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Review, and cite two dissertations completed that relate to your topic in the Theoretical or Conceptual Framework sections. 
 

Develop the Theoretical or Conceptual Framework section, in which you:
· Explain how the dissertations you located relate to the research design you have chosen.
· Ensure the selected theoretical or conceptual framework is a good fit for your study. Remember that a theoretical framework is typically used for a quantitative study to model the theoretical relationships between the variables; a conceptual framework is typically used for a qualitative study and consists of several theories that underpin the topic.
· Explain whether you are using a quantitative or a qualitative methodology as described above.

A Phenomenological Qualitative Research Approach
Regarding the Lack of Financial Literacy Taught in School

by

Jennifer Vitale

Copyright 2022

A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree

Doctor of Education

University of Phoenix

The Dissertation Committee for Jennifer Vitale certifies approval of the following dissertation:

Committee:

Joshua Valk, PhD, Chair
Marie Peoples, PhD, University Research Methodologist

James Smith, EdD, Panel Validator

_________________________
Joshua Valk

_________________________
Marie Peoples

_________________________
James Smith

_________________________
Hinrich Eylers, PhD
Vice Provost, Doctoral Studies
University of Phoenix

Date Approved: ____________

ABSTRACT

DEDICATION

[To be indented and completed upon full dissertation completion]

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

[To be indented and completed upon full dissertation completion]

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Contents Page
List of Tables x
List of Figures x
Preface (optional) x
Chapter 1: Introduction x
Background of the Problem x
Problem Statement x
Purpose of the Study x
Population and Sample x
Significance of the Study x
Nature of the Study x
Research Questions/Hypotheses x
Theoretical or Conceptual Framework x
Definition of Terms x
Assumptions, Limitations, and Delimitations x
Chapter 2: Literature Review x
Title Searches and Documentation x
Historical Content x
Current Content x
Theoretical or Conceptual Framework Literature x
Methodological Literature x
Research Design Literature x
Conclusions x
Chapter Summary x
Chapter 3: Research Methodology x
Research Method and Design Appropriateness x
Research Questions/Hypotheses x
Population and Sample x
Informed Consent and Confidentiality x
Instrumentation x
Field Test or
Pilot Test x
Credibility and Transferability or Validity and Reliability x
Data Collection x
Data Analysis x
Chapter Summary x
Chapter 4: Analysis and Results x
Research Questions/Hypotheses x
Data Collection x
Demographics x
Pilot Study x
Data Analysis x
Results x
Chapter Summary x
Chapter 5: Conclusions and Recommendations x
Research Questions/Hypotheses x
Discussion of Findings x
Limitations x
Recommendations for Leaders and Practitioners x
Recommendations for Future Research x
Chapter Summary x
References x
Appendix A: Title x
Appendix B: Title x
Appendix C: Title x

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: Title x
Table 2: Title x

[Only include a list of tables if there are two or more tables. Use title case, defined as capitalizing key words, for table titles.]

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1: Title x
Figure 2: Title x
[Only include a List of Figures if there are two or more figures. Use title case, defined as capitalizing key words, for figure titles.]

UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX
January 2010
xii

Chapter 1

Introduction

Education about financial literacy is an important subject that could help students handle money. Students who acquire this knowledge could make sound financial decisions to avoid common financial inaccuracies. As Amagir et al. (2018) mentioned in their systematic literature, individuals who lack financial literacy make errors when paying their financial obligations. As a result, the emphasis of this study will be on the financial education gaps that exist in schools, the repercussions of these gaps, and possible remedies. An exploration of the gap between financial education and its incorporation into elementary schools will occur in this study.
According to Amagir et al. (2018), financial education is characterized as the capacity to make appropriate financial judgments in the face of adversity. Teaching children about financial education tools may assist them in developing more skills and judgment while dealing with money in school. Financial literacy training and adoption benefit both knowledgeable young people and the global community due to their efforts. A bright future is established when youngsters are educated about personal money and financial literacy (Amagir et al., 2018).
In addition, Amagir (2018) suggests that the leading ticket towards living a debt-free life is knowledge about financial management, which can only be achieved through lessons taught in classes. Youths have always manifested confidence in the way they use money, and in fact, most of them believe they are knowledgeable concerning the use of money. However, in real life, the youth struggle with planning their finances, which predisposes them to a life full of debts while they are still young (Amagir et al., 2018). This excessive confidence and awareness are barriers that need to be cleared out through financial education.
There are different programs that a typical school should implement to help train and educate students on matters related to finance. However, most schools focus on programs that emphasize practical didactics and theory-based (Blue & Grootenboer, 2019). Most of these didactics are based on benefit plans, which do not fully cover the main concepts of financial literacy. As a result, the school’s students and members (principals, administrators, teachers, housekeepers, secretaries, police officers, guidance counselors, and cafeteria workers) have some financial literacy misconceptions.

Background of the Problem

Large numbers of children and teenagers may have money management challenges in the future because of lack of financial knowledge and comprehension (Blue & Grootenboer, 2019). Therefore, individuals establish poor money habits and become unable to manage their funds in the future efficiently. When it comes to young people, inadequate budgets are usually the result of bad financial habits, driven by a lack of financial literacy. According to Amager et al. (2018), it is projected that 20 percent of high school seniors who participate in savings programs or open savings accounts will graduate with financial discipline and literacy skills. Their concern is that as their children get older, they will be unable to comprehend the fundamentals of saving, spending, and earning money and the fundamentals of checking and balancing their checkbooks and bank accounts (Faulkner, 2017). Education in Financial literacy is becoming more critical for children as they learn to be self-sufficient, take responsibility, be independent, and be accountable for their actions.
After completing the financial literacy program, students who have received financial education have an essential awareness of the financial markets, investment opportunities, and financial planning compared to those who have not received any training (Aboagye & Jung, 2018). Student debt, which is becoming a more serious issue for young people, can be avoided when financial management knowledge is taught to students. Financial management methods are identifiable, especially when dealing with well-informed and well-prepared specialists, while some financial management strategies are more challenging to detect (Aboagye & Jung, 2018). This is because well-informed individuals will anticipate dangers and argue-justify issues relevant to their academic endeavors (Amagir et al., 2018). Since individual financial well-being significantly impacts the economy, financial knowledge inside educational institutions is more vital than ever.
The research demonstrates that an alarmingly significant proportion of individuals are prone to spiraling debt and financial traps because the existing educational system devotes little to no time to studying such concepts (Aboagye & Jung, 2018). This idea is because a sizable proportion of teens and adolescents cannot make appropriate financial judgments (Aboagye & Jung, 2018).
It is necessary to comprehend the burden it alleviates and how it helps grow a nation or family. To implement financial education successfully, prudent financial management increases family benefits and avoids debt and associated instruments (Aboagye & Jung, 2018). This idea might be seen as an investment in human capital to ensure that the necessary choices are made to ensure that financial commitments are correctly understood. The modern world has become increasingly tricky regarding business and enterprise making it critical for a financial education (Aboagye & Jung, 2018).
One of the most critical components of education is the policies that school boards enact and the availability of education to all children (Kasman, Heuberger, & Hammond, 2018). Unfortunately, this education has resulted in a lack of awareness about how financial choices should be considered while planning for the future and the long-term ramifications. Understanding our knowledge and behavior is one of the most fundamental ways to predict which actions to avoid and engage in to make sound judgments (Aboagye & Jung, 2018). Therefore, it is critical to acquire the necessary information and take focused action to gain such benefits.
Positive attitudes and self-confidence are also helpful when confronted with financial troubles. This idea is because they play a critical role in ensuring that decisions are made rationally and are not based on inaccurate or misleading information. This target can only be accomplished via vigilance and ensuring that decisions reflect both short- and long-term advantages (Faulkner, 2017). Consequently, present and future financial choices made with financial education in mind may decrease the number of financial errors made throughout maturity and adolescence benefit everyone.

Problem Statement

The problem of financial illiteracy among young people is the subject of the research study. Compared to past generations, a more significant proportion of teens and young people now lack the financial discipline that should have been taught in financial education courses in the first place (Lusardi, 2019). According to Amager et al. (2020), financial education for teens and young people is notably inadequate in the United States. Therefore, it is necessary to build financial literacy programs in schools because children and teenagers who do not have financial literacy do not have economic wealth, and the country does not profit from their lack of understanding (Lusardi, 2019). Furthermore, because most young people do not recognize the importance of financial education, schools should further ensure that students have access to vital financial education programs.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to finish research on the subject of financial literacy among adolescents and teenagers. The examination will take place inside a school system in the southeast region of the United States. The objectives of the study are to identify the gaps in the financial literacy education in the schools within urban communities. Secondly to determine the long-term consequences of insufficient financial education for youths and teens within urban communities.

Population and Sample

Principals from schools around the district of the urban community, will be interviewed. Curriculum developers will also be interviewed. According to Amagir et al. (2018), the school district within the southeast region, has about 180 schools, and a principal leads each school, so that means only 11.1% of the principals will be involved. So instead, a random selection technique will pick twenty principals and curriculum developers from the district’s schools. Random selection is done to ensure the number of the principal selected is not biased. A well balanced selection for the research from the individuals will give a well representation of the analysis results from the region of study.

Significance of the Study

The study on financial literacy is critical to individuals, the state, and the U.S. government. The economy of the United States is heavily reliant on sound financial planning. For example, young people are well-versed in the subject of money management. In that situation, it is beneficial to the economy of both the United States and Florida since adequate financial education leads to intelligent financial planning, which stimulates economic growth (Hennink et al., 2020). In addition, the study of financial literacy in elementary schools will also assist policymakers in curriculum development in planning to introduce comprehensive financial literacy programs in these institutions of higher learning (Bakar and Bakar, 2020). These programs are designed to help teenagers and young adults manage their money by providing broad information. In addition, they are meant to teach students to be financially responsible citizens and parents (Jamshed, 2014).
Students understand the fundamentals of financial markets, investment options, and financial budgeting when financial literacy is taught to them. Consequently, students will avoid being burdened by debt, becoming increasingly common among young adults. In addition, it is not difficult to recognize specific financial management tactics, particularly when engaging with well-informed and well-prepared experts. Consequently, financial literacy students will debate with well-educated and informed persons since they will anticipate dangers and argue-justify issues relevant to their studies (Amagir et al., 2018). Because people’s financial well-being affects the economy, the Economic Policy Institute reports an increasing need to polarize financial knowledge inside educational institutions.

Nature of the Study

The qualitative research method will be employed to collect, compare, and analyze the various types of information gathered via interviews (Hennink et al., 2020). Because the data for this research will be gathered through interviews and observations, the qualitative technique is the most appropriate. In addition, the information will be investigated using a narrative data analysis design, which will be implemented. The narratives will examine the words or experiences shared during the interviews to identify any gaps in financial education within the southeastern school system.
A significant benefit of using qualitative research to assess financial literacy in education is producing the volume of material necessary to answer the study questions on financial literacy (Omar & Inaba, 2020). In addition, the knowledge offered is exclusive to the qualitative sector of financial education. Finally, since qualitative research is subjective, it will help researchers understand why financial illiteracy is so pervasive among adolescents and teens in the United States (Hennink et al., 2020).
Qualitative technique will give background and an overview of financial literacy in schools, it is the most appropriate methodology for this research project. In addition, the findings of ethnographic research will influence the design since, the study will get to interact with the sample population in the real time envrionment. This is because it enables the gathering of first-hand knowledge. Direct observation and questionnaire interviews will be utilized to gather information for this project (Jamshed, 2014). The participants will respond to interview questions on the level of financial literacy in their schools and the consequences, in their opinion, of a lack of financial awareness on the part of the participants.
Qualitative research methods should be used to address financial literacy concerns since they will provide in-depth insights into financial literacy and its effects on teens and young adults. Aside from that, since information will be gathered via interviews and direct observations, the qualitative research approach will be more cost-effective. However, it is difficult to overcome the issue of bias in data analysis, even if the grounded technique will be utilized to do so. This is the most significant disadvantage. Consequently, their conclusions may not be accurate due to prejudice, the results, and conclusions on financial literacy in schools and how it impacts kids and teens.

Research Questions

The research questions will be used to facilitate the qualitative research method to gather more information concerning the financial literacy in elementary schools. There are three research questions.
1. What are financial illiteracy shortcomings in financial education in the selected community?
2. What are the effects of financial illiteracy on the youth and teens within the community?
3. What measures should be implemented to address the financial illiteracy disparities in financial education seen in schools?

