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Financial Beginnings' largest initiative is its Youth Programs which serve elementary, middle and high school aged youth as well as young adults. Financial Beginnings educated about 15,000 students annually. In order to reduce redundancy, decrease operating costs, and serve an increased number of students, Financial Beginnings partners with Operation HOPE and their Banking on Our Future Program; however, Financial Beginnings manages both programs in Oregon. Financial Beginnings serves high school students and young adults through its Financial Foundations program and middle and elementary school students using Operation HOPE's Banking on Our Future program. Both programs are free and provide age-specific curriculum and activities and are designed to promote self-sufficiency, fiscal responsibility, and encourage active and educated participation in the banking system. 

Find out more about the Banking on Our Future and Financial Foundations programs and sign up your school or community group.  

Elementary School: K- 5th Grade 

In réponse to the new Financial Literacy standards going into effect during the 2012/13 school year, Financial Beginnings is creating elementary curriculum to educate youth in grades K-5.  Watch for the launch of the new curriculum in early 2013.

Middle School:  6th – 8th Grade

The Banking on Our Future program provides youth with the financial skills they need to reach their dreams. This fun, engaging and relevant program is taught by professionals in our community who really connect with our youth around these important topics. This free program covers four important topics listed below in a four hour program that can be scheduled to fit each teacher's needs. In addition to financial education, the students are left with a message of empowerment, a message of responsibility, and most important, a message of hope.





Learn the basics of money

Learn the concepts of borrowing money and interest

Understand the difference between banks and credit unions

Learn the basics about savings and its importance

Understand needs vs. wants

Learn about credit reports and scores

Learn about checking accounts and their benefits

Learn the basics about investing

Understand earning power

Understand loans and how they work

Learn about savings accounts and why they are good to have

Understand the importance of saving for the future

Learn the basics of budgeting

Learn the basics of credit cards

Learn the best ways to manage your accounts

Learn the basics of stocks

The Banking on Our Future program engages youth through relevant and fun lessons that include hands-on and thought-provoking activities. In addition to the above curriculum, student participants:

  • Create their own budget with mock careers!
  • Open up their own pretend bank/credit union accounts!
  • Write checks and learn how to balance a checkbook!
  • Calculate a loan with good and bad credit! $ Research their favorite company's stock price!

  • Sign up for a program in your classroom!

    For more information, Contact Us!

    High School and Young Adult

    This program is designed for high school students and young adults.  Each of the five subjects is taught separately in a 1 ½ or 2 hour segment.  The Financial Foundations curriculum combines lessons designed by the FDIC, Consumer Action, and the Insurance Education Institute. Curriculum is regularly supplemented and updated by Financial Beginnings' staff, our Program Committee Members, and through partnerships with local, regional, and national financial literacy organizations. Curriculum is further supplemented by the personal stories and career experiences of volunteer teachers. The Financial Foundations program is provided at no cost to schools.


    Banking is important to understand because participation in banking services is typically one’s first exposure to the financial world.  Most often we depend on banks and credit unions to safeguard our money so it is helpful to understand what they are doing with our money and how keeping our money in a bank or credit union can be beneficial. In this section we introduce financial institutions, how they work and how students can utilize them in managing your money. 

    • Be able to explain the difference between banks and credit unions
    • Understand how to choose the right bank or credit union for you
    • Understand the benefits and services that financial institutions provide
    • Understand how to avoid banking fees
    • Learn how to calculate the different types of interest


    Budgeting is the foundation of personal financial planning.  Budgeting allows us to manage our money by tracking our income and expenses. Since every person is different it is important to know how to create a budget that can be used for our own specific needs.    

    • Understand the primary components of a budget and how one can be created/maintained
    • Understand the different types of income and how taxes apply
    • Understand how to budget for expenses and the difference between variable and fixed expenses
    • Understand how short-term and long-term financial goals are set and utilized
    • Learn tips to keeping your budget relevant


    In today’s economic society it would be rare to not use credit to pay for items such as a large purchase, car repairs or any type of emergency situation. Credit can be an overwhelming topic but understanding credit is critical in responsible management of one’s finances, as credit can affect many aspects of your life. Armed with a few key concepts, however, student can successfully manage their credit in a proactive way.   

    • Understand what credit is, how it works and why you need it
    • Understand the different ways of establishing credit
    • Learn your responsibilities as a borrower
    • Understand how to monitor credit using a credit report and credit score
    • Understand loans and credit cards and how to borrow responsibly


    Investing is an excellent way to build wealth and achieve your financial and life goals.  The Investing section of this guide and accompanying classroom session will help students to understand the key principles of investing.   

    • Understand what investments are and how they can help you to achieve your financial goals
    • Understand risk vs. return and diversification
    • Learn about common types of investments
    • Understand common options for retirement savings
    • Learn what kind of investor/saver you are and the pros and cons of each type


    Many times individuals feel that they are paying money into insurance policies but not getting their fair share back.  Still, this is not how insurance should be viewed.  Purchasing insurance is a way to manage risk. With insurance you are paying for the protection of your assets and should hope that you do not have to use it because that means something bad has happened.   

    • Understand what insurance is, why you need it and how it works
    • Learn what insurance premiums are and how they are determined
    • Know what liability coverage is and how it applies to auto and renters/home insurance policies
    • Be able to explain types of insurance and when they apply in real life
    • Understand insurance contracts and the major decisions that have to be made when purchasing policies

    Financial Beginnings' programs are designed to engage students through relevant and fun lessons that include hands-on and thought-provoking activities. In addition to the above curriculum, student participants:

    • Calculate their future life savings!
    • Review actual credit applications!
    • Play Banking Bingo!
    • Serve as jury members for a car accident court case!
    • Write checks and learn how to balance a checkbook!
    • Scrutinize spending habits and brainstorm ways to keep more money in their pockets!
    • Play the "If I Had Millions..." game!

    Sign up for a program in your classroom! 

    For more information, Contact Us!

    "I've already started to use the information I received in [Financial Beginnings'] class in my outside life. [Money management] is something that most high school students don't think they need to learn, but actually it's one of the most real lessons I've been taught through my high school experience." 
    - Student Participant