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What does your financial future look like?

There are many resources to help guide you in developing a financial plan.

This article will provide volunteers and other youth development staff an overview of the My Financial Future: A Financial Literacy Guide. This is a peer reviewed 4-H curriculum from the National 4-H Council and it is a three-part curriculum which includes a beginner and advanced book for youth, as well as a facilitator’s guide.

Topics covered include information on saving, spending, credit cards, purchasing, financial records, risk management, investment and goals. Each activity has a guide to follow which states the skill level,  learner outcomes, life skills learned, how much time is needed, and what types of materials are needed to do the activity. 

At the end of each activity, questions are asked to the youth using the Experiential Learning Model.  Experiential learning is a “learn by doing” process that covers five different steps. The five steps help gives youth the time to reflect what they did. They are:

  1. Experience – doing the activity
  2. Share – participants recap their experience
  3. Process – analyze what happened during the activity
  4. Generalize – questions in this step help relate to other experiences
  5. Apply – youth will learn how they can apply what the learned to future situations

For more than 100 years, 4-H has helped young people learn life skills. While youth get involved in projects and learn many life skills, this curriculum directly helps young people develop skills they need to manage their personal and business finances. Many 4-H project ideas incorporate financial record keeping into the curriculum. Using hands-on activities, youth get to experience the activity, then process what they have learned and use what they learned for future experiences.

When youth are introduced to My Financial Future: A Financial Literacy Guide, they are able to have their own copy of the workbook and work right from it. Youth can always refer back to what they learned and what they wrote in their own books. This is just one of the many great resources volunteers can use when teaching financial literacy.

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives. To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparation, money management, and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2016 Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Careers and Employment.

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