Your Money, Your Goals
As a provider of financial empowerment services for over 6 years the United Way of Passaic County is excited for the opportunity to offer the Your Money, Your Goals toolkit into the financial empowerment services being provided by the United Way of Passaic County to our community partners. The Financial Empowerment provides this training to community parteners and nonprofits free of charge.
While financial empowerment has long been identified as part of the solution to poverty, related services—such as tax assistance, mainstream financial services, consumer protection—are often missing in programs that aim to help families escape poverty. In many programs, frontline staff and volunteers play a vital role connecting families to services that can and should include the myriad financial empowerment resources available in communities nationwide.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has developed Your Money, Your Goals to equip frontline staff with fundamental financial empowerment principles, an understanding of consumer protection issues, and tools and skills to help clients understand what financial empowerment and stability mean for them and to refer individuals to other related local financial empowerment services.
Your Money Your Goals is a training and a take-home toolkit that helps front line staff and volunteers that work with clients/consumers to:
- Make spending decisions that can help them reach their goals
- Order and fix credit reports
- Avoid tricks and traps as they choose financial products
- Make decisions about repaying debts and taking on new debt
- Keep track of their income and bills
- Decide if they need a checking account and understand what they need to open one
Case Managers and other frontline staff will participate in YMYG training sessions organized and moderated by UWPC staff. The target population of the Your Money, Your Goal trainings is two-fold with the primary target population being case worker and frontline workers at non-profit organizations who work directly advising and helping clients who are low or moderate income. While these workers represent a valuable resource to the clients they serve and the agency’s they work in, they themselves often represent a population who would benefit from financial education services. A review of local salary and employment data reveals that on average these workers earn $14-$18 per hour or $29,120-$37,440 annually. Dependent on household composition these salary are well below the yearly income of $53,877 needed by a family of four to meet their basic needs in Passaic County calculated by the Household Survival Budget, a framework used to define the average income a households needs to afford basic necessities (housing, childcare, food, healthcare, and transportation) based on real cost for the County.
Participation in the YMYG trainings will help these case managers improve their personal financial stability as well as support the project’s secondary target, low-income families seeking assistance at non-profit organizations. For many of these individuals, case workers and non-profit staff may be the only opportunity to access unbiased and accurate financial empowerment services. As individuals already know and trust their case managers, often having already shared much of their personal information with them, case manager can introduce financial empowerment concepts within the context of their pre-existing trust-based relationship and then linking clients with other financial empowerment providers.
If you or your organization is interested in joining the Your Money Your Goals training, please contact Jeremy Guenter, Director of Financial Empowerment Initiatives, at United Way of Passaic County at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 973-279-8900 ext, 214.