Conceptual Framework

According to Champlain (2019), University of California, Berkeley students are still battling to pay off enormous sums of student debt. In today’s environment, business owners are particularly disappointed with the lack of preparation and financial awareness of fresh graduates and potential recruits (Axelrod et al., 2018). For most kids, financial literacy is simply another subject in their class. According to Champlain (2019), students are prepared to pass the test only to live over their means of subsistence, are unable to acquire a house, are unable to enroll in a monthly insurance plan, and are unable even to begin to plan for retirement due to the enormous lump amount of debt accrued. Forty-four percent of Americans are predicted to be unable to afford a $400 emergency bill without acquiring debt (Champlain, 2019). Sixty-six percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement (Axelrod et al., 2018). Some of these abilities should be taught to children by their parents; unfortunately, many parents are saddled with significant debt.
Financial illiteracy is anticipated to become the norm for a big part of the population if youngsters are not taught financial skills at home. Several scholars, notably Axelrod et al. (2018), argue that schools should simply supplement what parents teach their children. According to a financial literacy assessment, 27 states earned a “C” or below on the scale. Although most schools are mandated to teach mathematics, they are not compelled to teach children finance-related content such as the idea of compound interest or how to prepare a tax return (Champlain, 2019). Teaching personal finance in a condensed style and expecting primary outcomes is a doable and successful duty for educational institutions. Students who are learning to save their pocket money should behave in a manner that helps them put what they have learned in school into practice. This is owing to its massive influence on developing financial literacy in schools (Kirkham, 2016).

Definition of Terms

Financial discipline. Kirkham (2016) suggests that financial discipline is the ability to regulate your spending and saving following the financial objectives you’ve set for yourself in financial management.
Curriculum developers. According to Lusardi (2019), Curriculum developers are elementary, middle, and high school instructors who construct instructional ways to help pupils improve their learning ability. In addition, they are in charge of devising instructional strategies for pupils in grades K-12.

Financial budgeting. According to Kirkham (2016), financial budgeting is the process of calculating how much money you will make over a certain period and planning how much you will spend, save, and borrow during that time: If you want to pay off your mortgage sooner rather than later, financial planning is essential.

Assumptions, Limitations, and Delimitations

The first assumption in the study is the concept of financial information is based on the premise that less-educated persons have higher distances to travel regarding information collecting and distribution. As a result, when they consult with an expert, they save money on data and search costs. However, the misunderstanding of adult education, psychology, and behavior change research, as well as sociocultural variables also contribute to students’ academic failure (Lusardi, 2019).
Another assumption is that someone experiencing financial difficulties may assume they do not have adequate financial resources; otherwise, the difficulties would not have occurred. One solution is to educate people about their triumphs and faults, a core element of American philosophical theory and practice. Another theory is that education in financial subjects will boost people’s literacies and, consequently, their financial well-being due to this permit. As a consequence of this assumption, non-fiction is omitted from the adult education mindset and behavior variance study (Lusardi, 2019).

Limitations

Before the examination starts, it highlights the research’s limits by concentrating on teaching rather than the reasons for such changes in educational systems. Several ways may be used to ensure an accurate understanding of the subject. The first step is recognizing that the ultimate authority for these gaps lies in establishing a clear separation between the education system and the policies.
This study uses qualitative research approaches to identify present gaps in financial education, which entails gathering first-hand information rather than depending only on existing literature. Because there are only a limited number of interviews that may be adequately inferred and assessed in terms of financial literacy understanding, the number of interviews accessible is limited. As a consequence of the need to develop narratives from a set number of interviews to gather information on the gaps, there will be a skewed point of view (Skagerlund et al., 2018). Consequently, the information will be confined to this specific group of persons who do not fulfill any established requirements or have experience in a weak financial education system.
Furthermore, the limited scope of the theoretical framework to focus on college students as a genuine aspect of lack of financial education limits the extent to which there is a gap. This is because students are provided with academic opportunities, which they end up repaying when they are employed (Skagerlund et al., 2018). The massive number of default and struggling payments is due to the increasing unemployment rate and, therefore, a lack of means to ensure the utilization of such education (Aboagye & Jung, 2018). It biases the study to show only the failing students who did not have any education in addition to those who may have had opportunities to learn and benefit from extra-curricular financial education programs.

Delimitations

The purpose of research restrictions is to clearly define where the scope of a study ends in terms of financial education and the gap in Florida schools. The study’s limitations will include measuring the degree trust in information and if it can be effectively used to create robust financial literacy for young learners. There is virtually little academic material relating to financial thinking and dialogue accessible to pupils.
Qualitative research is being employed to investigate financial literacy in education since it can provide adequate information to answer the financial literacy study questions. Qualitative data will make it simpler to ensure that the information provided is relevant to education (Aboagye & Jung, 2018). The limitations of this study are that it only allows for the assessment of various educational materials and does not consider the rules in place to ensure that the standards and content taught in schools are up to grade.

Chapter 2
Literature Review
The bulk of financial choices high school graduates may be attributed to a lack of financial literacy. This includes comparing the typical children to cover financial crises. Theoretically, the financial literacy debate aims to assess the level of financial literacy among youngsters and the degree to which it is taught in schools. Various scholars have said that lack of financial knowledge leads to young people making unwise judgments. Amagir et al. (2018) evaluated the school curriculum’s financial literacy for adolescents and children. They emphasized the disparity in financial education and how inadequate financial literacy is taught to youngsters (Aboagye & Jung, 2018).
Financial education may be introduced in schools in numerous ways. First, ensuring that the educational system adequately explains how financial choices and information are made. Authors have suggested numerous approaches to introduce education into the curriculum appropriately. One of the most prevalent methods is to ensure pupils have such chances to gain the financial literacy knowledge (Aboagye & Jung, 2018). Financial literacy helps youngsters establish and grasp the basic building blocks of financial education. After confirming the presence of an essential curriculum element, the education system’s effectiveness is assessed. Low financial education is linked to negative credit financial behaviors. High debts, foreclosures, and unpleasant mortgage options are examples. This trend has been proven to affect adults and even youngsters and adolescents who lack financial knowledge.

Titles Search and Documentation

The reviewed articles were selected and categorized by a panel of three reviewers who worked collaboratively. Several phases in the decision-making process were necessary to identify and classify articles based on their empirical and descriptive results (Bamforth et al., 2018). As a consequence, the sample population were separated into groups based on their intended audience (students vs. adult learners vs. females versus men, among others) and their financial behavior (e.g., saving versus spending) (e.g., saving versus spending).
To begin, each journal issue was examined before a decision was made on which papers would be included in the research. Whenever the decisions could not break a tie of two or more reviewers, the decision of a third reviewer was utilized to break the tie. Only articles published in scientific and peer-reviewed publications specialized in financial management topics were considered for the rating. A relatively equal distribution of the 95 items chosen for evaluation was then made among the three assigned reviewers (Okumuş, 2017). Following that, each reviewer conducted their study on the papers provided to them and prepared a summary abstract for each article they had read. The abstracts served as the foundation for the subsequent categorization step.
The quantitative component of the study made use of experimental methodologies. In contrast, the qualitative component made use of a case study methodology to address the concerns that the researchers had found. The quantitative component of the study used an experimental design to determine the connections between variables and determine their causes and effects on one another. It is composed of information that the researcher wants to collect and observe (Cohen, 2008). It was decided that further investigation would be carried out. According to Okumuş (2017), a case study is a research approach that helps the researcher to get a comprehensive understanding of a subject or issue from all perspectives. Therefore, a case study was employed to conduct the qualitative portion of the research. The measurement tools used in the research were selected by the ethical committee of the affiliated institution.
Depending on their target audience (students, adult learners, women, and others) and financial behavior, they were grouped into three groups (retirement planning, investment choice decisions, economic well-being, and articles about the financial literacy process and structure). Articles were categorized either descriptively or empirically; however, the categories under each of these viewpoints were not mutually exclusive, and so a single item might be classified in many categories at the time of classification (Bamforth et al., 2018). A consensus-based decision-making technique was chosen for the classification process, which was carried out in the presence of all three reviewers and resulted in the categorization of the documents being reviewed. The debate on the proper classification of each item lasted an average of 10 to 20 minutes per item, depending on the topic.

Historical Content

In 2015, a research study pinpointed that most of the country’s youth and adolescents are responsible for over $91 billion in debt due to their lack of understanding of the financial system. Therefore, a lack of understanding of the financial system is considered a huge challenges of the modern age. Failure to understand the importance usually leads to an array of consequences. Some of them include high-level spending on poor credit management of funds, among other reasons that have been credited as some of the forefront decisions made in light of lack of such education (Jamshed, 2014).
There are a high number of seniors are graduating with little to no information regarding the aspects of financial literacy. This is because of the limited information regarding financial literacy in their academic curriculum, leading to little preparation (Jamshed, 2014). If the curriculum were in place, there wouldn’t be an increased number of learners with no concept of financial literacy, leading to more successful students and young adults. Such education allows them to budget their finances properly, make proper investment choices, and even understand financial markets (Lusardi et al., 2015). This allows them to understand finance and manipulate them to ensure their way out of debt. It also increases their horizons to understand decisions, patterns, and techniques implemented in the markets and benefit the student.
There has been a record of many students in Florida who do not have any financial literacy classes. This is because of the number of educational materials available at their disposal during their studies(Lusardi et al., 2015). As a result, many students tend to finish school with little knowledge about how financial circumstances operate and work in life. The number of students in the state that are missing out on crucial financial lessons has increased significantly. The complex way of life requires various financial skills to survive. The lack of this knowledge spells doom for students from the county. When considering the current patterns of decisions, we tend to find out that there was a gap in education material in the country concerning financial education.
Naturally, the beginning point of the discussion would be to establish the importance of having such literacy courses taught in schools. Various studies have indicated the difference between counties that offer this form of education and those that do not. The difference was perceivable in the credit scores where the number of students who performed well in terms of financial decisions as those who received some education in some form or the other. The impact and benefit are broadly felt from homes that parents did not have the opportunity to learn and understand the inner working of financial education and its importance on life.
While considering the relevance of this project, keep in mind that some parents may be hostile to it because it was seen as undermining the validity of scholarships and the availability of student loans. While this may be advantageous to the student’s educational aspirations, it just serves to assist them in deciding which options they have and which opportunities are open to them in the first place (Jamshed, 2014). The biggest downside would be the disadvantage it would bring about for the county since there would be less funding devoted to financing higher education.
I tend to argue that this fear is based on the unforeseen benefits of financial education. First, a reduction in student loans would mean increased success in seeking and determining education. This benefits the young learners and adolescents even more to make correct decisions for their credit score. On top of that, having increased financial education would mean the capability to understand and benefit from various scholarships in college without the burden of getting into debt (Kirkham, 2016).
While this might be the case, it was also crucial to establish boundaries in terms of learning and ensure that only those interested in the initiatives would be allowed to participate in the learning programs that further their financial literacy. This aspect of inclusion would mean that there is the benefit of choice, and those who feel not interested in such education material can opt-out. It is crucial to understand the difference in perspective and how financial education can be undertaken in this circumstance. This case has seen various households not benefit from discussions revolving around financial education.
From a historical perspective, we understand the importance of the literacy classes and why policy indicated and supported the lack of such educational material. The significant number of schools and school districts from the data collection pool indicates an oversight from curriculum developers and instructors over the importance of financial education in schools within the county.
To further determine the country’s economic success, historical data was used to determine the extent to which adults and the financial economy were fairing. This information was generated utilizing data from various income statements from prominent businesses. On top of that, financial records of various governmental bodies and their analysis of cause and effect in terms of economic periods determined the extent of financial preparation (Kirkham, 2016). To this extent, we can credibly deduce that there is a significant impact on adult decisions and their understanding of financial literacy. There have been high numbers of individuals who make their decisions based on the information received and the actions of others.

The majority of the information collected during this data collection period led to the eventual global economic collapse of the financial system. This was due to poor decision-making and knowledge in investing and making sound decisions. The significant loss saw the dwindling financial hopes of individuals who had made huge decisions, and those who lived with debt were hit the hardest with a lack of recourse due to their vast debts(Kirkham, 2016). Even when the economy recovers, it only leads to more debts, translating to poor financial decisions.

