Report From Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Charles Schwab Foundation Shows Increased Knowledge Among Teens Leads to Positive Behavioral Change

Financial Education Works; What Teens Know, They Show

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 6:00 am PST



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SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It used to be that the most common sound coming from a Boys & Girls Club was the swoosh of a basketball net, but today the sounds of teens talking about net assets may be just as common. This turn of events is largely due to the success of Money Matters: Make it CountSM, a financial education program for teens developed by Boys & Girls Clubs of America and funded by Charles Schwab Foundation.

Most importantly, after mastering important financial concepts, Club teens show positive changes in their financial behavior, according to a study conducted by Branch Associates, Inc. of teens who have participated in Money Matters.

The study, conducted over a nine-month period between February and October 2008, examined 588 youth, ages 13-18, enrolled in 28 participating Boys & Girls Clubs across the U.S. Results indicated strong associations between what the teens reported they had learned in Money Matters and how their behaviors in related areas improved.

For example, teens who reported learning a great deal about goal-setting were significantly more likely to also report that they had saved money for something they wanted and then purchased it (79 percent), compared to those who reported they learned little or nothing about goal-setting (58 percent).

Teens who reported learning about managing savings and checking accounts were more likely to report having opened both types of accounts (57 percent vs. 44 percent opened a savings account; 36 percent vs. 28 percent opened checking accounts). Those who reported learning about saving money were more likely to save regularly (72 percent vs. 57 percent).

Further, teens who learned to track spending were more likely to report having developed a budget (50 percent) vs. those who learned little or nothing (29 percent) and also more likely to save money to purchase something (80 percent vs. 60 percent). Similarly, youth who reported learning to create and maintain a budget were more likely to report actually developing one (50 percent vs. 30 percent).

“These results confirm everything I know about the teens we serve,” says Roxanne Spillett, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “If they know it, they show it. It’s really rewarding to see that what teens learn about money management through our Money Matters program has a direct, favorable impact on their behavior. Our goal is to help these teens become fiscally fit adults through the power of financial education.”

“We know from prior surveys that teens want to learn about money,” said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of Charles Schwab Foundation. “What this research reinforces is that if you can reach teens in a way they find compelling, they not only learn but they also change their behavior for the better. That’s why Boys & Girls Club programs are so important— the organization really understands how to get through to youth in ways that make a difference.”

About Money Matters: Make it Count

Funded by Charles Schwab Foundation, Money Matters is designed for teens ages 13-18. The program consists of fun, interactive activities and exercises on topics such as using a checking account, managing debt, saving for college and learning the basics of investing. The program is available to all Boys & Girls Clubs that serve teens.

The program’s components include:

  • A Teen Personal Finance Guide — includes practical tips and activities to help teens learn important money skills. The guide also provides basic entrepreneurial information for teens interested in starting their own business.
  • A Facilitator’s Guide — for Club staff and volunteers to help teens understand the benefits of effective money management. Easy-to-implement small-group activities supplement and reinforce the information in the Teen Personal Finance Guide.
  • A Money Matters Web site — an interactive tool that participating teens can use to balance a checkbook, make budgeting and investment decisions, learn about starting a business and plan for college.
  • Money Matters Scholarships and Awards — participants’ achievements are recognized with a certificate of completion. Based on performance, older teens (16-18) are eligible for $2,000 scholarships from Charles Schwab Foundation, while younger teens (13-15) are eligible to receive awards such as U.S. savings bonds.
  • The Schwab Employee Volunteer Program — provides Schwab professionals with opportunities to volunteer at Clubs and share their financial expertise with teenage Club members and their families.
  • Nearly 120,000 teens at approximately 1,100 Boys & Girls Clubs across the U.S. have completed Money Matters since the program’s inception in 2003. To learn more about Money Matters and find out how to get involved with a Boys & Girls Club, visit

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( has been changing and saving young lives, providing hope and opportunity for kids who need them most. Today, some 4,300 Clubs serve some 4.8 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Known as The Positive Place for Kids, Boys & Girls Clubs can be found all across the country and on U.S. military bases throughout the world. Clubs provide young people 6-18 years old with guidance-oriented character development programs conducted by trained, professional staff. In communities large and small, Clubs positively impact lives and help young people reach their full potential as productive, caring citizens. Key Boys & Girls Club programs emphasize leadership development; education and career exploration; community service; financial literacy; health and life skills; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and family outreach. In a recent Harris Survey of Club alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their life. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (Nasdaq:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 7.4 million client brokerage accounts, 1.4 million corporate retirement plan participants, 447,000 banking accounts, and $1.1 trillion in client assets. Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC,, and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through its Advisor Services division. The Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC) provides banking and mortgage services and products. More information is available at

About Charles Schwab Foundation

Charles Schwab Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization funded by the Charles Schwab Corporation. Its mission is to create positive change through financial education, philanthropy, and volunteerism. More information is available at (0109-7740)


Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Brian Hill, 404-487-5978
Charles Schwab
Sarah Bulgatz, 415-636-5940

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