Making financial classes for women more engaging
The Issue: How to make financial classes for women more engaging and welcoming while providing valuable skills for handling money.
Who: Emily Adams is an agriculture and natural resources educator with Ohio State University Extension Service in Coshocton County.
What: Adams runs Annie’s Project in Coshocton County. She also runs a follow-up financial education program for women called Moving Beyond The Basics. Annie’s Project is, at its heart, a risk management program for women. Now managed by riskIowa State Extension, the program fosters problem solving, record keeping, and decision-making skills in farm women.
- The interactive, sharing nature of Money Habitudes aligns well with the larger objectives of Annie’s Project classes. The women’s financial education classes are designed to be hands-on instead of just lectures. The project also strives to utilize peer learning and networking in a safe, non-threatening environment.
- After working with the Money Habitudes cards, the first night’s class covers financial recordkeeping practices and vocabulary as well as how financial statements work together.
- Participants have the opportunity to borrow the cards and do them at home with other people after the first class.
- Later classes build on the first night. These cover balance sheets, accrual adjustments to income statements, cash flow estimation, electronic recordkeeping, standard financial ratios and benchmarks.
- “It’s a really nice activity-based learning to have for the first night. It helps the women get more comfortable with each other and sets the stage for how you relate to money and how you deal with money,” says Adams.
- “You’re going to learn all these skills and all this technical information, but, at the end of the day, if you can’t go home and talk to your husband, brother or whomever your business partner may be about these financial decisions and get to the root of where financial troubles may be coming from, then the rest of the classes are for naught. Understanding how you relate to money and being able to communicate that to other people is a really important, really fundamental skill set.”
- “I don’t think we’d have people complete all six weeks if we started out the first class with just sitting down and doing a budget or hearing a lecture about finances. We take a holistic approach to adult education.”
- “Money Habitudes is so hands-on, it’s so immediate and there’s such great feedback on it.”