Current Content

As Americans began to question their ideals at home, they also began to question their value as models for other countries. Financial considerations may have also played a role in that government agencies and private foundations began to lose interest in the role of law in the development process. So academics were deprived of necessary financial support (Nakano & Muniz, 2018). However, the primary cause for the law and development movement’s demise was the widespread belief that it failed. Trubek and Galanter argue in “Scholars and Self-Estrangement” that the notion that American liberal legalism could be efficiently transmitted to liberal emerging nations was erroneous. They argued that the circumstances necessary for the efficient implementation of the liberal legal paradigm were opposed to reality in rising nations.
According to the findings, an alarmingly large number of people are vulnerable to escalating debt and financial traps (Faulkner, 2017). Unfortunately, the current educational system provides little to no attention to studying financial literacy subjects (Aboagye & Jung, 2018). This is because a substantial minority of teenagers and adolescents are incapable of making sound financial decisions. This is due to a learning gap in educational institutions. As a result, people make decisions that inadvertently damage their financial prospects due to their inability to comprehend how some financially complicated circumstances function (Nakano & Muniz, 2018).
To properly implement financial education, it is vital to understand the stress that it relieves and how it contributes to the progress of a country or family. Because careful financial management leads to improved advantages for a family and the avoidance of debt and related instruments (Aboagye & Jung, 2018), this might be seen as an investment in human capital to make the appropriate decisions to guarantee financial obligations are fully understood. As the contemporary world has become more challenging in conducting business and industry, having a fundamental understanding of financial education has become vital (Aboagye & Jung, 2018).
The rules that school boards establish and the availability of education to all students are crucial. One of the elements to consider when considering whether to incorporate financial literacy instruction in the school curriculum is the long-term advantage that such education will provide (Faulkner, 2017). Due to a lack of this knowledge, there is a lack of understanding regarding the degree to which financial decisions should be considered when preparing for the future and the long-term repercussions of such choices. Understanding our knowledge and conduct is one of the most basic ways to forecast which activities to avoid and participate in to make sound decisions (Aboagye & Jung, 2018). Therefore, it is vital to gather the appropriate knowledge and take focused action to reap such rewards.
When dealing with financial difficulties, positive attitudes and self-confidence are also beneficial. This is due to their crucial function in ensuring that judgments are sensible and not based on incorrect or misleading information. This can only be done by attention and ensuring that choices are made with both short- and long-term benefits in mind (Faulkner, 2017). As a result, existing and future financial education-informed initiatives may decrease the number of financial errors made throughout maturity and childhood, benefit everyone.
A thorough search of all materials and instructions related to financial literacy in schools was conducted. The results will be examined to determine the extent to which schools intervene and aid their pupils (Faulkner, 2017). Based on the evaluation of articles, papers, texts, and records, it was determined that if a knowledge database exists, it is suitable and suitably accessible for students and guided teaching with an expert (Faulkner, 2017).
Examining financial education budgets suggests that there is a possibility that too little money is spent on financial education (Faulkner, 2017). According to several writers, the absence of financial education in schools is due, among other things, to budget cutbacks and a lack of legislation that encourages more outstanding funds to be allocated to it (Aboagye & Jung, 2018).

Theoretical or Conceptual Framework Literature

As the fight against massive financial debt gains momentum, an increasing number of college students are joining the fray. While a sizable portion of the population lives paycheck to paycheck, this indicates that a sizable portion of the population is financially illiterate and unaware of the consequences of their financial choices. Due to the disproportional level of readiness and financial knowledge individuals possess when starting a new job or changing jobs (Skagerlund et al., 2018). Despite its critical nature, students frequently misunderstand and underestimate this concept as a necessary component of life. This incident sparked a debate about the argument’s purpose and the consequences of its conclusion. A sizable proportion of adults, children, and adolescents may be financially illiterate, possibly due to a lack of financial education throughout their academic careers.
Financial literacy may seem a simple idea to acquire and comprehend theoretically. However, as seen by many people in debt, this has proved to be drastically different in terms of practical implementation. When it comes to education, the vast majority of teaching is often done to ensure that students complete their courses, get little practical benefit outside of the classroom, and pass their tests. This leaves financial literacy as nothing more than a subject taught to ensure that students meet the certified qualification in instruction in various subjects without regard for how they can be utilized (Draper, 2019). This is discernible in how students can make certain life decisions such as purchasing a home, monthly insurance plans, and even saving for their retirement benefits. Such limitations to the understanding and practicality of finance leave an ideological gap that seeks to fulfill academic qualifications and not the understanding of debt and the financial systems.
According to various surveys, rough estimates have been provided about Americans’ quality of living. It has been approximated that roughly almost half the population could not settle emergency fees of $400 or more without accruing debt. Similarly, shocking figures indicate that a large number of working Americans do not have sufficient savings in their retirement accounts due to these enormous amounts of debt (Bamforth et al., 2018). This knowledge cannot be accurately passed on to children due to debts that they have accrued, making for a generation of households that accept the norm of financial illiteracy. As the adults barely know any better, their children are more likely to fall into similar patterns that sound dangerous to their futures.
In the end, schools should ensure the proper facilitation of financial skills that have been learned from home. A lack of proper training and education would only lead to a lack of such information benefiting young adults and children (Bamforth et al., 2018). It is the responsibility of schools to ensure their curriculums touch on the importance of financial literacy and ensure that their learners can practically grasp its concepts. Basic concepts are usually taught and demonstrated in mathematics classes but are not given the same financial application in life. This leads to a shallow understanding of the workings of a financial system and not the practical concepts of management of finances. These theories may be understood theoretically, but circumstances are not usually similarly tailored in real life.
Students and learners alike need to understand the importance of financial education and why it is personal and institutional responsibility to ensure its proper understanding. Institutions are usually inclined towards teaching financial literacy from the point of view that is broad and significant and not solely giving focus to short forms and buzz words relating to finance. Children from various households are usually given pocket money from a young age, and it should be their first lesson in money management. This provides an insight into finance and allows the students to understand the concepts and theories from a practical point of view. They should integrate their instruction received from school with real-life occurrences and go a long way to ensure it improves their financial literacy (Kirkham, 2016).
Based on this outlook of financial education, the study established the study’s theoretical framework. It is keen to indicate the rising number of financial issues experienced in households and how many adults in debt keep rising. This also considers the inflation rates and how they have led to financial difficulties for individuals and families. On top of that, such gaps also lead to students’ development and instruction, who then grow up to become poor financial decision-makers (Kirkham, 2016). As such, the study intends to ensure the count of Florida has adequate financial education systems in place and whether they are sufficient enough to validate the increasing aspect between the youth and the rise in debt.

Methodological Literature

Research techniques are a fundamental approach for gathering and debating information to make an educated choice. This is because the information being gathered may include a variety of settings and scenarios that need different types of analysis and judgments (Aboagye & Jung, 2018). Three basic approaches are used in research: the qualitative research technique, the quantitative research technique, and the combined method. All of these kinds of research have applications and are used in many sorts of research, and the emphasis of this discussion will be on the examination of the various types of research techniques.

Qualitative Analysis

Data segmentation is typical in data analysis. Without the breakdown, the data would be misinterpreted and misunderstood (Hennick et al., 2020). Understanding data segmentation is becoming more critical. We need to know when. This method is popular since it does not need a lot of data collecting. They are category, relationship, and description (Hennick et al., 2020). The qualitative analysis starts with data description and comprehension. The goals and procedure define a separate argument and school of thought. This is how most researchers acquire data. There are many techniques to check the analysis. Information categorization and links are crucial. Collected and sorted material must be correctly presented. The study in issue is socially relevant. It should include key findings from the study. It should be clear what the issue is (Hennick et al., 2020). That is, the data should be described and classified logically.

Quantitative Analysis

Most of the time, this study analysis is done to disseminate and discuss information. This style of study analysis frequently leads to a good debate. Data processing frequently requires mathematical and statistical accuracy (Hennick et al., 2020). The quantity of data and information necessary to establish a clear relationship is enormous. Furthermore, this method of analysis assumes that the data is quantitative. Consequently, facts from this form of study analysis frequently suggest how to approach the issue of discussion (Hennick et al., 2020).
This approach offers two key advantages. One benefit is that it increases the study sample size. The data capture a more precise and more educated argument or research response. This sort of study also addresses objectivity and information accuracy. As a result, it is a more attractive study approach. In terms of community or social research, a plethora of data on numerous areas of society is crucial. In this way, the study may fully understand the topic and guarantee that findings are precise and clear (Hennick et al., 2020).

Mixed Methods

These procedures include the employment of several sorts of study analysis to obtain conclusive facts. In simple words, it often involves using both qualitative and quantitative kind of research approaches to produce a clear result on the topic. This operates typically by exploiting research resources and methodologies into regions where both types of research analysis give a firm fit (Jamshed, 2014). This implies that each study method benefits and guarantees its function in unison. It also entails collecting both open and closed-ended data that are generally in response to the study topic. Finally, the practical and demanding technique ensures that qualitative methodologies are appropriately applied (Jamshed, 2014).
There are numerous mixed-method studies, which indicates it is not a question of simply combining the two concepts. This technique has the advantage of recognizing discrepancies between quantitative data and qualitative findings. Such a manner enables the proper harmonization of various features making it simpler to determine a subject of conversation. It is also based on the experiences and conclusions of the directly questioned participants, making the data a proper representation of the study issue (Jamshed, 2014).

Research Design Literature

The objectives of this research were to construct and evaluate a high school financial literacy training program and evaluate its effectiveness. Both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to get results “a greater understanding of an issue than we would have gotten from any of the other two ways. An “integrated approach” “incorporates both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. According to Cohen (2008), a hybrid approach incorporates to get a more in-depth understanding of a subject than one methodology alone.” It was determined to conduct a sequential investigation using quantitative and qualitative approaches.
It was discovered that the survey was performed on tenth-grade high school students who were specifically recruited to participate. The program started in the 10th grade due to the curriculum’s applicability and the number of students who volunteered. There were 42 students included in the quantitative component of this study. To perform the qualitative component of the research, 12 participants from the experimental group were chosen and provided financial literacy education tailored to their individual needs inside the experimental settings.

Conclusions

There are legitimate reasons for someone to be worried about their financial well-being on a personal, family, and communal level, as well as the financial well-being of the nation as a whole. As a result, as individuals learn more about money in the United States and other parts of the globe, positive things may occur in those countries and around the world. The quantity and relevance of financial education programs have increased dramatically in recent years. Still, adults who work in the field have a more excellent grasp of how programs are planned and operated, the mechanisms they operate, and the following steps to take. Children and adolescents have the right to receive financial education, which should come as no surprise given how self-evident and necessary it is to provide this kind of instruction.
It cannot be contested does not make it a particularly enticing cause to fight. Instead, a specific action plan must be developed to include financial education into state standards, train instructors, develop curriculum, investigate behavioral impacts, increase disciplinary competence and involvement, and resolve professional disagreements. Additionally, in addition to providing an in-depth look at current youth financial education, this research serves as a guide for future efforts to teach the school-age population how to make wise financial decisions and stay safe in an intimidatingly complex market, as detailed in the following section.

Chapter Summary

This data collection period led to the global economic and financial collapse of the banking sector. This was due to bad decisions and a lack of understanding about investing and making educated decisions. Individuals who made significant financial decisions saw their financial prospects diminish, and those in debt suffered the most since their debt commitments were huge (Kirkham, 2016). Even if the economy recovers, more debt will result, leading to even poorer financial decisions in the future.
The research found that when people’s circumstances deteriorate, a more significant percentage of them fall into debt and financial traps. The current educational system lacks time to explore such concerns in detail (Aboagye & Jung, 2018). Many teenagers and young adults cannot make sound financial decisions independently. It is owing to a lack of educational options. People unwittingly damage their financial prospects due to their inability to comprehend specific financial scenarios (Aboagye & Jung, 2018).
To properly apply financial education, one must understand how it reduces anxiety and contributes to a country’s or family’s prosperity. This might be seen as an investment in human capital to make the appropriate choices and guarantee that all household members fully grasp financial duties. Moreover, financial knowledge is critical to succeeding in today’s increasingly competitive business and the industrial world (Aboagye & Jung, 2018).
It was determined how much schools help their pupils’ financial education by searching all school-related financial literacy resources and instructions (Faulkner, 2017). After evaluating articles, papers, texts, and records, it was decided to make public if a knowledge database existed (Faulkner, 2017). According to one analysis, financial education budgets seem to be underfunded (Faulkner, 2017). Experts say the absence of financial education in schools is due to budget cutbacks and a lack of legislation that encourages more financing for this study area (Aboagye & Jung, 2018). Students and learners must understand the value of financial education and why it is a personal and institutional responsibility.
Financial literacy is more likely to be approached holistically by institutions than concentrating on money-related jargon and buzzwords. Distributing pocket money to children from various households should begin early. This helps pupils comprehend money and apply classroom knowledge to real-world circumstances (Kirkham, 2016). They should apply classroom knowledge to real-life circumstances, increasing their financial literacy.

References

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Bamforth, J., Jebarajakirthy, C., & Geursen, G. (2018). Understanding undergraduates’ money management behavior: a study beyond financial literacy. International Journal of Bank Marketing.
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19

A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY TO DISCOVER LOW-INCOME ADULTS’

PERCEPTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS REGARDING FINANCIAL LITERACY

by

Brigid Ann Schaffer

Copyright 2013

A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements for the Degree
Doctor of Business Administration

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iii

ABSTRACT

This phenomenological study explored the perceptions and expectations of low income

adults regarding financial literacy to discover ways to increase attendance in financial

literacy programs designs for this cohort. The study utilized interviews with closed-ended

questions to establish the participants’ backgrounds, then opened-ended questions to obtain

in-depth descriptions of personal lived experiences about financial literacy concepts,

educational programs, and future expectations from the 20 study participants. The data

analysis resulted in three themes (1) participant’s characteristics, (2) presentation of financial

literacy programs, and (3) access to low income adults. The sub-themes from theme one

identify participants’ characteristics of belief in self and current time-frame orientation.

