Personal Finance Curricula for Young Recruits

Recently, our community of practice received a request for a personal finance curriculum that could be used with National Guard new recruits, between the ages of 17 and 21 during drill weekends.

Young recruits during a drill weekend.

We have an opportunity in Iowa to partner with other organizations in providing financial education for National Guard new recruits (majority 17 – 21 years of age). Sessions would be included with drill weekends. We are searching for curricula, which may have been developed that could be used with this target audience. 

Our leadership team made a few suggestions for programs that are readily available. Our group thought this information should be shared with our other PFMs who may be searching for similar resources.

FINRA’s Save and Invest website offers Military Financial toolkits, “Making Ends Meet” and “Manage Your Debt” which offer research and survey results from military families and offers tips and suggestions from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation about how to solve common financial issues. The site also offers tutorials on specific topics such as how to shop for a mortgage, how to choose a credit card, and how to talk to your spouse about money.

NEFE’s Cash Course is excellent for the post-high school crowd. The Rutgers University’s version of this curriculum is a financial management program that teaches users about specific topics including budgeting, investing, and credit. The program also focuses on educating users about paying for college and college life. The site offers quizzes and tips, such as healthy eating on a budget.

NEFE’s High School Financial Planning Course is a curriculum designed to equip high school students in basic financial planning skills but the lessons are far from elementary. This curriculum includes lessons and assignments on goal setting, fixed and variable expenses, investment options, how to dispute a credit report, understanding a checking account, and job benefits.

The Military Families Learning Network’s personal finance group has also produced a number of webinars, blog posts, has curated a number of financial research articles, and produced hundreds of military-specific FAQs that can serve as great supplemental resources for this audience as well.

PFMs, what curricula or programs have you successfully used with this age group? Please share your resources in the comments section.
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Personal Finance Curricula for Young Recruits by Molly C. Herndon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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