Improving Financial Literacy Among Children in Underserved Communities

April 15, 2022

Father reading to daughter

Managing money wisely is fundamental to achieving success. However, financial education is rarely taught at schools in underserved communities, limiting the ability of low to moderate-income students and students of color to achieve financial security throughout their lives.

April is Financial Literacy Month, and at BayFirst, we know that knowledge is power. As a community bank, we also know that we have the opportunity to assist youth in underserved neighborhoods that need it most and give them the tools they need to succeed. To that end, BayFirst is now offering a customized, in-person course taught by a group of professionally dressed minority banking experts whose presence results in added impact.

“Banking on a Career” highlights the many options available to children interested in pursuing a career in banking. It also teaches them the importance of budgeting using real-life salaries and factoring in taxes, rent/mortgage, car payments/transportation, dining out, a savings plan, etc. Top tips include:
  1. Determine wants vs. needs. It’s essential for anyone new to budgeting to be able to distinguish between their wants (the latest cell phone, designer sneakers, a flashy car) and needs (food, shelter, and healthcare).
  2. Understand how credit works. Kids are used to seeing adults make purchases without cash, but few truly understand how credit works and the importance of not spending more than you can afford to pay back in the short term.
  3. Find ways to earn money. Allowances are essential teaching tools. One of the best ways for children to understand the value of hard work and the right way to save is to earn their own money and then make intelligent decisions about how to spend it.
  4. Track your spending. Simply capturing all purchases and adding them up weekly on a piece of paper can be eye-opening and help identify better ways to save.
  5. Set up a bank account. When you’re saving money, it’s best to keep it secure by setting up a savings account at a trusted bank. BayFirst has a Cash Kids Club account for kids 12 and under that also comes with a fun app that teaches additional intelligent money skills.
  6. Always plan for the unknown. You are never too young to understand that unexpected expenses are simply a part of life. For example, cars break down, pets get sick, and having additional funds set aside for these instances can make all the difference.
BayFirst is committed to empowering people of all ages with the knowledge they need to secure their financial future. Do you have the skills to manage your finances and educate the next generation successfully? If not, we are here to help.

Interested in having our bankers visit your school or organization to provide financial education to youth? Email Community Engagement Officer Valerie Fulbright at!


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