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Meet the Money Monsters: Cute characters help children learn financial literacy skills

November 16, 2020

Money Monsters coverWhen many people think about financial education, they picture young adults learning to make sound decisions about their money. But, financial capability grows over time and should begin when children are quite young. Elementary school children can learn to have self-control and think before they act. They can understand how values, attitudes and beliefs about money can help them meet their financial goals and how they can make the right decisions for their situations. Developing healthy financial habits, knowledge and skills is critical to achieving financial well-being as an adult.

Youth financial education is a priority for the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which partnered with FHI 360 to improve their tools and resources. As part of our work to engage elementary school students, our staff and New-York-Times-bestselling children’s author and illustrator Jackie Urbanovic worked together to create a series of stories and activities that feature characters called Money Monsters. The Money Monsters are new to our universe and they have a lot to learn about school, friendship and how to manage money. Students can relate to the Money Monsters because they are not perfect; they make mistakes and learn about what they could have done better.

The Money Monsters appear in several of CFPB’s free elementary school activities. These activities are designed for educators and others who work with young children to help them learn fundamental financial knowledge and skills, such as building savings habits, being a good borrower and keeping money and valuables in safe places.

The characters also star in five stand-alone storybooks:

FHI 360 has helped to create more than 250 K-12 financial literacy classroom activities for CFPB’s Youth Financial Education website. FHI 360 has also helped to create a range of classroom tools and resources based on the three building blocks of youth financial capability: executive function, financial habits and norms, and financial knowledge and decision-making skills. These tools and resources are also available for free and can be downloaded, printed or embedded into virtual learning platforms.

Photo credit: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau