Financial Fitness is an online, self-paced and flexible program offering financial literacy resources to the young people we serve, to help them achieve greater stability and long-term sustainability.
Friends of Children, through our FOCUS program, has been connecting transition-aged youth ages 18-26, who have foster care experience, to resources, peers and community members with the goal of success, independence and relational permanency. In an effort to expand our intended impact, we have partnered with Just In Time (JIT), a long-standing agency in San Diego to begin incorporating their financial literacy model into the work with our FOCUS participants.
- Financial Fitness helps participants to plan for a secure financial future by gaining the confidence and know-how to practice smart money management and to become knowledgeable about budgeting, smart saving habits, and investment strategies.
- Participants will be paired with a coach to support them on their journey to financial self-sufficiency.
- Participants will also come away with $9,750 that they are able to invest in an identified goal such as education, housing, or transportation.
Financial Fitness helps participants to plan for a secure financial future by providing:
HOW IT WORKS
Financial Fitness consists of three courses
Financial Fitness 101
Financial Fitness 101, which spans twelve weeks, empowers participants to begin the journey from surviving to thriving through learning foundational financial literacy concepts to establish healthy money habits.
Each young adult is paired with a coach who supports them as they create a financial action plan.
- Participants attend one virtual meeting a week (1-2 hours) with their coach;
- complete 1 financial topic per week in the JIT Network online curriculum;
- create and implement a financial action plan;
- practice making informed and healthy decisions with their money;
- and develop the knowledge and skills for banking, budgeting, and saving consistently.
Each participant is expected to save $100 over the three months of FF101. Upon successful completion, FOCUS matches the $100, creating a total of $200 in each participant's savings account.
Financial Fitness 102
Financial Fitness 102 is the intermediate financial literacy course delivered as a six-week group workshop learning experience with individual weekly assignments. FF 102 provides participants opportunities to further develop core financial literacy concepts while making progress towards financial security/stability by establishing a rainy day fund.
- Each young adult continues working with their coach from FF 101 to further develop their financial literacy skills.
- Participants have a confirmed source of income through working, going to school or receiving public assistance.
- Each young adult has a checking and savings account with at least $200 saved from FF 101.
- This six–week cohort includes attending one workshop per week along with completing concurrent activities. Workshops are led by identified financial fitness facilitator(s).
By the end of FF102, participants receive a total of $400 from FOCUS:
- $150 from FOC ($25 for each of the 6 workshops they attend)
- $250 bonus for completing the course
With their combined savings from 101 and 102, participants have a total of $750 at the completion of 102.
Financial Fitness 103
Financial Fitness 103 provides participants opportunities to learn more advanced financial knowledge and skills while focusing on long-term investing over a 15-month time frame.
- Financial Fitness 103 provides monthly workshops on financial topics that all young adults attend, such as investing, retirement planning, loans, taxes, home ownership, entrepreneurship, and much more.
- Along with the monthly workshops, participants complete concurrent activities with the support of their coach.
- Workshops to be led by identified financial fitness facilitator(s).
The goal of FF103 is to help participants become knowledgeable investors by learning how to create a diversified, low-cost investment portfolio that reflects the participant's individual goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon. The ongoing workshops are designed to help the young adults make informed and healthy decisions with their money; leverage their knowledge, skills, and resources for a lifetime of financial well-being; cultivate and leverage supportive relationships and networks, and learn how to become knowledgeable investors.
Participants save a total of $4,500 in five separate increments over the 15-month timespan of Financial Fitness 103:
- 1st savings goal: $250
- 2nd savings goal: $500
- 3rd savings goal: $750
- 4th savings goal: $1000
- 5th savings goal: $2000
FOC matches each savings milestone for a total of up to $4,500 to be placed in their individual investment accounts.
All together, that means participants will come away with $9,750 that they are able to invest in an identified goal such as education, housing, or transportation.
At the conclusion of the Financial Fitness Program, participants will be better able to plan for their secure financial future by having the confidence, ability and skills to practice smart money management, as well as concrete funds to begin putting their skills and knowledge into action!