Many U.S. consumers in dire straits feel overwhelmed by their financial situation. But, a new tool kit from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) can be a lifesaver for fiscal health.
The new toolkit called Your Money, Your Goals equips distressed consumers to make spending decisions that help them reach their goals; avoid tricks and traps as they choose financial products; how to order and fix credit reports; making decisions about repaying debts and taking on new debt; keeping track of income and bills; and to decide if they need a checking account and understanding what they need to open one.
Social workers and case managers know, however, that the financial stresses clients face may interfere with their progress toward other goals, like finding and keeping secure housing, staying in school, or even landing a job. As they make progress toward those goals, financial missteps can often erase their hard-fought gains.
That’s why social services programs across the country are taking steps to integrate financial empowerment into the work they do each day with their clients.
As part of a Your Money, Your Goals pilot, since last fall, 26 organizations led educational workshops in 21 states and the District of Columbia that introduced 1,400 case managers and other frontline staff to the toolkit. Workshop participants came from organizations that provide homeless services, veterans’ programs, mental health and emergency services, case management for Head Start, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as well from as housing authorities, health clinics, and faith-based organizations.