Completing a W-9 form, evaluating interest rates, or choosing how best to save for retirement -- these are stressful topics for many of us. Imagine trying to understand finances if you lack reading, math, or computer skills; if you have no guidance from previous generations; if you are an immigrant with limited English, from a country with different financial systems; or if you are expending all your time and mental energy just to make ends meet. Literacy for Life's newest program, On the Money, addresses these topics and more. This month, Literacy for Life has launched a twelve-week class using an original curriculum developed by staff instructor and career coach Frances Falcon. The class is generously sponsored by C&F Bank.
Frances describes the On the Money curriculum as a journey that begins with filling out a W-4 and understanding a pay stub, and ends with saving for retirement and building generational wealth. Along the way, the course covers topics such as budgeting, saving and investing, loans and credit scores, credit cards and debt, spending wisely, and setting financial goals. On the Money presents these complex topics in an approachable, practical way that can be understood by adult learners with limited English or literacy skills. The curriculum provides ample opportunity for practice, discussion, and questions. Frances enjoys teaching financial literacy classes because she sees the real impact the material has on learners' lives. "I have seen how individuals are separated from the community when they are not financially stable," she says. "For so many of our learners, finances are a constant source of struggle, causing anxiety, frustration, and isolation. The On the Money curriculum provides people with practical information and tools that improve their lives and strengthen their families in immediate, meaningful ways."