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Operation F.A.M.

Financial Literacy

Financial literacy workshops are an important component of the Operation F.A.M., the goal is to teach youth and young adults how to become economically independent by creating fiscal goals, constructing budgets, and investing in their futures. Financial Literacy is important, no matter what age group you belong to, whether you are just starting 5th grade, funding your college education, planning for a family or retiring. Financial Literacy will help you achieve your goals whether they are to own your own business, raise a family, or to retire to a desert island. While financial literacy may not prevent bankruptcy, it will give you better tools to make wiser financial decisions. Operation F.A.M. will give the basic tools in understanding personal finance; therefore, encouraging our students to make more informed financial decisions.

Operation F.A.M. will offer 10 workshops on Financial Literacy that are challenging and intriguing to youth and young adults from urban communities. Each of these workshops will be interactive and held in classroom sessions, where the presenter will go over key points through a PowerPoint presentation. There will be other props to the workshop such as surveys, role playing, and critiquing in these sessions.

Below is the list and descriptions of Operation F.A.M.’s 10 Financial Literacy programs:



 
Understanding Your Current Financial Situation 
Some people seem to be able to keep their heads above the water financially, regardless of their income. Others are always under financial pressure. The best money managers understand what money is coming into their household, what money is going out – and how to make their income stretch to cover their expenses. To join them, you need to build a full picture of your true financial position. This essentially means asking yourself two questions; am I a borrower or a saver? And do I owe more than I own? To find out the answers, you need to examine your income, your outgoings (or expenses), your assets and your debts. It is also valuable to understand the common ways in which people slip into debt. This will help you recognize them in your own life and enable you to take action sooner rather than later.

In this workshop we will cover identifying:
  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Assets
  • Debts
  • Understanding Your Needs
  • Monthly cash flow calculator
  • Using mint.com
  • Other tools to use to find this information
Personal Money Management 
Financial success and security begin with sound education. Learning about Personal Money Management will benefit everyone- youth, college students, working singles, married couples, married couples with children, divorced parents with children, or grandparents.  Adopting sound financial practices makes it easier to buy a house, finance college education, or start a retirement fund. In addition, identifying financial needs and setting financial goals helps avoid costly mistakes.

Money management will help you learn to develop financial goals and actions to take toward achieving your goals of building a savings/investment nest egg. Setting financial goals helps you be smart about spending, maintaining good credit, managing money, saving and investing for the future. Become knowledgeable and savvy--learn personal money management to evaluate alternatives, to make informed decisions, to reduce debt, to take control of your personal financial choices, and to improve your quality of life. Financial knowledge helps you avoid costly mistakes and unwise investment decisions. Avoid being taken advantage of in investment scams, incurring too much personal debt, spending money unconsciously or thoughtlessly, and delaying saving for a house, emergencies, children’s college, or retirement.

In this workshop, we will cover:
  • Your financial life
  • Time value of money
  • Financial goals
  • Spending plans
  • Evaluating debit and credit cards
  • Organizing your records
  • Protecting yourself
  • Paying yourself first
  • Importance of saving money
Saving Strategies 
In challenging economic times, people look for different ways to save money and clean up their finances. It pays to educate yourself so that you can make informed decisions about budgeting, investing and other aspects of your finances. While the biggest savings can come from limiting spending to the cash you have in your wallet; the trick is to set reasonable goals.  Simple steps, such as paying off your credit card balance each month to increasing your contribution to your retirement account, are attainable and worthwhile goals. A good approach is to start with a few things that are so easy to fix that you'll stick with the program. In this workshop, students will learn ways to have more flexibility with their money.