Theme two, presentation of financial literacy programs, sub-themes recognized three

attributes of presentation: information wanted, presentation style, and, environment of

financial literacy classes. The third theme, access to low income adults, presented sub-

themes of access through word of mouth, and advertisement. The first two themes gave rise

to recommendations of future development and presentation of financial literacy programs.

The third theme provided advertising ideas for financial literacy programs to incorporate

information reflecting the benefits to attendees, and sites for advertisement to include

locations where the cohort socialize or look for support. The study considered the low-

income adults’ perspectives regarding financial literacy reversed the existing top down

approach of financial program development from what low-income adults need to learn to

participate in the mainstream financial sector to what low-income adults want to learn to

secure a stable financial future. The research method can be replicated to determine the

financial literacy needs of community low income adults.

iv

DEDICATION

I dedicate this research study to my husband, Paul Schaffer, and our daughters Sarah and

Amber.

v

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I acknowledge that without the help and support of many people during this long journey the

research would not have been completed. My first line of support came from the librarians

Joanne Elpern, Joanne White, Mary Loomis, and Xiaomei Gong, they provided guidance and

access to research materials essential during coursework and the research. My classmates;

Arlene McClurg, Wyndia Wortham, and Dr. Sheila Payne, provided the encouragement for

completion. Most importantly, my dissertation committee, Dr. Samuel Hardy, Dr. Clifford

Blizard, and Dr. Elaine Labach for their continuous input and support during the dissertation

process.

vi

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1 ………………………………………………………………………………… i

INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………………………………… i

Background of the Problem …………………………………………………….2

Statement of the Problem ………………………………………………………..4

Purpose of the Study ………………………………………………………………5

Significance of the Problem …………………………………………………….6

Significance of the study. ……………………………………………..6

Significance of the study to leadership. ………………………….7

Nature of the Study ………………………………………………………………..7

Overview of the research method. …………………………………7

Overview of the design appropriateness. ………………………..9

Research Questions ………………………………………………………………12

Theoretical Framework ……………………………………………………… 13

Definition of Terms………………………………………………………………16

Assumptions ………………………………………………………………………..17

Scope and Limitations…………………………………………………………..17

Delimitations ……………………………………………………………………….19

Summary …………………………………………………………………………….20

CHAPTER 2 ………………………………………………………………………………..22

REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ………………………………………………………..22

Title Searches, Articles, Research Documents, Journals ……………22

Historical Overview of Financial Literacy Programs ………………..23

vii

Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development ………..23

Financial Literacy Legislation in the United States …………………..25

Financial Literacy Studies Influences ……………………………………..30

Current Literature: Financial Literacy Development ………………..35

Financial Literacy Studies…………………………………………..36

Expections and Education ………………………………………….40

Accessing the Low Income Population…………………………49

Theoretical Framework for Interpretation of Data…………………….56

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs ……………………………………..57

Prochaska’s Transtheoretical Method for Change ………….58

Challenges of Financial Literacy Education …………………………….60

Further Research: Financial Literacy Initiatives ……………………….63

Conclusions …………………………………………………………………………64

Summary …………………………………………………………………………….65

CHAPTER 3 ………………………………………………………………………………..67

METHOD ………………………………………………………………………………..67

Research Method and Design Appropriateness ………………………..68

Research Method ………………………………………………………68

Design Appropriateness ……………………………………………..72

Research Questions ………………………………………………………………75

Population …………………………………………………………………………..76

Sampling Frame …………………………………………………………………..76

Informed Consent…………………………………………………………………77

viii

Confidentiality …………………………………………………………………….78

Institutional Review Board ……………………………………………………79

Geographic Location …………………………………………………………….79

Data Collection ……………………………………………………………………80

Instrumentation ……………………………………………………………………83

Interview Questions Development ………………………………………….84

Validity and Reliability …………………………………………………………87

Internal Validity ………………………………………………………..87

External Validity ……………………………………………………….88

Reliability …………………………………………………………………88

Data Analysis ………………………………………………………………………89

Summary …………………………………………………………………………….90

CHAPTER 4 ………………………………………………………………………………..92

RESULTS ………………………………………………………………………………..92

Population and Sampling ………………………………………………………92

Validity and Reliability …………………………………………………………93

External Experts ………………………………………………………..94

Pilot Study ………………………………………………………………..94

Member Checking ……………………………………………………..95

Data Collection Process ………………………………………………………..96

Demographic Information …………………………………………..96

Data Analysis Process …………………………………………………………..98

Results ………………………………………………………………………………100

ix

Theme 1- Participants’ Characteristics ………………………..100

Theme 2 – Presentation of Financial Literacy ……………..105

Theme 3 – Access to Low Income Adults ……………………111

Summary …………………………………………………………………………..116

CHAPTER 5 ………………………………………………………………………………118

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS …………………………….118

Limitations ………………………………………………………………………..119

Conclusions for Research Question ………………………………………121

Theme 1- Participants’ Characteristics ………………………..122

Theme 2 – Presentation of Financial Literacy ……………..127

Theme 3 – Access to Low Income Adults ……………………131

Significance of the Study …………………………………………………….132

Significance of the Study to Leadership ………………………………..133

Implications and Recommendations for Future Research ………..134

Recommendations to Increase Participation …………………………..135

Recommendations to National Leaders …………………………………136

Recommendations to Community Organizations ……………………136

Reflection ………………………………………………………………………….137

Summary …………………………………………………………………………..139

References …………………………………………………………………………141

Appendix A – Key Word Searches ………………………………………..154

Appendix B – Flyer to Solicit Participants ……………………………..155

Appendix C – Individual Informed Consent Form …………………..156

x

Appendix D – Non Disclosure Agreement ……………………………..157

Appendix E – Premise Consent Agreement ……………………………159

Appendix F1 – Interview Questions Prior to Validation …………..160

Appendix F2 – Interview Questions for Research Study ………….163

Appendix G – Participants’ Interview Transcripts ……………………167

xi

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1 – Sample………………………………………….……. …………………………..97

Table 2 – Household Population…………………….…… ……………………….…………97

Table 3 – Types of Bank Accounts…………………………………………… ………..98

Table 4 – Accessing Low Income Adults – Participant Suggestions..……… ………..112

Table 5 – Participant Self-Rating of Money Management………………… ………….128

1

Chapter 1

Introduction

Thirty percent of households in the United States are categorized as low-income, earning less

than $30,000 annually (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation [FDIC], 2009). Financial

literacy programs for low-income adults in the United States are designed for basic financial

management to guide participants into mainstream financial services (Curley, Ssewamala, &

Sherraden, 2009; Lyons & Neelakantan, 2008; Lyons & Scherpf, 2004; Servon & Kaestner,

2008; Zhan, Anderson, & Scott, 2009) and to decrease their vulnerability to predatory lenders

and reliance on welfare programs (Chang & Lyons, 2008; Federal Deposit Insurance

Corporation [FDIC], 2009; Lim, DeJohn, & Murray, 2012; Wilson, 2012). The literacy

programs were developed without interaction with the low-income populations, and the

programs available through government agencies and financial institutions have low levels of

participation (Chang & Lyons, 2008; Servon & Kaestner, 2008; Spader, Ratliffe, Montoya, &

Skillern, 2009).

This phenomenological research study was designed to discover low-income adults’

perceptions and expectations of financial literacy to provide information for financial literacy

curriculum designs that could attract low-income participants (Buckland, 2011; Servon &

Kaestner, 2008). Financial literacy is defined for this research study as: “the ability to make

informed judgments and to take effective actions regarding the current and future use and

management of money” (FLEC, 2010a, p. 2). Chapter 1 provides a synopsis of the

phenomenological research study including a background of the problem, statement of the

problem, purpose of the study, significance of the problem, nature of the study, research

2

question, theoretical framework, definition of terms, assumptions, scope, limitations,

delimitations, and summary.

Background of the Problem

Financial literacy at the end of the 20th century emphasized one dimensional financial

knowledge (Huston, 2010; Remund, 2010). Financial literacy research undertaken during the

first decade of the 21st century determined that financial literacy encompasses two

dimensions: financial knowledge and financial behavior that creates financial capability (U.

S. Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC), 2010a; Huston, 2010;

Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 2008; Remund, 2010).

Financial literacy is defined by the United States Financial Literacy and Education

Commission (FLEC, 2010a) as “the ability to make informed judgments and to take effective

actions regarding the current and future use and management of money” (p. 2). Financial

education was defined by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development

(2008) as follows:

Financial education is the process by which financial consumers/investors improve their

understanding of financial products and concepts and, through information, instruction and/or

objective advice, develop the skills and confidence to become aware of financial risks and

opportunities, to make informed choices, to know where to go for help, and to take other

effective actions to improve their financial well-being and protection. (p. 13)

Individual governments, the World Bank, and the OECD promote financial literacy because

the financial environment has changed for individuals from reliance on defined pensions and

social retirement funding to personal long-term financial responsibility (OECD, 2008; U. S.

Treasury Department, 2008).

3

Financial literacy behaviors in the United States as measured by an individual’s use of

mainstream financial institutions have three classifications: banked, unbanked, and

underbanked (FDIC, 2009). Research by the FDIC (2009) on the use of mainstream financial

depository institutions found that 7.7% of the United States population is unbanked and that

17.9% of the population is underbanked. A large subset comprising nearly 30% of the United

States population is classified as low-income. Approximately seven million low-income

families are unbanked and are reported to have limited financial literacy (Birkenmaier &

Curley, 2009; FDIC, 2009; Lusardi, Mitchell, & Curto, 2010; Mandell & Klein, 2009).

Traditionally, low-income adults had access to financial literacy programs that focused on

financial activities, such as savings and budgeting (Chang & Lyons, 2009; Servon &

Kaestner, 2008). A study conducted by Lusardi, Mitchell, and Curto (2010) pointed to the

benefits of financial literacy educational programs for individuals before they entered

financial contracts and also indicated that parents have a significant influence on their

children’s financial literacy. Other research and governmental policies have attempted to

increase low-income adults’ involvement in the financial mainstream environment of banks

and investment firms, hoping to decrease this population’s vulnerability to predatory lenders

while increasing the need for financial mainstream services (FDIC, 2009; Lenzner, 2012;

Lumpkin, 2010; Lim, DeJohn, & Murray, 2012; Wilson, 2012). Another statistic

highlighting the need for financial literacy is that the number of people living in poverty in

the United States has increased by 12.5 million people since 2000 and that 6.3 million of

these have crossed the poverty line since the beginning of the 2007 recession (DeNavas-

Walt, Proctor, & Smith, 2011).

4

The literature review on financial literacy studies found the studies involving low-

income adults show a lack of inquiry of low-income adults’ perceptions and expectations

regarding financial literacy (Allen & Miller, 2010; Birkenmaier & Curley, 2009; Buckland,

2010, 2011; Cho, Gutter, Kim, & Mauldin, 2012; De Sousa, 2010; Gutter et al., 2012; Lim,

DeJohn, & Murray, 2012; Servon & Kaestner, 2008; Sherraden & McBride, 2010; Soman &

Cheema, 2011; and Zhan et al., 2009). This study focused on exploring the life experiences

of low-income adults with respect to financial education to discover low-income adults’

expectations for their financial future, consequently increasing the knowledge base for

financial literacy educational development opportunities. The theoretical framework for the

research study was based on Maslow’s (1948) hierarchy of needs to establish motivation, and

to investigate participants’ attitudes toward change based on the theoretical model of change

developed by Prochaska (1979).

Statement of the Problem

The need for financial literacy in the 21st century on an individual basis grows with

increasing financial complexity, the shift of public policy toward individual fiscal

responsibility, and the expanding percentage of the United States population living in poverty

(Arthur, 2011; Buckland, 2011; Cory & Pickard, 2008; DeNavas-Walt et al., 2011; Gallery &

Gallery, 2010). Financial literacy programs in the United States directed toward low-income

populations have had limited success as measured by research on low-income adult financial

literacy and by the number of low-income adults unbanked or underbanked (FDIC, 2009;

2012). The general problem is a measured lack of financial literacy within the low-income

population of the United States (FDIC, 2009; Mandell & Klein, 2009; National Foundation

for Credit Counseling (NFCC), 2010). The emphasis of this study was to explored the low-

5

income adult population’s experiences in developing their financial knowledge, to discover

their perceptions and expectations of financial literacy programs and to increase participation

by this cohort in financial literacy programs.

