Young Money Financial Literacy Challenge Offers Rewards to Young Adults

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In response to the continued recession and the disturbing fact that many young adults are not financially literate, Young Money is partnering with national companies, including ShareBuilder, New York Life, Experian, PNC Bank, Fastweb.com, and Pay Off Live, to offer a revolutionary financial literacy challenge--a challenge that will both educate and change financial behavior.

In response to the continued recession and the disturbing fact that many young adults are not financially literate, Young Money is partnering with national companies, including ShareBuilder, New York Life, Experian, PNC Bank, Fastweb.com, and Pay Off Live, to offer a revolutionary financial literacy challenge--a challenge that will both educate and change financial behavior.

The challenge consists of twenty questions; topics covered include banking, investing, debt, saving, and credit scores. Participants can easily read information to answer each question. The interactive nature of the challenge should increase retention, and incentives--such as $25 cash bonus when opening a ShareBuilder account--will inspire participants to change their actual financial behavior.

Ben Levy, CEO of personal finance says, "We not only want to educate young adults. We also want them to understand where, in their current knowledge base, they have gaps so they can begin to fill in those gaps. By making the challenge fun and interactive we hope that participants will have an easier time remembering what they have learned."

The severity of this recession has brought the lack of financial literacy in the U.S. into clear view. With limited instruction in personal finance and growing pressures from credit card debt, student loan debt and general living expenses, many young adults are overwhelmed by their financial challenges.

The 2008 survey by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial found that the financial literacy of high school students has fallen to its lowest level since Jump$tart began the survey eleven years ago. A 2008 survey by Sallie Mae found that the average undergraduate student carries $3,173 in credit card debt. This is the highest amount since Sallie Mae started doing this survey ten years ago. Without proper education in spending plans, credit management and savings, financial stress only gets worse. As these young adults enter the workforce the lack of financial knowledge becomes a cost and a burden to employers. Financial problems often result in lower productivity and higher health care costs. Thirty million workers (1 in 4) report they are seriously financially distressed and unhappy about their personal finances.*

Ben Levy, CEO of Young Money, says, "For ten years, we have provided quality and relevant personal finance content to the college/young adult market through Young Money magazine and youngmoney.com. Now, we want to go beyond education, and try to actually change behavior. If we can help participants complete the first step; for example, if we can inspire them to open a savings account, then it is more likely they will begin to save and continue to save for the rest of their lives."
About Young Money

Headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, YOUNG MONEY® was launched in 1999 to change the way young adults earn, manage, invest and spend money. As a leading national money, business and lifestyle magazine written primarily by student journalists, YOUNG MONEY specifically focuses on personal finance, careers, entrepreneurship and higher education. For more information, please visit young money financial literacy challenge.

*Source: InCharge Education Foundation, National Norms on InCharge Financial Distress/Well-Being Scale© for General Adult Population, 2004-2008.

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Cara Newman
Young Money LLC
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