JA Dollars Make Sense | Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana

Dollars Make Sense

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April is Financial Literacy Month. As a JA Pillar of Success, financial literacy is a top priority for our organization. Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana has a developed a fundraising and awareness campaign that will coincide with Financial Literacy Month. The campaign, titled "Dollars Make Sense (DMS)," will help to generate much needed funds and raise awareness for the work Junior Achievement does. 

As the economy advances, financial literacy, or the understanding of how money works in the world, becomes increasingly important. Junior Achievement programs, taught by community volunteers, help students understand the importance of learning basic economic and financial principles, which in turn can help them plan for a more financially secure future. Thanks to our financial sponsor, Old National Bank , 100% of dollars raised will go towards JA programs in the counties where Dollars Make Sense funds were raised.

Financial decision-making can be influenced positively by presenting high-quality, non-complex information; and facilitating the best use of available information in real-life situations. JA programs seeks to accomplish this in local classrooms. THe Dollars Make Sense campaigns prompts these conversations to also take place in the home.

Dollars Make Sense

Financial Literacy Tips

So, how can you help? Following is a list of tips that you can use to help your kids understand and develop financial literacy.

  • Most children don't understand the concept of an ATM and the withdrawal of money from that source. Teach them about the "invisible money" at ATMs and how it really works. Adults know the money isn't free, but do they? Most likely they don't.
  • Put a picture of an item for which your child is saving on a piggy bank or jar they use to visually reinforce their goal. Track the child's progress with a colorful chart that can be posted on the refrigerator or a bedroom door as a reminder of the child's achievement.
  • Teach kids that money has a purpose, and that without one it is too easy to spend mindlessly. To become conscious spenders who use their money on what matters most, have them set annual "save," "spend" and "share" goals. Every time they earn or receive money have your kids allocate a portion of the of the money to their goals.
  • Sit down with your child and encourage them to indentify ways to earn money through age-appropriate chores. Help them make a list and keep at chart of all the chores they complete. The amount of chores can be based off age, i.e., 4 years, 4 things per week. The lesson is that money does not come free- there is a value to money and it is earned through work.
  • Games like Monopoly, for example, provide a wholesome introduction to spending within your means, planning for the future and simple arithmetic. The skills kids learn playing these games will translate elegantly into real-world applications.
  • Track your spending and pay yourself first. Write down where you are spending your money. Commit to putting a good bit of your hard-earned money into a savings account and re-route some of your spending to a savings account: pay yourself first for a secure financial future.
  • Show your children how to make a household budget. Using the starting salary of their chosen profession as a guide, have them calculate their after-tax income and then figure out how much they can actually afford to pay for the basics, such as rent, food, utilities, insurance and transportation, as well as vacations and entertainment.
  • Teach your child the concept that people earn money at their jobs. Discuss what you do at work and then ask him/her what she might like to be when she's older. If she wants to be a veterinarian, put her in charge of walking, bathing and feeding the dog, and pay her for the tasks.
  • Even though most banking is done online these days, it's important to physically take your children to the bank, so they can see where your money is going -- and that it's in good hands.
  • When you take children to the store with you, talk through purchases with them. Explain to them why you chose one product over another.
  • Put a few household bills in a stack; talk to your children about what happens when you add them all up and why theses expenses are necessary. This will help them to understand the concept of bill-paying and how much money is require to run a household.
  • Start to show your child how to stretch a dollar. If you buy an item on sale, put the dollars/coins that equal the full purchase price on the kitchen table and then take away an amount to show how much money you saved. next talk about the importance of saving for the future or the unexpected.
  • Teach children the importance of setting a budget in order to save for things you want to buy in the future. Children as young as three can start receiving an allowance, and with that allowance comes the idea of budgeting and saving.
  • Have you ever listed all of the expenses you pay every month to keep a household going? Put a few stubs in a stack and do a little show-and-tell. Talk about what happens when you add them up. This will help your children to understand the concept of bill-paying and how much money is required to run a household.
  • Teach your child the difference between wants and needs. Kids may "want" many things, but "need" far less. Discerning between needs and wants will help them sort through the many options they will face in life. Evaluating needs and wants- on both a small and large scale- helps adults control expenses. Money that would otherwise be spent on "wants" can be put in long-term saving, investments or returement. These are values that secure a future.

Dollars Make Sense Locations

This awareness and fundraising campaign would not be possible without the support of many local business. Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana would like to thank Old National Bank for their generous support of our campaign.

Dollars Make Sense Games and Links

JA USA Games:

Junior Achievement USA's website is home to games that teach children about managing money and how to prepare for the future. These games can be found at this link.

ONB Games:

Games can be a highly engaging method for teaching your child about finance. A lot of great games can be found on Old National's website by clicking here.

Money Confident Kids:

T. Rowe Price and Junior Achievement USA® created a "Money Confident Kids" web portal that contains fun games and financial literacy resources: https://corporate.troweprice.com/Money-Confident-Kids/Site/JA

On-line Resources:

By doing a little reasearch, one student in Texas happened across our site. This same student found another great on-line resource for financial literacy tips, games and tools and let us know about it. Of course, we want to share this resource with you as well! Click http://www.summitcapitalfinancing.com/kids-guide-to-money/ to learn more.

More Information:

For more information on how Junior Achievement helps children to better prepare for the future, please visit JA's Student Center by clicking on this link!


Dollars Make Sense Media Partners

Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana would like to thank our media partners for this awareness and fundraising campaign. Without their support, we wouldn't be able to reach the largest market possible and to raise money for our life-changing programs.

Radio Partners:

TV Partners:



Dollars Make Sense Interviews

For Dollars Make Sense, we have made some videos for you to view. You can watch them below! 

  • "Junior Achievement has given me a sense of what adults go through with budget issues."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "Junior Achievement reinforced concepts for me to remember later in life."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I thought the experience was amazing. The presentation was unlike anything I've seen."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I liked how the Junior Achievement volunteer explained his job to us."

    -Junior Achievement Student

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