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Baltimore CASH Campaign: Teaching Youth in Foster Care Important Financial Skills

Meghann Shutt’s job as program manager for financial security at Baltimore CASH Campaign is to better prepare foster kids transitioning out of the foster care system, including teaching them financial skills. Shutt uses Money Habitudes’ non-threatening, fun format to help empower foster kids with critical knowledge and skills about money that they need to survive and thrive.


Using Money Habitudes in the campaign’s Ready by 21 program, the Baltimore CASH Campaign has been able to:

  • Initiate group discussion about where money personalities come from and how one’s Money Habitudes mix might help or hurt one’s financial future.
  • Show students how their Money Habitudes can be applied when tackling issues like budgets and banking and credit in subsequent classes.
  • Bring fun into her classroom by allowing students to participate and learn about themselves.
  • Encourage students to think critically about which option will work for them, acknowledging that not every strategy is right for everybody.

How They Use Money Habitudes

  • The Ready by 21 program teaches life skills for independent living, with an annual two-week program of five groups of 20 foster kids.
    After a financial class and pre-test on financial knowledge, students explore financial habits and values using the Money Habitudes card sorting activity.
  • Each student has his/her own deck of Money Habitudes cards. Rather than enforcing silence, students have that rare chance to talk and laugh in the classroom.
  • Shutt provides about 30 minutes to sort the cards, allowing students plenty of time to feel comfortable sharing. Students then read the interpretation cards to get a sense of their money personality. They learn how their spending and saving tendencies affect their lives.