Friday, May 2, 2014

Financial Fitness

Learning how to budget, finance expensive purchases and become financially independent can be a regular part of an adult’s life, and now, thanks to Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and members of the Tidewater Chapter of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants, girls of all ages are learning skills they need to be financially independent and empowered as well. During a financial literacy workshop that took place on April 26, over 40 Girl Scouts spent part of the day participating activities to learn the skills they need to make sound financial decisions for their future.

Girl Scout Daisies proudly display the piggy banks they
received at Financial Fitness on April 26.
Workshop activities were designed based on age groups. While the youngest Girl Scouts, Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies, learned the difference between needs and wants and how to set goals to save for purchases, older girls learned about running a business, tracking their spending habits, exploring financial aid for their education and learning the ins and outs of credit cards.

Financial literacy has become a growing concern in the country, and the Girl Scout Research Institute has found that while girls are optimistic about their financial futures, they lack the financial confidence and knowledge that they will need one day to achieve their dreams. Girl Scouts is leading the way by giving girls the tools and resources they need to have a basic understanding of finances and set them on track for a financially successful life.

Girl Scout Daisy Hailey shows off the needs vs. wants poster that she created
at Financial Fitness while earning the Making Choices Daisy Petal.

In celebration of Financial Literacy Month, Girl Scouts of the USA and Girls’ Inc. recently hosted a Capitol Hill lunch briefing to raise awareness of after-school and community-based programs that help girls learn money management in real-world, practical settings. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee spoke at the event to remind the young women of the importance of being a well-informed consumer and citizen. During the briefing, the panel spoke about their organizations’ contribution to girls’ financial literacy. Erinn, a Gold Award recipient from Girl Scout Council of Nation’s Capital shared her project that helped teens with autism achieve financial skills, and Brigid Howe, staff from the council, talked about the financial fitness challenge that reached 25,000 girls last year in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Read more about the lunch briefing here.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast has partnered with Old Point National Bank to offer free financial literacy workshops for Girl Scouts of all ages. Troops can visit a local Old Point branch, or request to have a special guest speaker from the bank come to their meetings. To schedule a program with Old Point, contact Raven Henning at 757-224-6001 or April Howard at 757-352-6122.