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By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC® 
Martie Gillen, Ph.D., MBA, AFC®, CFLE

April is Financial Literacy Month and Month of the Military Child. Needless to say, there are many “hooks” for Personal Financial Managers to engage with clients around personal finance concepts. Below are 12 interactive teaching strategies to consider:

  1. Question of the Day– Distribute personal finance questions via social media, e-mail, and/or a website and have clients respond. Consider holding a prize drawing for correct responses if funds allow.
  2. Financial Documentary Popcorn Party– Show a personal finance documentary film followed by debriefing questions. Search “personal finance documentary films” online to find curated lists and summaries.
  3. Seven Second Soundbite– Ask clients to provide personal finance tips for others in 10 words or less. Debrief their responses and consider summarizing them in an installation newsletter, e-mail, or social media post.
  4. Guest Speaker– Invite guest speakers with expertise on topics of interest. Examples include staff of government agencies, book authors, and service members who successfully overcame financial challenges.
  5. Twitter Chats– Set a date, time, and unique hashtag and invite clients to share their insights and ask questions about personal finance topics via Twitter. The results can also be saved for a follow-up summary.
  6. Bulletin Boards– Disseminate financial information via bulletin boards in well-trafficked areas at a military installation. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has colorful infographic posters on financial topics.
  7. Napkins and Index Cards- Ask clients to summarize key financial concepts using words and drawings on a napkin or index cards. Share their ideas collectively in a bulletin board or in a short video like this sample.
  8. Savings Challenge- Use Financial Literacy Month as a kick-off for service members to start a savings challenge. There are a variety of savings challenges available that run for a month, 15 weeks, or a full year. 
  9. Choice Boards- Create a 3 x 3 table with nine squares containing links to activities for clients to select from. These activities can include financial calculators, videos, quizzes, and articles from military-approved sources.
  10. Web Quests– Ask learners to search for information (e.g., sources of high-yield savings accounts) and debrief their findings in a group discussion.
  11. Do Some Math– Build or reinforce clients’ math skills by teaching them how to calculate their net worth, cash flow, consumer debt-to-income ratio, savings ratio, and other useful metrics.
  12. Book Club- Select a personal finance book to read and recruit participants to actively discuss it. Book club discussions can take place in face-to-face meetings or via online platforms.

Military service providers can learn more about celebrating Financial Literacy Month from the OneOp post Tips and Tools for Military Content Creators.

Photo by Darlene Alderson on Pexels