free resources are being used:
Me Save?: A community college teacher in Maryland uses this interactive feature on the Feed the Pig website in freshman orientation classes to help her students identify what type of spenders they are and assist with the delivery of their financial literacy program. By taking these steps and following the corresponding tips, they are on the right path to change their spending habits and increase savings.
Tweens Curriculum: This free, math-based curriculum for 4-6 graders includes a teacher’s guide full of classroom activities, an online game and a take home activity for students to share with their families to reinforce the savings message at home. Here are just two real-world examples of how this is used outside the typical school classroom:
- A high school teacher in a small New England school encourages groups of 2-3 students to select an activity and present to students in a lower grade. She says that having the “big kids” teach the younger students impresses the 4-6 graders more than if their teacher taught the same lesson.
- A local non-profit copies the one-page take home activity and includes it in goodie bags for parents who attend their Healthy Families programs.
Fuzzy Pigs and other Promotional Items: We give these small fuzzy pigs (aka weepuls) out at the annual the National JumpStart Teachers Conference and the California JumpStart Teachers Conference. Teachers love to use these during their financial education lessons as prizes for the students.
Weekly Savings Tip: Although the Feed the Pig campaign targets 25-34 year olds, many of the campaign’s messages are relevant for all ages. The Weekly Savings Tip, which is sent out via email every Monday, provides easy to follow guidance for managing money. Many subscribers forward this to their children and friends. One woman, who I would guess to be over 70, told me she faithfully forwards each tip to the members of her women’s group. She reports that they all find it to be very useful information.
360 Retirement Calculator: A little closer to home, I have a friend who uses this calculator on a monthly basis to ensure he’s on track with his retirement savings, as well as before he makes any major changes in his retirement planning. He’s set to retire at 55!
How do you use the free financial education tools offered by the AICPA and your state CPA society?
Melora C. Heavey, Senior Manager - Communications, American Institute of CPAs. Melora manages the CPA profession’s volunteer effort, 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy, and the award-winning public service campaign, Feed the Pig. She serves as the staff liaison to the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, the leadership body and primary spokespeople for 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy.