Back in 2011, I left the University of California, Irvine with around $30,000 in debt and absolutely no idea what that meant or how that would affect my life moving forward. I definitely did not fully understand how loans worked and what my different options were to repay that debt. This is the case for many of my peers because we were never given any lessons on finance the entire time we were in school. Along the way I have made a lot of mistakes that took me awhile to fix and I am not alone in that regard.
Student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt AND auto loan debt in terms of total debt dollars in the United States. According to the website Student Loan Heroes, “Americans owe over $1.56 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 45 million borrowers. That’s about $521 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt.”
Over the years I learned through lots of my own mistakes as well as the mistakes made by people around me, sometimes seeking out help from financial advisors and educators who I had no idea were available to me until it was almost too late. Now, there is a backlash to this lack of information and a huge desire to make that information readily available to young adults. Florida just introduced a new bill into it’s state legislature that would require high school students to complete a financial literacy course in order to graduate. That’s a great start but workplaces have an opportunity and responsibility to alleviate a lot of stress for their employees. With that in mind, we’ve listed a few ways to promote your financial literacy programs in your organization:
One way to make sure employees see the importance of financial literacy is to include in the on-boarding process for your company. When players get drafted into the NBA or NFL they have to go through rookie orientation that teaches them different things about the league and one of the things emphasized is how to take care of and handle their money. Why not take this idea from professional sports leagues and add to your organization.
Get a sense of what people already know
For staff that have been with the company for awhile, it’s important to get a sense of what they already know and for that we suggest sending out a short survey asking them about where they are currently in their financial lives and what topics they would be interested to learn.
Bring In Dedicated Help
Once you get a sense of where people are and where they want to go, start thinking about how and who to bring in to educate. This could be asking people in your accounting or finance teams to put together programs on the fly or bring in people who work specifically on financial literacy. Either way, taking that step is extremely important.
If you need help finding these resources, FitPros is happy to help with our roster of great speakers – send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help get the discussions started!
For more information on our Finance Talk topics check out https://www.fitpros.com/finance