In this workshop, we will go over:
  • How to shop for better insurance
  • Adjusting your withholdings to receive money now vs. later
  • Paying cash vs. credit
  • Turning special spending habits to occasional treats
  • Increase 401k contributions
  • Making savings automatic
  • Getting physically healthy while getting financially healthy
  • Raising the deductible on insurance
  • Energy saving techniques
  • Buying in Bulk
  • Planning meals
Credit & How to Repair, Build, & Maintain 
Credit is defined as confidence in a borrower's ability and intention to repay. People use the credit they have with financial institutions, businesses, and individuals to obtain loans. They use the loans to buy goods and services. The credit a person has typically determines: how much they will be permitted to borrow, for what purpose, for how long, and at what interest rates. The level of "confidence" lenders have in potential borrowers depends on many factors. A person's income is an indicator of a person's ability to repay, particularly when compared to the amount of debt they already have. The amount of borrowing a person has already done and how well they handled repayment is an indicator of their intention and ability to repay.

The reasons people borrow are varied and personal. Loans allow you to obtain goods and services today, such as homes and automobiles, and spread the cost over time. This makes these purchases more affordable than they might otherwise be. Most Americans could not afford homes or cars without the ability to borrow. Responsible use of credit revolves around the family budget and how much you can afford to devote to loan payments. As a general guideline, borrowing may be justified for automobiles, homes, recreational vehicles, education, home improvements, and other purchases that have value lasting beyond the time it takes to pay them off. Borrowing to pay for daily expenses; such as: groceries, gasoline, and utilities are often a recipe for trouble. These bills will often accumulate faster than you can pay them off. Because of these reasons it is important to understand credit and to know how to use it appropriately.

This workshop will cover:
  • Understanding what is credit
  • Types of credit
  • Credit Reports
  • Average required credit scores for different purchases
  • Best practices for credit
  • Building credit
  • Maintaining credit
  • Repairing credit
  • How to verify and dispute transactions
  • Chex Systems
Understanding Insurance 
Insurance protects you against the risk of the unknown. You probably wouldn’t even consider not having homeowner's or auto insurance, but you might not know what kind of insurance you need. Insurance is there to help you if you can't afford to pay out of pocket in the event of unforeseen financial emergencies like a car accident, a tree in your yard falling on a neighbor's house, the medical costs of a serious illness, or the death of a spouse. Assess your life and your needs then think about what you need to protect it. If you do not have proper insurance during certain emergencies it could affect your finances tremendously.

In this workshop we will discuss:
  • Why Have Insurance?
  • Insurance Terms
  • Car Insurance Types & Benefits
  • Renters Insurance Types & Benefits
  • Home Owners Insurance Types & Benefits
  • Life Insurance Types & Benefits
  • Health Insurance Types & Benefits

 

Understanding Loans and Credit Cards 
Most of us experience times in our lives when we want or need to have access to larger sums of money. Paying for college, purchasing a car, starting a business, or consolidating debt is all life events that may require getting a loan. Taking out a loan is a commitment—you’re agreeing to pay the money back within a certain period of time—and you need to be prepared. Banks and other lenders have certain lending guidelines and qualifications that borrowers need to meet in order to be approved for a loan. It’s important to do your homework, to understand the types of loans that are available, and to know what lenders are looking for so that you can improve your chances of finding the right loan to fit your needs—and get your loan approved.

In addition, there's a lot to know about credit and ignorance can prove to be extremely costly to your pockets and your credit score. It helps to know at least the basics about credit, even before you get your first credit card. Understanding how credit and credit cards work help you to make the right decisions about choosing and using your first credit card. Our workshop will help students become more educated in understanding which types of loans and credit cards to use, how to get approved for them, and how to keep them.

We will discuss the following:
  • Types of loans
  • Types of credit cards
  • What to look for in a credit card and/or loan
  • Understanding APR
  • Understanding Terms
  • What lenders are looking for when approving
  • Personal Loans
  • Car Loans
  • Home Loans
  • Payment terms & Avoiding Delinquency
Investing Made Simple 
Investing and the skills to succeed at it, play a critical role in building and maintaining your financial resources. Investment opportunities are available to everyone. No matter where on your financial timeline that you may be—whether you're just starting out, approaching retirement, or somewhere in between—there is no question that improving and enhancing your investment skills can have a positive impact on your financial life and in turn, your life goals. Investing Made Simple helps you do just that. In this workshop, we will introduce the fundamentals of investing to those that are new to the subject, while broadening and deepening the knowledge of more experienced investors. This workshop will clearly explain the various kinds of financial markets, the different kinds of investments that are available, and the pros and cons of each. Even more importantly: this workshop shows you how to evaluate each of these in terms of your own financial situation.