The phenomenological qualitative study design was used to record and analyze the

life experiences and expectations of financial literacy for low-income adults through open-

ended questions during face-to-face interviews (Creswell, 2012; Buckland, 2011). The data

collection method allows participant confidentiality for members of a population not given to

trusting outsiders (Weiss & Bailar, 2002). Access to the low-income population in Danbury,

Connecticut, was gained through a local nonprofit community organization through the use

of a gatekeeper (Creswell, 2012). Exploring the underlying attitudes, environmental

conditions, and behaviors of low-income adults identified trends which led to

recommendations that could be beneficial to the future development of financial literacy

programs.

Purpose of the Study

This qualitative phenomenological study’s purpose was to explore the lived financial

literacy development experiences and the future financial expectations of low-income adults.

The analysis of the data uncovered trends and themes reflecting on the financial behaviors

before and after the research participants attended a financial literacy program (FDIC, 2010).

These trends and themes produced novel information to aid in the development of financial

literacy education materials and could increase participation in financial literacy programs to

support low-income adults to establish a stable financial future. The qualitative

phenomenological structure was appropriate for this study because this investigator

attempted to understand the experiences of the participants as well as their perceptions,

6

perspectives, and expectations of financial literacy (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The study

employed interviews with semi-structured open-ended questions to obtain personal life

experiences about financial literacy concepts, educational programs, and future expectations

from the study participants (Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).

Voluntary interviews of 20 low-income adults provided the opportunity for data

saturation. Initial closed-ended questions confirmed criterion demographic data available in

the nonprofit organization’s documentation. The second section of the interview with

opened-ended questions uncovered themes that could influence the development of financial

literacy education. Themes that emerged from the study, therefore, could aid in determining

predictor variables affecting financial behaviors, and produce novel information to help

develop financial literacy education materials to increase the participation of low-income

adults.

Significance of the Problem

Significance of the study. Financial literacy within the United States has not

increased significantly during the first decade of the 21st century (Lusardi, Mitchell, &

Curto, 2010; Mandell & Klein, 2009; Yates & Ward, 2011; Yilmaz, 2011). An increase in

the size of the population, however, living below the poverty level, combined with the

complex financial environment of decreasing social security expectations, defined pension

plans, and changing welfare terms affirms the need for financial literacy education for low-

income adults in the United States (DeNavas-Walt et al., 2011; FDIC, 2009; Lenzner, 2012;

Lusardi, 2012). This phenomenological study of how low-income adults approach financial

literacy increased the understanding of how low-income adults manage their finances thereby

increasing the knowledge base to develop financial literacy programs that actively engage the

7

cohort under study. Considering low-income adults’ perspectives reversed the existing top

down approach of program development to what low-income adults need to learn to

participate in the mainstream financial sector and what low-income adults want to learn to

secure a stable financial future. The study results identified conceptual foundations on which

financial literacy programs that reach out to low-income adults could be further developed to

support the population cohort’s preparation for a sound financial future.

Significance of the study to leadership. The United States and countries around the

world support financial literacy at the individual level because of deficiencies in financial

literacy within the populations of many countries (OECD, 2010; Yilmaz, 2011). The United

States Treasury Department’s Financial Literacy Education Commission’s (FLEC, 2010a)

stated vision is: “Sustained financial well-being for all individuals and families in the United

States” (p. 6). Access to low-income adults, however, is difficult and participation in

programs directed toward low-income persons is low (Servon & Kaestner, 2008; Spader et

al., 2009; Weiss & Bailar, 2002; Zhan et al., 2009). The significance of a phenomenological

study of low-income adults’ perceptions and expectations of financial literacy to leadership is

that the information collected provides knowledge for program development. The

knowledge could increase access and participation by low-income adults; subsequently,

create a foundation of long-term financial success for individuals, and cause a positive ripple

effect on global economic stability.

Nature of the Study

Overview of the research method. Typically, qualitative, quantitative, or mixed

methods of research can be employed to answer social science questions (Creswell, 2012).

The research method deemed appropriate for this study has the characteristics of a qualitative

8

study. These characteristics include: (a) the researcher as the instrument, (b) data collection

at a field site (natural setting), and (c) interpretation of data to understand a complex issue

and identify factors that influence behaviors (Creswell, 2012). Qualitative research of soft

data follows a nonlinear path to relate authentic interpretations of a specific issue. The

nonlinear path provides focus and data richness, texture, and thoughts requiring the

researcher to use inductive reasoning to develop insights and generalizations from the data

collected. Qualitative research data collected from a small sample size allows the

examination of data for nuances that may help in understanding the issue in context (Leedy

& Ormrod, 2010).

Quantitative research applies deductive reasoning focusing on planning research

design, measurement, and sampling (Creswell, 2009). Data collections through large

statistical samples are reflective of frequency of actions and progress through linear research.

The data analysis based on predetermined variables and stated hypothesis tests the theory

(Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The mechanical techniques used for statistical analysis in

quantitative research stress objectivity and statistical projection through standardized

procedures and principles of replication (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The data predominantly

collected through surveys for statistical analysis of the hypothesis will ultimately confirm or

refute the theory. Data collection can take place without researcher interpretation and does

not provide an opportunity to change methods as could happen in qualitative research.

A mixed method combines elements from both qualitative and quantitative methods

to allow the determination of more details than either method could provide alone (Leedy &

Ormrod, 2010). Qualitative research studies might quantify some answers and quantitative

interview questions might be incorporated into some open-ended questions to solicit insights.

9

Teddlie and Tashskkori (2009) suggested that the development of a mixed method research

design begins with a research question, which when broken down results in both quantitative

and qualitative sub-questions. The option of either quantitative or mixed method involves

confirming or disconfirming a hypothesis. The hypothesis represents the researcher’s

prediction as to the outcome of the research. This study intended to ascertain the financial

literacy perceptions and expectations of low-income adults without any preconceived

conjectures. There are, therefore, no developed hypotheses. The inquiry of low-income

adults’ perceptions and expectations of financial literacy fits the selected qualitative

phenomenological research method.

Overview of the design appropriateness. Creswell (2012) explained the

appropriateness of qualitative research when a problem needs to be explored. Leedy and

Ormrod (2010) explained, “The data dictate the research method” (p. 94). The research

question collected data to ascertain the participants’ perceptions and expectations regarding

financial literacy to increase participation in financial literacy programs. The

phenomenological method gave the low-income adult participants an opportunity to have

their voices heard (Creswell, 2012). The research question, therefore, revealed the necessity

for a qualitative phenomenological research method rather than other qualitative methods. A

review of the other qualitative research methods follows below acknowledge design

methodologies inconsistencies to stay within the boundaries of this phenomenological study.

Case study research involves studying a program or individuals to discover the paths

taken to understand the outcome of a particular issue (Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod,

2010). The emphasis of this study was to discover information to increase participation of

low income adults in financial literacy programs, which would be limited when considering

10

the perspective of these individual. Therefore, case study research was not selected to

support this study’s emphasis on understanding the perceptions and expectations of financial

literacy for program development.

Content analysis is a qualitative approach that merges quantitative aspects and

generally will become part of a mixed method study. This is done through a systematic

examination of characteristics of material to identify themes, bias, or patterns (Leedy &

Ormrod, 2009). The proposed study involved interviews to extract data with no preformed

expectations from the individuals, rather than analyzing for expected characteristics required

for content analysis. Content analysis was therefore inappropriate for this study.

Ethnography requires researchers to immerse themselves in the culture of the

population to become a trusted member of the society covering a lengthy period to discover

and understand the population. The grounded theory approach utilizes data to develop theory

when theories have not been developed (Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). This

study’s data analysis applied Maslow’s (1948) hierarchy of needs and Proschaska’s (1979)

transtheoretical model of change theories to develop recommendations for financial literacy

programs to improve on curriculum and increase participation. Both the qualitative study

designs of ethnography and the grounded theory would not work for this study because of the

limited access to participants outside of the community organization because of the transitory

and suspicious nature of the low-income population (Weiss & Bailar, 2002).

The selection of the phenomenological approach, therefore, was deemed best suited

for the research question’s purpose and focus in comparison to the other qualitative

approaches. Phenomenology studies fall into either hermeneutic or transcendental modes

(Creswell, 2009). Hermeneutic phenomenology sanctions the researcher freely interacting

11

with the participants and interpreting the participants lived experiences (van Manen, 2007).

Transcendental phenomenology follows Moustakas’s (1994) protocol in which the researcher

focuses on the descriptions of the participants’ lived experiences and brackets out all

personal experiences of the phenomenon. Selecting participants with a common experience

increases the ability of the researcher to analyze the interview transcriptions both textually

and structurally through interpretative analysis reducing experiences to their essence.

This study’s topic of financial literacy explored a personal subject often considered

taboo for discussion (Atwood, 2012; Lowrance, 2011; Trachtman, 2008), but that underlies

many behaviors nonetheless. The low-income adult population for the study was challenging

to access. To overcome the barriers of the topic and population access, the study researcher

worked with a gatekeeper. The gatekeeper was a liaison between the study participants and

the researcher. The presence of a gatekeeper helped the researcher obtain lived experiences

and future expectations in a perceived nonjudgmental way (Creswell, 2012).

Financial literacy educational programming has been designed to increase the low-

income population’s use of mainstream financial services (Curley et al., 2009; Lyons &

Neelakantan, 2008; Lyons & Scherpf, 2004; Servon & Kaestner, 2008; Zhan et al., 2009).

The study explored the participants’ reactions to a financial literacy program regarding

whether the financial literacy program provided the knowledge and skills to meet personal

financial literacy needs. The unique perspective of understanding the financial literacy

program participation of low-income adults from a community nonprofit organization in

Danbury, Connecticut, provided insights to develop financial literacy programs, discovered

new measurements of financial literacy education effectiveness, and uncovered possible

methods for increasing participation.

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Research Question

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to ascertain the perceptions and

expectations of low-income adult participants regarding financial literacy in order to

understand their perspectives and to make recommendations that could help improve the

financial literacy programming curricula to increase participation by low-income adults.

Studies concerning low-income adults’ financial literacy have focused on adult learning

techniques (Birkenmaier & Curley, 2009; Lyons & Neelakantan, 2008) and the level of

aptitude in financial literacy to increase the likelihood that the low-income population would

use mainstream financial institutions (Chang & Lyons, 2008; Curley et al., 2009; Lusardi,

Mitchell, & Curto, 2010), leaving a gap of inquiry for what low-income adults want to know

about financial literacy to improve their financial futures. The results of the study could

benefit financial literacy program development and participation, and increase low-income

adults’ abilities to manage their money successfully. The timing of the study corresponds to

the United States’ national push to increase financial literacy for the individual. The study

explored the needs of low-income adults who comprise 30% of United States households

(DeNavas-Walt et al., 2011; FDIC, 2009) in an effort to support national economic stability.

The phenomenological research study design of Moustakas’ (1994) provided the basis

for investigating the phenomenon of financial literacy perceptions and expectations of low-

income adults through their lived experiences. Resulting with the central research question:

What are low-income adults’ perceptions and expectations concerning financial literacy? To

develop an answer to the central question, three sub-questions were developed: (1) “How do

the participants rate themselves in regard to personal financial literacy?” and (2) “Has the

participant’s attendance in a financial literacy program increased their financial

13

knowledge?”, and (3) “What suggestions from participants could increase participation in

financial literacy program by low-income adults?”

Theoretical Framework

Low-income populations’ needs for financial literacy to gain long-term financial

success might be superseded by their experiences and ability to change their current standard

of living (Allen & Miller, 2010; Goodman, 2012; Lyons & Scherpf, 2004; National

Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), 2006; Sherraden & McBride, 2010; Servon &

Kaestner, 2008). This phenomenological research study made inquiries about the

participants’ experiences and expectations with financial literacy. The inquiries collected

data from three perspectives: (a) how they developed the financial knowledge that directs

their financial behavior, (b) what expectations do they have concerning their future financial

plans, and (c) whether or not financial literacy program modules help them toward realizing

their plans. The theoretical framework for this study included Maslow’s (1948) hierarchy of

needs and Proschaska’s (1979) transtheoretical model of change. These theories provided

information to help interpret the study populations’ perceptions and expectations of financial

literacy in the hope that the study’s results could lead to recommendations for modifications

in financial literacy programs that could increase participation and financial literacy of low-

income adults.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Maslow’s (1948) motivation theory structure of

individual character growth stems from the fulfillment of lower-level needs before advancing

to the next higher level of need. Maslow’s prescribed hierarchy of needs progresses through

five need levels: physiological, security, social, ego or self-esteem, and self-actualization.

Devaney, Anong, and Whirl (2007) applied Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to encapsulate

14

seven levels of savings by expanding on Maslow’s five stages by adding one additional level

(no savings) and splitting Maslow’s security level into savings for possible short-term

financial setbacks and financial retirement security. The results revealed that movement

from lower savings levels were stagnant at the security level of safety needs because of a lack

of financial knowledge. Mandell and Klein study (2009) found that the inability to make

appropriate personal financial decisions has far-reaching negative effects on the nation’s

economy. Data collection included the motivational and environmental factors of low-

income adult behaviors in relation to his or her experiences with and expectations of financial

literacy.

