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It’s the time of year when many of us make decisions about our employee benefits for the coming year–“open enrollment” season. The Office of Financial Education, a part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, offers this sound advice:
You can guide your children in finding the financial help they need
The financial world of today isn’t the same world you grew up in. New services and choices are being offered all the time. For your children to navigate the new financial world they’ll face, they need to know when to seek out information and how to evaluate it. Your children need practice making money choices, and they could use your guidance. At this age they may be earning some money of their own. Now, as you make benefits choices for next year, think about including your teenager in your decision-making process. You can help your teenager think about how to use information to make a good decision. If you have benefits fact sheets or Web sites from your employer, sit with your teenager and go through them. Talk through the questions your child has, and ask a few questions of your own:
What is the most important thing to think about for the family’s health care? Why?
Have there been any changes in the family since last year that could make a difference to health care? To insurance? To flexible spending dollars?
What could be the advantages or disadvantages of having benefits deducted from your paycheck, compared to paying the costs on your own?
How trustworthy is the information you receive? How would you look for further information?
You don’t have to do anything you wouldn’t do normally, when you make your benefits choices. Just by showing your teens how you approach enrollment, you’re helping them practice the decision-making process before their own paychecks are at stake. For more ideas, visit www.consumerfinance.gov/parents.
Summer is almost over, but the need for money smarts will never end! With that in mind, here are a few free, prepackaged programs and curricula selected and compiled by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) designed to help you improve your own financial literacy and develop the best personal strategy for saving, investing and more.
Elementary School Economics
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Personal finance and economic lessons are paired with popular children’s books. Librarians can read the book to the children and follow the reading with discussions about money decisions, saving, spending, choices, needs and wants and much more. Includes lesson plans and handouts.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
An online learning platform for more than 25 courses about money, financial decisions and economics. Register free to access the full list of courses. Instructors can select courses for their online “classrooms,” hold online discussions with classroom students, view progress, and present poll questions or surveys.
Money Smart for Older Americans
An instructor-led training developed jointly by FDIC and CFPB, this module provides awareness among older adults and their caregivers about how to prevent elder financial exploitation and to encourage advance planning and informed financial decision-making.
Thrive by 5
Credit Union National Association Inc.
Simple activities and other resources that are parent-and-child tested and meant to give you ideas for: Teaching how money works and what it can do, talking about how your family uses money, and modeling good money management.
The Library now subscribes to a new exclusive web resource which you may have heard about before. It is Lynda.com, an online training library that covers a wide variety of subjects, including many software titles, scripting languages, design, and web development platforms. You can find out how to use Word, Excel, how to take and edit digital photography, create 3D animation, how to use your smartphone, and so much more! There are also business topics such as management fundamentals, communicating across cultures, and how to run businesses.
What makes Lynda.com appealing is that these course are all video because seeing something in action helps to learn new skills, especially when it is a computer skills.
And it’s free to Mount Prospect Library card holders.
All you have to do to get it free is follow this link: https://mppl.org/research/web-resources/?category=lynda-com
And if you want to see what else we offer, here is a link to all our exclusive web resources: https://mppl.org/research/web-resources/?category=Premium