In this workshop, we will cover:
  • How to Stop Worrying and Start Investing
  • Risk, Return, and Diversification
  • Time Value of Money
  • How Investors Make Money
  • Starting with Stocks
  • The Basics of Bonds
  • Introduction to Mutual Funds
  • What Are Exchange-Traded Funds?
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • P/E Ratios and the Method of Comparables
  • Fundamentals-Based Analysis of Stocks
  • Why Should You Care about Dividends?
  • Investing in Foreign Assets
  • Real Estate and Commodities
Taxes 
Financial planning is important to allow you to do the things that you want to in life. Most people know this and they make an effort to create a financial plan. Unfortunately in many cases this plan is flawed. Often there are important aspects of personal finance that are not taken into consideration. One of the most common of these is the effect that taxes will have on your personal financial planning.

The biggest way in which taxes influence your personal financial planning is mainly about the amount of money that they cost you. Over the course of your life you will almost certainly spend more on taxes than you will on anything else. This represents a significant impact on your finances and it needs to be accounted for. An important part of your financial planning should be to minimize the amount that you have to pay in taxes. There are lots of ways that this can be done. In fact most people pay more in taxes than they actually need to because they don't take advantage of all the deductions that are available to them. In this workshop we will teach you the fundamentals of taxes and how to keep your tax payments down.

In this course we will discuss:
  • What are taxes?
  • Why do we pay taxes?
  • What are Deductions?
  • What are Credits?
  • Tax Process and Tax Strategies to Help You Lower Your Taxes
  • Overlooked deductions & credits
  • How Tax Planning Can Help You Attain Your Personal Goals
  • How to Minimize Tax Payments for a Given Level of Income
  • How to Be More Efficient With Your Taxes
  • Major Tax Features of the US Tax System
  • Resources to get tax assistance
Retirement Savings 
While the large number of choices of retirement accounts make the saving situation confusing for most investors, it is important to remember that each of the different types of accounts have been created in order to afford you a new way to save money and minimize tax payments. Every type of retirement savings account has pros and cons and you must do research to figure out which account will best suit your needs. With the different features and benefits that apply to the various types of individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and plans, choosing the one that is most suitable can give you gray hairs before they are due. In some cases, the process is easier because choices can be narrowed down by eliminating the plans for which an individual is ineligible. In this workshop, we'll look at some scenarios and the factors that should be considered when you are faced with choosing which retirement account is best for your golden years.

In this workshop we will discuss:
  • When to begin investing into retirement
  • 401K-What is it and does your company match?
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Profit Sharing
  • Finding out how much do you need for retirement
  • How much to invest into retirement?
  • Knowing how to manage your retirement savings
  • Taxes and how they affect your savings
  • Finding out which investments fit your needs
  • Retirement investment strategies
Real Estate 
Learning how to invest in real estate can seem like an overwhelming task to those unfamiliar with the industry. As an investor in real estate, you need to have as much information about the real estate market in your area as possible to make that determination yourself.

A real estate investor needs to know the real estate market: what type of homes are good real estate investments in a particular market; whether the pricing for housing there is stable or will trend upward; and whether renters are readily available in this area. An investor needs to consider these and other factors to determine whether it's better to buy in one location versus another. Our workshop will give students the ability to learn about real estate and understanding the process to purchase it.

In this workshop, we will cover:
  • How to buy real estate & what is required?
  • Finding a location
  • What types of financing should you use?
  • The loan application process for buying a home
  • When to buy?
  • Studying local pricing
  • Looking for a Catalyst
  • Exploring low tax alternatives
  • Checking school rankings
  • Appraisals
  • Offers
  • Responsibilities of your agents
  • Your rights as an investor