Studying savings behavior continued in December 2010 (Gutter et al., 2012). The

researchers studied the psychology, sociology, and economics of 826 complete responses to a

web survey. They found correlations between age, personal planning horizon of long term

orientation, and positive personal experience increased saving behavior. This indicated that

saving behaviors links internal and external variables (Gutter et al., 2012).

Soman and Cheema (2011) researched savings for single income families in India.

The 146 participants held the same job and earned $15.50 per week. The participants were

divided into four groups. The savings requested were either 6% or 12% and the savings were

put in envelopes either left blank or with a picture of their children on the outside. The

savings could also be consolidated or left in the individual envelopes. The results showed

that the participants, who were able to save the most, were requested to save at 6%, did not

consolidate the saving envelopes, and the envelopes had pictures of their children. These

studies could link to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs of savings representing security.

15

Proschaska’s transtheoretical model of change. The transtheoretical model of

change first established to influence change in unhealthy behaviors includes five stages that

reflect the steps required for change and a sixth stage when a person relapses into previous

unhealthy behaviors (Proschaska, 1979; Xiao, et al., 2004). The first stage,

precontemplation, involves initial awareness but no decision yet to make any changes in the

coming six months. In the second stage, contemplation, an individual decides to make

changes over the next six months. Third, preparation plans are made for change in the next

30 days. The fourth stage is the period the individual has changed his or her behavior, but is

still within the first six months of change. The fifth stage, maintenance, occurs if the

individual has continued with the change for more than six months (NEFE, 2006;

Proschaska, 1979).

Xiao, O’Neill, Proschaska, Kerbel, Brennan, and Bristow (2004) applied

transtheoretical change to financial literacy education through the program Money 2000

because “research shows behavioral change is a process, not an event” (p. 56). The study

resulted in individuals successfully replacing the undesirable behaviors of impulse buying

and accumulating credit card debt with the development of the desirable behavior of saving.

Numerous studies concerning low-income populations have found the transtheoretical model

of change can be used effectively as a basis for evaluating a person’s stage of change with

regard to financial behavior (Loibl, Grinstein-Weiss, Zhan, & Bird, 2010; Lyons &

Neelakantan, 2008; Palmer, Bliss, Goetz, & Moorman, 2010; Shockey & Seiling, 2004;

Spader et al., 2009). The responses gathered in this study were reviewed for trends

associated with the transtheoretical model of change in the acceptance of financial behavior

change. The interview questions were evaluated to determine the transtheoretical stage of the

16

participant when they attended the financial literacy program. The transtheoretical stage

identified can help financial literacy program marketing to reach low-income adults at each

transtheoretical stage, thereby increasing low-income adults’ participation in financial

literacy programs therefore, increase participants’ long-term financial security.

Definition of Terms

The definitions listed reflect the meaning of operational terms utilized for the study.

Financial literacy. “Financial literacy can be described as the ability to make

informed judgments and to take effective actions regarding the current and future use and

management of money” (FLEC, 2010a, p. 2).

Gatekeeper. A gatekeeper is an individual who has insider status in the organization

in which the research study will occur and willingly assists the researcher in recruiting

participants for the study (Creswell, 2012).

Low-income. Taxable income does not exceed 150% of the federal poverty level

amount reflected by the number of people in the household (U.S. Department of Health and

Human Services, 2011). The development of poverty measures occurred in the 1960’s and

localized programs can measure low-income from 125% to 200% of the federal poverty

guidelines (Kolesnikova & Liu, 2012).

Underbanked. “Underbanked households are defined as those that have a checking

or savings account but rely on alternative financial services. Specifically, underbanked

households have used non-bank money orders, non-bank check-cashing services, payday

loans, rent-to-own agreements, or pawn shops at least once or twice a year or refund

anticipation loans at least once in the past five years” (FDIC, 2009, p. 10).

17

Assumptions

The assumptions for the study were based upon the researcher being the primary

research instrument. The assumptions focused on my development of interview questions,

my having access to study participants, and my interactions with study participants. The

interview questions I developed were evaluated by outside experts and deemed valid,

unbiased, and appropriate for a phenomenological study. My interactions with participants

took place in an atmosphere of unbiased acceptance on my part of participant responses, I

listened for responses, and I did not provide answers.

My assumptions regarding study participants included availability, low-income status,

and honest communication. The study’s population came from a nonprofit community

organization offering services and counseling to low-income families and single adults.

Volunteer adult participants were individuals who previously attended a financial literacy

program at the community site. Participants responded to me during member checking to

review the results of the data interpretation to ensure validity (van Manen, 2007; Moustakas,

1994). The participants were expected to communicate honestly about their financial history

and future expectations, supported by phenomenological research premises and research

requirements of participants’ confidentiality (Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).

Scope and Limitations

The unique research approach herein investigated low-income adults’ perceptions and

expectations of financial literacy rather than measuring their level of financial literacy before

or after they attended a financial literacy educational program. The small sample size of 20

low-income adults is reflective of the phenomenological research design used to collect data

about personal experiences (Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The collected data

18

was analyzed for trends and patterns using NVivo 9 ®, qualitative research software

program, and recommendations were developed to modify financial literacy educational

programs and increase participation.

Limitations to the study reflected availability of participants, honesty of the

participants regarding their financial literacy perceptions and expectations, the attendance of

a single financial literacy program module, the use of a transcriptionist, and geographic

restrictions. Weiss and Bailar (2002) explained that low-income adults’ lack of participation

in research studies comes from various factors, such as no telephone service, frequent moves,

language barriers, and often suspicion of strangers. Participation in the study through

interviews was supported by the nonprofit organization’s gatekeeper and the use of the

snowballing technique. The gatekeeper maintained regular contact with low-income adults

(Creswell, 2012; Weiss & Bailar, 2002). The use of snowballing was required because of the

transitional nature of low income populations.

Interview participation was voluntary, and participation resulted in a $25 gift card for

a local grocery store to increase response rates (Creswell, 2012; Weiss & Bailar, 2002).

Participants’ were only required to attend a single financial literacy program module, because

attendance records from the site gatekeeper showed a lack of attendance in a five module

financial literacy program. The interview’s open- and closed-ended questions were reviewed

by local financial literacy experts and the questions were revised. The pilot study required

additional revisions to the interview questions which increased the study’s validity and

reliability. To encourage participation in member checking gathering to review the research

recommendations, a raffle of a $100 gift card was included.

19

The use of a transcriptionist to document the interviews could be perceived as a

decrease in time the researcher could be immersed in the data. The skill of the

transcriptionist confirmed by the researcher, however, provided the researcher with more

time to effectively immerse herself in the data by listening and reading the interviews

necessary for interpretation of data.

The recommended curriculum additions could be applied to the target population to

increase participation in financial literacy programs not generalized to low-income

populations because opportunities and barriers reflect local environments. The study could

be replicated by other local organizations concerned with understanding the needs of their

service population.

Delimitations

The sample of the study’s low-income adults was gathered voluntarily through a local

nonprofit community organization which supports low-income adults. The participants could

have volunteered as a result of their desire to support the gatekeeper and the $25 dollar gift

card incentive as suggested by Weiss and Bailar (2002) to increase the low-income

population to participate in research. The participant responses were analyzed through

multiple interpretative readings of the interview transcriptions to extract emerging patterns

and themes in relation to the research study’s central question of low-income adults’

perceptions and expectations of financial literacy. Outlier responses from research

participants were eliminated through the process of data analysis; therefore, single statements

could be left as solitary statements and not reflected in the final summation of the study

(Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The possibility of the Hawthorne effect, in which participants give

20

the researcher expected responses (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010), was limited by the interview

questions’ structure and lack of expected responses.

The questions in the interview collection process were reviewed by local area

financial literacy experts to remove possible researcher unconscious bias in constructing

leading questions and to evaluate the questions for understandability by the population. The

resulting questions were pilot tested for reliability and construct validity (Creswell, 2012;

Leedy & Ormrod, 2010; Weiss & Bailar, 2002). The pilot test of the interview questions

occurred with interviewing two participants. The results from the pilot test provided

information to revise the interview questions before the formal interviews began. The formal

interviews started off with the collection of general demographic information and followed

with open-ended questions to gather in-depth experiences and expectations. Interviews are

considered effective in data collection for phenomenological qualitative research (Creswell,

2012).

Summary

The national motivation to increase financial literacy for low-income adults,

compromising 30% of the United States households (FDIC, 2009), and the lack of direct

access to this population was the impetus for this phenomenological study. Financial literacy

program design and presentation by government agencies and financial institutions have low

levels of participation by low-income adults (Servon & Kaestner, 2008; Spader et al., 2009;

Weiss & Bailar, 2002; Zhan et al., 2009). The study was designed, therefore, to discover

low-income adults’ perceptions and expectations for financial literacy and to discover unique

factors that could contribute to the modification of financial literacy programs and marketing

to increase low-income adult participation and hence his or her financial literacy.

21

Chapter 2 contains a literature review of the topic. The chapter begins with a

literature review of financial literacy programming development throughout the world and

nationally, then focuses on low-income financial literacy studies to highlight the research gap

in direct inquiry of low-income adults’ perceptions and expectations of financial literacy.

Chapter 2 continues with studies covering phenomenological research within the low-income

population, the theoretical framework of Maslow’s (1948) hierarchy of needs, and

Proschaska’s (1979) transtheoretical model of change as they relate to this study. The

literature review conclusion and summary supports the direction of this research.

22

Chapter 2

Review of the Literature

Financial literacy education for low-income adults promotes and develops behavioral

changes for family welfare that in turn cascade to the community at large (Schuchardt,

Hanna, Hira, Lyons, Palmer, & Xiao, 2009). Increasing positive financial behaviors,

therefore, support a sound economy (OECD, 2010). This phenomenological study

researched the perceptions and expectations of financial literacy for the study’s low-income

adult population to develop and recommend curriculum changes that may increase

participation in financial literacy programs offered to low-income adults (Leedy & Ormrod,

2010). Chapter 2 includes an examination of selected documents from the literature

referencing (a) historical overview, (b) financial literacy studies, (c) expectations for a

financially literate population, (d) accessing the low-income population, (e) Maslow’s (1948)

hierarchy of needs, (f) Proschaska’s (1979) transtheoretical model of change, and (g) studies

acknowledging the challenges of financial literacy education. The topical sections of the

literature review are followed by the chapter conclusion and summary providing key points

derived from the review.

Title Searches, Articles, Research Documents, and Journals

The literature review required comprehensive research of relevant primary sources

and secondary sources accessed through University of Phoenix Online library, a local college

library, and Internet search engines. The key word searches included: financial literacy,

financial illiteracy, financial literacy educational programs, unbanked, financial literacy low-

income, and expectations of financial literacy. The financial literacy research includes

articles and other documents necessary to ascertain information to create support for financial

23

literacy educational programs beyond educational curriculum initiatives and employers’

programs. Appendix A presents the key word searches and the resulting documents

referenced for this study.

The study elucidated the perceptions and expectations of low-income adults to

financial literacy, and ascertained what could increase participation by low-income adults in

financial literacy programs. The review of historical information and theoretical frameworks

included research on documents prior to 2008 and through 2012. Current literature review

has documents dated after 2007.

Historical Overview of Financial Literacy Programs

The historical overview begins with the financial literacy education initiative from the

Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) to promote financial

literacy in response to 21
st
century global economic conditions (OECD, 2005). The OECD

looks to coordinate successful financial literacy education initiatives from developed

countries around the world (OECD, 2008). Next in the historical overview describes aspects

of financial literacy program development from the United States, then financial literacy

studies outside the United States affirm the need to increase the individual’s financial

capabilities (Buckland, 2011; FLEC, 2010a; Gallery & Gallery, 2010; OECD, 2010; Oehler

& Werner, 2008; U. S. Treasury Department, 2008). The historical financial literacy

research review showed financial educational programs were developed from the perspective

of what governments and the global financial industry determined individual citizens needed

to learn.

Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD]. OECD

established the Financial Education Project in 2003 in response to perceived financial literacy

24

needs across the global community. A report issued in 2005 established the baseline of

financial education benchmark data (OECD, 2005). The report first explained the

environmental factors that increased the need for financial education: (a) financial product

complexity, (b) an increasing number of financial products, (c) increasing life expectancy,

(d) changes in pension arrangements, and (e) the low-level of consumer financial literacy

(OECD, 2005). The report went on to describe the benefits of financial education through

the adult life cycle and how financial education can support higher levels of income and

improve economic growth and reduce poverty in the global economy. The OECD

recommended principles and practices for financial education and awareness, requesting that

OECD members and nonmembers promote financial education and share good practices. In

2008 the OECD (2008) reported on the need to educate consumers on annuities to

counterbalance the effect of pension changes. Pension changes worldwide have resulted in

decreasing defined benefit plans and continual decreasing benefits of established plans

because of increasing longevity (Brown, 2009; Lusardi, 2012). The OECD established the

International Network on Financial Education (INFE) in 2008 to provide a central location

for information to benchmark best practices worldwide that promoted financial literacy

(OECD, 2010). Expanding on the initial factors supporting the need for higher levels of

financial literacy included discussions of:

• aging populations, which threaten the viability of public pay-as-you-go pensions,

• increases in life expectancy that stretch people’s savings,

• the increased complexity of financial products,

• the proliferation of new financial products

• better educated consumers who want to know more

25

• a shifting of responsibilities and risks to individuals, such as student loans in New Zealand,

or in some countries a shift from defined benefit pension schemes to defined contribution

schemes.

