Carrie Herrmann has 25 years experience in libraries, most of those in Northern Kentucky. A Graduate of University of Kentucky, Carrie is the Public Service Coordinator for Boone County Public Library.
Hopefully by now, you’ve heard of “Earn Spend Save,” our year-long series of financial education workshops for everyone, from preschoolers to senior citizens. We’ve been talking about this project since January 2012, when we found out that we had received a generous $100,000 Smart Investing@your Library grant, a partnership between the American Library Association and the FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Investor Education Foundation.
Using the grant, Boone County Public Library is partnering with the Brighton Center (http://www.brightoncenter.org/what-we-do/what-we-do.php) to bring Earn Spend Save to Boone County. Financial literacy and fiscal health are important aspects of overall household well-being.
We start with preschoolers to build a strong foundation. For years the library has emphasized early literacy skills to help prepare kids to start school. The workshops offer one more skill to help our children succeed. Before a child can learn about money, they must be able to recognize numbers and shapes, how to count, and how to sort. If a child has grasped these concepts by the start of school, that child is ready to build on the foundation.
School-age children (grades K-5) often believe that machines (ATMs) just give you money when you put the magic card into it. The workshops provide a chance to begin teaching children about earning money, whether it is information about careers, allowances, or running a lemonade stand. But what should you do once you have the money? Do you spend it immediately? Do you save it? Do you give to a charity? Learning to save money at a young age leads to healthy fiscal habits as an adult.
As children age and reach the teen years, they find their first job. I can remember my excitement on my first pay day. I had plans for all that money I was earning. Then my surprise as I tried to figure out what happened to the money. I did not plan for taxes or social security or the many other items that take money from a paycheck. Teens are trying to save money for a new car or for college, plus enjoying their first taste of independence, all while being targeted by credit card companies to establish credit. Teaching teens financial literacy will help them avoid starting adult life in debt.
Move forward into your adult years. Now you are trying to purchase your first house, start or raise a family and save for retirement. Where does the money come from to make major purchases or repairs? What are safe banking practices? How do you avoid scams? Where do you even start to prepare a budget? Starting with a strong foundation in the preschool years can lead to good financial choices all through your life, but don’t worry if you are new to this idea. The workshops are for all ages because
, it’s never too early to learn money concepts or too late to start a rainy day fund.
Earn Spend Save workshops are designed to help all ages acquire financial literacy and achieve fiscal health. The workshops from September to November addressed earning money—resume and job interview skills and where to look for jobs. Workshops offered in January through April focus on spending money wisely. We are all good at spending money, but now we need to add wisely. The series concludes with workshops from June to August about saving money. Each month, except May and August, the Library hosts a Money Matters Meal Night with a different workshop for each age group—all held at the same time. Busy families can attend without having to find childcare or cook dinner as a free meal is provided. Money Matters Meal Nights are for anyone with an interest in the topics. You do not have to be part of a family to attend. There is more information at http://www.bcpl.org/earn-spend-save/