At Girl Scouts, we know how important it is for girls and young women to learn financial literacy skills for their future. We are leading an independent and empowered generation of Girl Scouts who feel confident in their futures! It’s up to us to teach them the financial skills to help them achieve their goals, whether it’s purchasing a new toy or saving up for college.
Girl Scouts report learning most of their money management skills from their parents rather than other adults in their lives. Many of us may shy away from conversations about finances, so the thought of financial transparency with a child might be a scary one! Money is a complex topic and our discussions around it will differ as Girl Scouts grow. Read on for some financial literacy tips we recommend for all ages!
If we want Girl Scouts to learn financial literacy, we have to start normalizing discussions about money both at home and in the troop. You don’t have to share how much money is in your bank account, but talking frequently about money helps girls develop a healthy relationship with money as they grow up. As part of those discussions, you can teach her about spending and the importance of saving or differentiating between needs and wants. Perhaps you can explain to her how a daily budget at home might look different or have different challenges than the troop budget. The most important part to remember is to keep these conversations positive and age-appropriate! If you need a little help, we have some great conversation starters to start you off!
The best way to learn is by doing! Financial literacy is a progression and won’t happen overnight. Start by involving her in small decisions and tasks. Presenting options is a great way for Daisies and Brownies to voice their opinions. As they become more comfortable with options, let her help decide which product is a better value or put bill due dates on the calendar! You can introduce goal setting as an important part of developing a budget. Does your Girl Scout or troop want to take a trip? The budget they set needs to reflect how much money they will have to make and how they’ll save to make the trip happen. Eventually, they’ll be able to take over making budgets and sticking to them when planning activities. It’s important to maximize everyday teachable moments to weave money lessons into daily life. This will help her feel comfortable and confident handling and advocating for her finances.
This generation of Girl Scouts feel that gender is no barrier to what they can accomplish financially, and we want to empower that future! As she grows, support her financial literacy learning by seeking out workshops or letting her have a more active role in her own finances. Avoid harmful stereotypes about girls and money or that women don’t work in mathematics, finance, or economics. Make sure you are engaging with her equally because studies have shown that parents talk about money with their sons more than their daughters. Equal engagement will help her avoid financial gender gaps in the long run. The first step in empowering financially confident young women is to make sure our words and actions are supportive of their success. Girl Scouts are very optimistic and have big dreams about their futures. By empowering her financial learning, you’re empowering her to accomplish those goals!
It’s never too late to start arming her with the knowledge she needs for a healthy financial future. Hopefully, these tips get you started with setting up your Girl Scout for a future where she feels confident in her finances and advocating for herself!
Sydney Tuttle – Sydney is a Leader Engagement Coordinator at Girl Scout River Valleys, focusing on training and supporting troop leaders. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from the University of Minnesota— Twin Cities. In her free time, Sydney enjoys reading, baking, and spending time with her friends. She can talk your ear off about her two cats, Korra and Mabel!