Raimondo on Creating Financial Independence
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Think for a moment about all the ways that a lack of financial know-how can hold a person back. There’s the worker in a low-wage job whose inability to manage his money leads to a downward cycle of predatory payday loans and a virtual guarantee that he’ll never escape that dead-end job. There’s the young mother in a relationship in which her spouse controls the family’s finances and leaves her in the dark about money management. And there’s the generation of children being raised by adults who’ve never learned how to avoid bad debt and risky credit products, save for a rainy day or invest for the future.
Education can play an important role in changing that. The National Coalition of Girls’ Schools has created a collection of model financial literacy curriculums for girls from across the country. The California-based Earned Asset Resource Network (EARN) has helped low-wage families save for the future with a host of financial products and financial education. Clearly, there’s a hunger for financial knowledge, and with it, individuals are learning to embrace their financial independence.
Here in Rhode Island, as part of my campaign to become the state’s next General Treasurer, I’ll be holding a series of “money school” events designed to give people the financial tools and knowledge they need to better manage their resources. The first will be held in Cranston toward the end of July, and my goal is to hold several more money school events in the coming months.
Financial literacy programs work because they teach all people — regardless of what they earn — that they have the power to put their money their work, and to watch it grow. With money comes the power to change lives, whether it’s owning a first home, starting a new business or sending a child to college.
We Rhode Islanders value our independence. Let’s not forget that while money isn’t everything, it is a seed from which personal power and independence can grow. It’s up to us to plant and nurture that seed, so that all Rhode Islanders can better enjoy the fruits of their labor.