• the erosion of trust in the financial services industry with such issues as the collapse of

finance companies (NZ), mortgage foreclosures (USA), and lending crises (UK)

• increasing consumer debt and higher rates of bankruptcies

• the ease and availability of credit products to an increasing proportion of the population.

(OECD, 2010, para. 3)

Responding to the global economic crisis in 2008, the OECD issued another report titled

“Financial Literacy and Consumer Protection: Overlooked Aspects of the Crisis” that made

additional recommendations on good practices to increase consumer credit education and

awareness (OECD, 2009). The global economic crisis recovery generates news headlines

from countries around the world as the countries contend with controlling government

spending associated with longevity and pension payments. The global financial environment

supports the direction of increasing financial literacy at the individual level to create

awareness and understanding of global financial restructuring throughout the world. Shifting

responsibility and empowerment back to individual consumers requires national

commitments to financial literacy education because research studies document the

deficiencies in individual levels of financial literacy in many countries (OECD, 2010).

Financial literacy legislation in the United States. The great depression of the

1930s brought about the first onslaught of financial regulation to control the banking industry

and spurred the creation of Social Security in 1935, providing governmental support and

funding for retirement (Social Security Administration, 2010). The advent of social security

26

phased in a behavioral change for individuals to stop working, as seen by average retirement

age: 74 years in 1910, 70 years in 1950, 65 years in 1970, and 62 years in 1985 (Cahill,

Giandrea, & Quinn, 2006) even as life expectancy increased. Life expectancy in the United

States for males was: 49 years in 1910, 67 years in 1950, 68 years in 1970, 71 years in 1980,

and 75 years in 2000. Life expectancy in the United States for females was: 52 years in

1910, 72 years in 1950, 76 years in 1970, 78 years in 1980, and 80 years in 2000. The

statistics show people did not stop working to enjoy retirement leisure time through the

1950s, but the leisure of retirement appears in the 1970s statistics as people stopped working

at 65 years while life expectancy for both males and females exceeded 65 years (Arias,

2011). Social security, pensions, and savings supported people during their retirement years,

minimizing the need for financial literacy education for the GI generation, representing the

veterans of World War II born between 1900 and 1924.

The economic shift in decreasing pension funding, lack of personal saving, and

increasing longevity has halted the descent in the retirement age (Cahill, Giandrea, & Quinn,

2006). The changes in social security benefits and access to social security benefits have

reversed the trend for the Baby Boomers’ generation, people born after World War II

between 1946 through 1963, retirements and beyond as people grapple with funding

retirement. Baby Boomers’ expectations of a secure retirement based on social security, has

Baby Boomers reevaluating retirement and requiring financial literacy education.

In 2003, recognizing the decreasing level of savings in the United States and social

security funding issues, Congress, through the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of

2003, established the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) to coordinate

the activities of 19 federal agencies to support financial literacy and education. This

27

commission was created as a division of the United States Treasury Office (FLEC, 2010a).

The FLEC’s first report, issued in 2006, expounded on the need for individuals to take

ownership of their financial futures and identified the unbanked and underbanked

populations. The term unbanked refers to individuals without an established account in a

depository institution, such as a bank or credit union. Underbanked individuals have an

established depository account and pay for financial services outside the banking institutions.

The percentage of the United States’ population either unbanked or underbanked in 2009 was

25.4%; the percentage of the state of Connecticut’s population either unbanked or

underbanked totaled 19.1% (FDIC, 2009).

The FLEC created a website (mymoney.gov) as a go-to place for financial literacy

documentation and advise organizations outside the government, yet the Government

Accountability Office [GAO] issued audit reports in 2007 and 2009 indicating that the FLEC

has not accomplished the mission of supplying a national financial literacy education

strategy. The FLEC contended that the task of coordinating 19 agencies while possessing no

legal authority to compel action or available staff to devote to the task could not be

accomplished (GAO-09-638T, 2009).

The presidential advisory council on financial literacy also established in 2003, issued

a report in 2008 listing 15 recommendations, including promoting the availability of financial

education resources for parents, caregivers, and teachers of pre and early school-age children;

listing essentials for literacy programs; and the need to help unbanked and underbanked

individuals (U.S. Treasury Department, 2008). The presidential advisory council assigned

FLEC to follow up on the audit recommendations and worked in association with the

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Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) foundation to have a third party measure

financial literacy.

FINRA, a federal agency established in the 1920s to be an independent regulator for

the United States securities firms, commissioned a report on the United States financial

capability as of 2009. The results indicated a need for financial literacy education because

approximately half of the population surveyed had difficulty making ends meet; the majority

have not planned ahead with emergency savings, children’s education, or retirement; 20%

stated they use nonbank services and self-reported themselves as having financial knowledge

and decision-making skills (Applied Research & Consulting, 2009). A 2010 study by the

National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) indicated improvement since 2007 with

more people budgeting and controlling their spending. However, those lacking retirement

savings increased from 28% to 33% of the population (NFCC, 2010).

Jump$tart, a private foundation working in partnership with the FLEC, provides

information to improve financial literacy to high school students, and produces bi-annual

surveys measuring the financial literacy of high school students in the United (Cory &

Pickard, 2008). The 2008 report showed a drop in financial literacy at the high school level

from 57.3% in 2005 to 48.3% in 2007 and, measuring college students for the first time in

2007, 62% of college students were found to be considered financially literate. One

important financial behavioral action and attitude is the acceptability to Americans of

carrying huge amounts of debt that negatively affects long-term financial stability.

Bolton, Bloom, and Cohen (2011) concur that the American families in 2007 had debt

exceeding 40% of their income and marketing of debt and debt consolidation plans

emphasize short term benefits. Cory and Pickard (2008) results indicated that the financial

29

community should not wait for the government education system to design and implement

financial literacy curricula. The increasing change and complexity in the financial markets

makes creating and maintaining up-to-date financial literacy education curricula impossible.

The need for financial institutions and employers, therefore, to become involved in educating

their clients and employees, respectively, is essential.

Another governmental agency in FLEC’s domain, FDIC sponsored the Money Smart

financial literacy program designed to educate the low-income population about banking

services (Lyons & Scherpf, 2004). The program consists of 11 modules although usually

only the first five modules are presented These five modules were designed for individuals

first coming into financial education and in need of education on basic financial topics of

available banking services, budgeting, and savings (FDIC, 2010; Lyons & Scherpf, 2004).

The remaining modules cover more advanced topics and can be presented at a later time after

individuals have enacted the basic financial initiatives. Presentation of the Money Smart

program by financial institutions helps them achieve compliance with the Community

Reinvestment Act of 1977 (FDIC, 2010).

FLEC contending with its responsibilities of coordination of financial literacy among

government agencies, government task forces, and private sector organizations issued a

report in response to the 2009 audit. In 2010, the FLEC issued a report on the national

strategy for the promotion of financial literacy education programs stressing four goals: (a)

awareness and access, (b) determination and integration of core financial competencies, (c) to

strengthen the provisions of financial education, and (4) to identify and share effective

practices (FLEC, 2010a). At that time, the vision statement for the FLEC was: “Sustained

financial well-being for all individuals and families in the United States” (p. 6). The FLEC

30

has posted requests for feedback and discussion of the suggested core competencies of

earnings, spending, saving (includes investment), borrowing, and protecting for financial

literacy education to design measurement criteria for financial literacy programs (FLEC,

2010b). The continuous governmental efforts to increase financial literacy in the United

States since 2003 compiled with global economic crisis that began in 2008 are evident of the

need for research studies to investigate possible means to increase financial literacy.

Financial literacy studies influences. The global economic crisis that began in 2008

confirmed the lack of financial literacy and overconfidence of financial players across the

globe. Selected financial literacy studies undertaken outside of the United States direct

attention to the levels of financial literacy and other environmental factors underlying the

global financial crisis (Buckland, 2010; Gallery & Gallery, 2010; Oehler & Werner, 2008;

Umberto & Gianni, 2010; Williams, 2007). The studies presented illustrated various

financial literacy education programs to bring awareness, knowledge, and behavioral changes

that would enhance global economic recovery and thwart future economic meltdowns. These

studies support research to connect to citizens’ individual financial literacy needs.

In a case study undertaken by Oehler and Werner (2008) a comparison was made

between the financial literacy campaigns in the United Kingdom and Germany. The case

study’s variables were the lack of retirement savings in conjunction with the decreasing value

of government sponsored pensions. The predisposed governmental neoclassical perspective

linked with utility theory expected individuals to be adaptable to changes in the funding for

retirement. The lack of savings and financial literacy, however, indicates that real-world

factors influence theories.

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Oehler and Werner (2008) acknowledged that behaviors to create financial

contractual relationships were influenced by bounded rationality. Contractual relationships

established by individuals to save for retirement occurred at or close to retirement not leaving

enough time for changes in funding patterns that would result in the accumulation of wealth

prescribed by utility theory. Bounded rationality influenced the initiation of contractual

relationships because individual bounded rationality represented personal financial

knowledge. The United Kingdom’s national priority strategy focused on financial

capabilities and generic financial advice. The limited success of these programs has the

United Kingdom establishing new schemes for expanding financial educational programs to

vulnerable groups and establishing personal accounts.

Germany national strategy in 2008, of targeting adult financial education needed to

expand to the vulnerable groups not currently exposed to financial education programs

(Oehler & Werner, 2008). Germany planned to design financial education programs that

target life stages, and offered the programs to vulnerable groups free of charge. The United

Kingdom case study showed the movement by the government from recognition of the

neoclassical perspective and utility theory, toward awareness of individual influences.

Germany’s study resulted in awareness of individual influence, acknowledged lack of

financial education, institutional schemes, and recommended the creation of automatic

retirement accounts for vulnerable groups. The study did not report details on population and

sample sizes.

Buckland’s (2010) mixed method research study assessed the financial literacy of

low-income individuals in Canada. Buckland suspected that financial literacy needs differ

across socio-economic classes so financial literacy testing required target population testing.

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Financial literacy programs, consequently, need specific development to reach target

populations. Surveys and interviews gathered evidence of financial literacy concerning

budgets, income, credit, banking services, and governmental programs. Surveys were

returned by 82 participants and the 15 people interviewed were selected through the

snowballing technique. The research findings indicated that low-income individuals have

different financial literacy needs influenced by external factors of income trends, banking

services, and social assistance policies. Two significant discoveries included: (a) the addition

of children caused low-income adults to focus more on the future rather than day-to-day

finances, and (b) social assistance policies did not provide enough for significant savings.

Another result was that low-income individuals could not maintain the minimum bank

account balances required by the banking industry to forego fees.

Buckland’s (2011) meta-analysis of 152 low-income research studies resulted in

numerous recommendations to support the low-income population’s need for financial

literacy. The categories for recommendations included measurement of financial literacy and

financial literacy programs, development, and evaluation. Buckland indicated that the

measurement of financial literacy must reflect the socio-economic levels of the population.

Buckland recommended qualitative research to inquire about the values and long-term life

and financial goals of low-income populations and supported the need for this research study.

A quantitative research study in Italy evaluated the connection between financial

capability and self-accounting (Umberto &Gianni, 2010). The research involved the creation

of a regression analysis model where individuals could select from income levels, savings

goals, and external influences to determine their exposure to risk if they took on an additional

loan. The study results indicated that the regression analysis model could be consulted if

33

individuals were contemplating additional debt, thereby lessening the need for financial

education and providing more financial counseling. The study’s website design and

programs could fill the gap in financial education for adults finished with formal education

that have Internet access, and are at ease with website technology. The program was not

been designed to provide financial education for less educated or lower income citizens.

Williams’ (2007) qualitative content analysis research on Canadian and United

Kingdom regulators responsible for the promotion of financial literacy as expected by the

OECD, showed governmental responsibilities conflicted. The conflicting responsibilities are

to educate citizens on the need to save for long term financial future and support consumer

spending to improve the country’s economic conditions. Both governments remarked on

their expectations that individual citizens could regulate their well-being for long-term

financing by becoming responsible and self-regulating; therefore, citizens should not look to

governmental financial provisions. The self-regulation perception permits a free market,

relieving regulators of responsibility for monitoring the financial market and requiring

individuals to protect themselves.

