V.I.T.A.L. Budgeting and Credit Reports
As you begin to transition into adulthood you will work to become financially independent! There are programs offered through DCF to help you grow in this area - Life Skills will address topics on budgeting, saving and reaching financial goals. You can also ask if you are eligible for a "Work to Learn" program where you will get firsthand experience with making and saving money!
State of CT Office of the Treasurer: Financial education is critical to future success. The Treasurer's Office supports a wide variety of programs and resources to help Connecticut's youth start off on a solid financial footing to reach their future financial goals. Below is a link to the website - here you can find a great deal of useful information and some helpful links! "Financial Literacy" is a general term used to describe a person's understanding of how money and finances intersect with personal habits and decisions. Being more informed can impact a person's vulnerability and stability in the world.
PBS Your Life Your Money This is a great website, provided by PBS, is filled with games, videos, resources, and overviews that can help you develop your ability to make great decisions, build savings and expand your options in life.
- Budget Worksheet: This is a link to a budget worksheet to get you started!
- Budgeting Blog: Everything you need to know about Budgets
- Take Charge America: This is a national Non-Profit Financial Education Site-Financial Planning and Debit Relief Counseling: THERE IS A TON OF HELPFUL INFORMATION HERE! JUMP DOWN THE "RABBIT HOLE!
1. Budgeting basics PBS: This 5 minute You Tube Video gives you some great ideas about budgets and where to start!
2. 10 Tips for Saving Money: Here you will get some useful information on how to begin saving money, an important step to help you reach your goals! "If you are new to saving money consider this: In order to be successful at saving money, you are going to have to implement a combination of practices that are going to pay off over time." Tune in to learn 10 awesome tips!
3. Ideas on how to save money at the grocery store - a short yet helpful video featuring useful grocery store "hacks!"
4. Financial Literacy With Amirh
- What is a Credit Report?
A credit report is a record of a person’s credit activities. It lists any credit card accounts or loans the person has, the balances, and how regularly payments are made, as well as identifying information. Nationwide Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) are private companies that sell the information in credit reports to creditors, insurers, employers and other businesses that use it to evaluate a person’s applications for credit, insurance, employment or renting a home. There are three nationwide CRAs (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian).
- Why are Credit Reports important?
The following article highlights how good or bad credit can have major impacts on your life. From getting a car or home loan, starting a business, to having your identity stolen, your positive/negative credit score can empower/or disable your hopes and dreams in life. Monitoring your credit can protect you from identity theft and help ensure that lenders will see you as favorable. What is a credit report and why is it important?
- What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft happens when someone uses a minor’s personal information to commit fraud. A thief may steal and use a person's information to get a job, government benefits, medical care, utilities, car loans or a mortgage. Avoiding, discovering and undoing the damage resulting from the theft of a youth’s identity can be a challenge.
- The Federal Trade Commission
You're entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. Order online from annualcreditreport.com, the only authorized website for free credit reports, or call 1-877-322-8228. You will need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth to verify your identity.
Here is a simple and helpful short video entitled: "Get my free credit report "
Contact each agency directly:
How The State of Connecticut, Department of Children and Families (DCF) Deals with Credit reports:
DCF shall provide a free consumer credit report to each youth in out-of-home placement who is 14 years of age or older, at least once each year until the youth is transitioned from DCF care.
If you are involved with DCF, talk to your Social Worker about obtaining and understanding your credit report.
Start at the front door! Developing your financial literacy can set you on the road to making healthy decisions. Getting informed can start at the door to your local bank. Nearly half of the banks in Connecticut offer some level of financial literacy training. Talking with a helpful banker can set you on the path to a brighter financial future. A bank may be able to connect you to a sponsored financial literacy education program.
On-Line: Additionally, many of the State's banks offer on-line curriculum. The following on-line curriculums are used by many of the banks in Connecticut. Some of the resources are free and some may be provided through courses with a nominal charge. Explore these resources and find one that is right for you!
Bottom Line: The more you learn, the more likely you are to make better choices, build wealth, and create a financially stable life for yourself.
- BizKids: Biz Kid$ is a national financial literacy initiative based on the Emmy Award-winning public television series where kids teach kids about money and business. Turn $100 to $1,000,000
- Chelsea Groton Community Bank: "you'll discover financial courses, instructional tutorials and how-tos, games, articles, calculators, and progress tracking to help you achieve your goals."
- M & T Bank: "We’re here to help with what’s important, no matter where life takes you. Choose what you’re focused on and see how you can prepare for the future."
- Litchfield Bankcorp: "Our Young Financiers curriculum introduces students to the financial information they need to be productive, money conscious adults. It includes information on credit, debt, savings, budgeting, identity awareness, financial planning and taxes."
- Junior Achievement of Greater Fairfield County (JAGFC): "Junior Achievement is dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed, through programs which focus on financial literacy, work and career readiness, and entrepreneurship."
- FDIC's Money Smart: "The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is an independent agency created by Congress to maintain stability and public confidence in the nation's financial system."
- American Bankers Association's "Teach Children To Save" and "Get Smart About Credit"
- Everfi: "Empower Communities with Financial Education. Drive financial literacy for students, engage adult consumers, and strengthen commercial partnerships."
- Banzai: "Financial Education."