Contact: Madeleine Greene, Personal Financial Counselor, Contractor for the Department of Defense. Greene worked as a financial counselor and educator for Cooperative Extension Service through the University of Maryland for more than 15 years.
Situation: Financial education workshops on military bases in the greater Washington, DC area and at military installations across the country. The goal of the financial management workshops is to create a corps of financially stable service members.
Who: Service members and spouses between the ages of 19 and 30 years old in the military’s different branches: Army Community service, Fleet and Family Support, and Airman and Family Readiness. Typically they either are required to attend by a commanding officer due to financial difficulties or they are motivated to be better educated about money and are being proactive.
Observations and Comments:
Too often I think that people jump right in with the body of material they want to present, but [first] you need some method to get people to be with you because then they’re going to hear you better and they’re going to engage with the material.
Part of the reason that the cards work is because participants find value in the insights they provide—and that they accurately capture people’s strengths and challenges around dealing with money.
The thing that I love about using the cards is a comment I have heard over and over and over again: ‘Oh, did they get me right!’ or ‘I can’t believe how accurate this is!’
Money Habitudes cards are a versatile tool. I always take them with me because, invariably, I can make them work in the situation I find myself in.
Beyond the hands-on engagement the cards offer they help people put the other topics in context. Understanding one’s Habitudes then frames other aspects of financial well-being regarding spending or saving smarter, investing, going into debt, giving to charity and the like. This is especially important with an audience that often lacks financial life experience and good financial role models.