A wide variety of financial educators and counselors use Money Habitudes cards because they:
- Are easy to learn, easy to teach, easy to facilitate and easy to understand.
- Are hands-on and make for a welcome alternative to lectures, workbooks and PowerPoint.
- Complement other skills-based programs and financial education curricula. This might include budgeting, debt reduction, homebuying, credit repair, investing, etc.
- Bridge the gap between finances, relationships and career choices.
- Put a friendly face on financial educators and financial counselors. The activity makes finances seem less threatening; makes participants more willing to attend a first class and come back for more.
- Are versatile and can be used as an icebreaker, integrated module or standalone activity and are used one-on-one, with couples, in classes/workshops and as a support group activity.
- Make financial education classes more appealing to attend and more personally relevant for participants; also makes them more fun to teach.
- Start positive, productive, positive conversations about money and build trust, rapport and understanding between a client and financial educators.
- Get beyond budgets to begin important conversations about the interaction between lifestyle, values and finances, leading to “a-ha!” breakthroughs in spending/saving habits.
- Use simple language that doesn’t require great reading proficiency; effective even with low-income and low-education populations.
- Can be reused – and used in a variety of ways in different programs – thereby stretching financial education dollars. (Using the decks a few times a year drops the per-user cost to just a few dollars.)
How it’s used
- Icebreaker or conversation starter. A get-to-know-you activity during a first class or meeting, the cards are easy-to understand and non-threatening so people feel comfortable discussing money with financial educators or financial counselors; clients and students are engaged beyond filling out forms and listening to lectures.
- Class module or series. Money Habitudes cards are a fun, insightful but low-risk way to engage with prospective clients. Financial education workshops based on the activity are better received than typical PowerPoint presentations or lectures while providing an avenue for continuing dialogue.
- Staff development. As a sensitivity training tool, the Money Habitudes exercise helps financial educators better understand themselves around money, better understand their clients and listen and relate better. This is especially true is settings where community volunteers such as accountants or CPAs work with low-to-moderate income clients.