The BBB TeenSmart program was launched during the 2008-2009 school year and has provided 60 financial literacy workshops to 1446 high school students, primarily in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Workshops are conducted by BBB staff and volunteers from the business community.
The Situation: Half of teenagers have cell phones. Almost half of them have made online purchases, and 73% are connected to the internet at home. Many teens have access to their parents’ credit cards and 9% of them have their OWN cards – by college, 73% will have at least one credit card.
Teens are full-fledged consumers, but many are lacking the basic financial literacy to assist them to make sound decisions. Now, and as they become adults, they are thus at greater risk of falling prey to questionable offers, negative/costly buying experiences, and poor spending and credit practices.
TeenSmart Workshop Goal: To generate/heighten high school students’ awareness that basic consumer knowledge and skills are critically important to their future well-being.
The Class: The 40 minute – 80 minute workshop offers tools to help students make better buying decisions and be responsible with their finances. The interactive presentation engages the students using everyday marketplace challenges they face. Students will learn:
- How to Use Credit Wisely by identifying the advantages and disadvantages of using credit, knowing how a poor credit rating can affect future purchasing ability and recognizing how poor credit practices can lead to serious financial problems;
- The Importance of Budgeting and Saving –Handling money wisely can help avoid financial and legal problems;
- Wise Cell Phone Usage – Cell phone purchasing is used to demonstrate how carelessness with consumer purchases can lead to victimization and financial loss.
- How to Avoid Identify Theft – E-mail, cell phones and social networking sites are gateways for identity thieves. Learn how to guard against it and how to recognize if one’s identity has been stolen.
Click here to view the BBB’s Teen Tips for Financial Literacy.
To Request a Workshop, click here.