Williams’ (2007) research evaluated consumer selection processes for financial

products. The product selection was affected by how the product was framed. Products with

vivid presentations sold more than plain quality and accurate text materials (Williams, 2007).

To combat the selection process by presentation, the consumer should receive immediate

educational feedback to neutralize consumer bias. Immediate educational feedback is not

available through educational websites; therefore, expectations of consumer financial literacy

cannot replace regulations. Another finding is that the government has conflicting

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responsibilities not only of encouraging financial literacy education and saving for

retirement, but supporting commerce and individual spending as well.

The global financial crisis that began in 2008 indicated that the complexity of the

financial market is difficult for professional regulators. The approach, therefore, in the

United Kingdom and Canada for individuals to understand the complex financial market

defies logic. The realization of the expectations of self-regulation and protection could

contribute to a future financial crisis (Arthur, 2011; Williams, 2007; Willis, 2008).

Reporting on financial literacy in Australia in the aftermath of the global crisis,

Gallery and Gallery (2010) stated that the crisis relates to three systematic problems: (a) a

decision maker’s behavioral bias, (b) the short term vision of corporate and financial

markets, and (c) the absence of acceptance of responsibility by individuals, corporations, and

financial institutions for their actions that led to the global financial crisis. Considering the

lack of financial aptitude among the Australian population, shifting personal responsibility

for financial management is unrealistic because individuals may not have the aptitude to

achieve an adequate financial literacy level or the desire to become financially literate.

Wilson’s (2012) report addressed financial exclusion of the Australian low-income

population. Financial exclusion means low-income adults do not have access to affordable

credit limiting them to obtaining credit from predatory lenders. Wilson recommends

governmental regulation much like the United States 1977 Community Reinvestment Act to

provide tax credits to mainstream financial institutions to provide small loans to low-income

Australians.

Financial literacy programs need to be designed to offer information relevant to

impending financial decisions, understanding that human behavioral tendencies include

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inertia and procrastination when making complex decisions, and over-confidence developed

by self-attribution bias. The Australian government response to increase the country’s

financial literacy includes educational pathways, employers, unions, websites, and

community programs. A limitation on future financial programs is the possibility of market

sponsored funding of financial literacy programs that could undermine the development of

unbiased programs which presents a challenge for regulators. The need for financial literacy

education, however, to create global stability outweighs the limitations.

These studies show the conflicting responsibilities of government to support

individual citizens to prepare for long term financial futures and the need to support

consumer spending to improve the country’s economic conditions. The development of

financial literacy educational programs, however, can support the balancing of consumer

spending and savings. The FDIC’s Money Smart financial literacy program does involve

educating consumers to develop a balanced savings and spending plan. Participation in this

financial literacy program and other financial literacy programs available in the United States

is low (Chang & Lyons, 2008; Servon & Kaestner, 2008; Spader, Ratliffe, Montoya, &

Skillern, 2009; Weiss & Bailar, 2002; Zhan et al., 2009).

Current Literature: Financial Literacy Development

The topic of financial literacy generated numerous studies. The focal points of the

studies reviewed were to evaluate past studies measurability, consumer attitudes, and

availability to financial literacy programs to the low-income population. Studies on financial

attitudes have shown that Americans are overconfident in managing money when comparing

the savings and long-term plans of Americans to their statements on personal beliefs (Lusardi

& Mitchell, 2007).

36

Financial literacy education programs directed at different segments of the population

have not shown resounding positive financial behavioral changes. An evaluation of the

programs might determine why they are not successful (Lusardi, Mitchell, & Curto, 2010).

Studies which examined low-income populations have shown positive results from financial

educational programs when associated with this population’s needs, but motivating

participation has proven difficult (De Sousa, 2010; FDIC, 2010; Servon & Kaestner, 2008;

and Zhan et al., 2009).

The current literature section reports first on research studies reflecting on the

constructs under consideration for this research study. The remaining sections include the

expectations of programs and the accessibility of financial literacy programs to low income

adults. The integration of the research studies supports this research to possibly modify

financial literacy programs for low-income individuals and families.

Financial literacy studies. Meta-analyses of financial literacy research studies

revealed a lack of details for recreating the studies and inconsistency in research methods

with regard to content, terms, structure, and measurements to evaluate the studies (Huston,

2010; Remund, 2010). The financial literacy studies, however, reported on the need for

financial literacy education as a means for sustained economic recovery (OECD, 2008;

Remund, 2010). Research studies recommend increasing access to financial literacy

educational modules through social workers (Birkenmaier & Curley, 2009; Lim, DeJohn, &

Murray, 2012). Willis (2008) is a supporter that people should receive financial literacy

education related to their needs.

The financial literacy, however, of most individuals are not enough to navigate

through the financial market complexity and people should look for professional advice for

37

personal finances as they do for legal and medical advice (Williams, 2007; Willis, 2008).

Collins (2012) analyzed data from the 2009 FINRA Financial Capability Survey and found

that people who obtained professional financial advice were people with higher incomes,

education, and financial aptitude, rather than consumers with low income or education levels.

Meier and Sprenger (2007) studied the behavior and environmental influences of

participants who self-selected into offered financial literacy educational training. The study’s

location at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance [VITA] site offered access to lower-income

individuals and families who accepted financial assistance with annual tax processing.

Clients coming to the VITA site were offered short credit counseling sessions to discuss their

credit report scores.

The research findings indicated personal time orientation preferences with respect to

long-term versus short-term focuses influenced the probability of individuals accepting the

credit counseling session (Meier & Sprenger, 2007). Individuals with long-term orientations

self-selected into the credit counseling sessions. Although clients with short-term focus did

not participate in the study, they might have benefited from the counseling session because

myopic behavior is related to higher debt levels and detrimental to long-term financial goals

(NEFE, 2006; Meier & Sprenger, 2007). Linking time orientation to financial literacy

education supports the need for further research and new educational programs that consider

the influences of time on motivation. Limitations to the study were primarily related to

population bias. The population at a VITA site presents a bias in attitude regarding

participation because the population is accepting a free service when other options are

available such as self-preparing or paying a tax preparer. Additionally, the self-selection

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process presumably led to a biased population who overestimated positive results, so future

studies should acquire a randomized population (Meier & Sprenger, 2007).

Lusardi and Mitchell (2007) continued their studies of financial literacy by comparing

financial literacy education to economic concepts. Their meta-analysis report brought

together the results of various financial literacy studies and linked the results of these studies

to long-term influences to society, as changes in the economy are reflective of individuals’

financial behaviors. The studies of the financial literacy of high school level individuals

showed consistently low scores. Other study’s results included: (a) financial knowledge

overconfidence, (b) good intentions to change behaviors do not always result in change, (c)

people participating in a savings plan had an increased propensity to participate in other

savings plans, and (d) poorly informed consumers do not learn to save or invest for

retirement.

Lusardi and Mitchell (2007) found other characteristics correlated to a lack of

financial knowledge. A characteristic of low level of education connected to unbanked

individuals implying that this population had no involvement with financial institutions;

therefore, had no savings or investments. Another result that might significantly influence

long-term financial insolvency is overconfidence. Overconfidence further widens the

financial knowledge gap because obtaining professional advice or acquiring further financial

literacy education does not occur when individuals are confident in their abilities.

Nonetheless, the researchers were encouraged because governments and NGOs worldwide

have undertaken the task of offering financial literacy programs.

Cocheo (2007) reported on unbanked and underbanked citizen’s needs from the

bankers’ perspectives. The unbanked and underbanked population can represent a niche

39

market in need of financial services that includes people who do not trust banks, immigrants

who believe they are unwanted by financial institutions, and others who want to hide income

and assets. Reaching to the unbanked and underbanked population can create compliance

required through the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 and supply an additional revenue

stream for financial institutions (Cocheo, 2007; FDIC, 2010).

A quantitative research study by Rosacker, Ragothaman, and Gillispie (2009)

confirmed that financial knowledge could be transferred at a teachable moment through a

financial literacy study. The study involved upper-level college accounting students teaching

101 freshmen about debt accumulation. A positive post-survey was collected from the

participants, and a request was made for the program to be made available to others on

campus. The study limitation of a convenient sample predisposed the interests and abilities

of the study’s population of college age business students engaging in financial literacy that

reflected a business college program. Future research, therefore, should use a randomized

population.

Fonseca, Mullen, Zamarro, and Zissimopoulos (2012) researched financial literacy

within the household’s financial decision making. The research occurred through Internet

interviews with 2,500 respondents over the age of 18. The esearch examined financial

decisions within United States households to determine if there was a cultural tradition that

the male gender would be making the financial decisions. The research found that the

decisions were influenced by the spouse with the higher level of education, rather than

deferring to the male.

These studies reviewed identified concepts related to financial literacy needs of

various socio-economic groups. The identified concepts of individual characteristics and

40

behaviors included long-term orientation, financial overconfidence, good intentions, and

savings begat savings (Cocheo, 2007; Collins, 2012; Lusardi & Mitchell, 2007; Meier &

Sprenger, 2007; Rosacker, Ragothaman, & Gillispie, 2009). Suggested venues for accessing

low-income adults to attend financial literacy programs included availability of programs

through social workers, identifying teachable moments to increase financial knowledge,

bankers develop niche marketing to provide financial services, and acknowledging people

can access financial advisors as they would physicians and lawyers (Cocheo, 2007;

Birkenmaier & Curley, 2009; Rosacker, Ragothaman, & Gillispie, 2009; Williams, 2007;

Willis, 2008). These concepts can be related to theories supporting behavioral changes such

as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Prochaska’s transtheoretical model of change.

Expectations and education. The second section in the current literature for

financial literacy development segues into research studies about the expectations and

education for a financially literate population. Expectations from the world financial arena

indicate that the result of individuals being financial literate include individuals being

personally responsible for their financial future, therefore, decreasing the possibility for a

future financial meltdown. Financial literacy education studies reviewed some financial

literacy programs and a few meta-analysis studies to evaluate the progress made in the level

of financial literacy in the United States.

Expectations. Financial literacy and capability at the individual level has become an

important aspect of world governmental agencies’ expectations as the global economic

recovery hinges on the financial market that in turn requires investors and consumers to be

confident in both developed and underdeveloped countries (OECD, 2010). New regulations

have been passed to help consumers, and the financial industry is investigating the potential

41

of markets in undeveloped countries (FLEC, 2010a). Developed countries are undergoing

financial restructuring to support the retirement of their citizens as longevity increases,

shifting the paradigm of financial knowledge and capability to individuals (Arthur, 2011;

Buckland, 2011; Cory & Pickard, 2008; DeNavas-Walt et al., 2011; Gallery & Gallery, 2010;

OECD, 2010).

The expectation for individual financial literacy and responsibility has started to

resemble that of the early 20th century when family financing for long-term expenditures

was the responsibility of the family (Rappaport & Siegel, 2009). Expectation of individuals

able to navigate the complex financial markets without support looks to be excessive after the

global financial meltdown (Arthur, 2011; Williams, 2007; Willis, 2008). Financial literacy

education, however, can support individuals as they prepare for long-term financial needs

and acknowledge that people should obtain financial advice from professionals as financial

planning becomes complex (Arthur, 2011; Williams, 2007; Willis, 2008).

Education. Financial literacy education research review begins with meta-analysis

studies outlining the challenges of compare and measuring financial literacy programs. Then

various financial literacy studies as they apply different socio-economic groupings, excluding

low-income adults. Finally, research studies on financial literacy education for low-income

adults are presented.

The research studies by Remund (2010) and Huston (2010), representing meta-

analyses of financial literacy studies, suggest the development of a consistent financial

literacy definition to design future studies for clearer measurement of financial literacy

programs. Remund’s (2010) research method compiled financial studies, gathered expert

insights, and evaluated invention programs established since 2000. The research resulted in

42

having information relevant for the development of future studies starting with the need for a

common ground for financial literacy and understanding that financial struggles do not

disappear but evolve and change through adulthood.

The purpose of the study defined closing the gap between the conceptual and

operational of the financial literacy definition in research and in practice (Remund, 2010).

To close the gap requires combining the five categories of the financial literacy conceptual

definition and the six parts of the operational definition to make a comprehensive financial

literacy definition. The conceptual definition includes: knowledge, ability to communicate,

aptitude, financial decision-making skills, and confidence in planning future needs with the

operational definition. The operational definition includes: empowerment, responsibility,

financial capability, credit literacy, financial knowledge, and economic literacy.

Remund (2010) proposed a conceptual financial literacy definition:

Financial literacy is a measure of the degree to which one understands key financial concepts

and possesses the ability and confidence to manage personal finances through appropriate,

short-term decision-making and sound, long-range financial planning, while mindful of life

events and changing economic conditions (p. 284).

Remund’s operational financial literacy definition includes four categories for measurement

and development: budgeting, saving, investing, and borrowing. The concluding statement

for the research study states that future research studies need to work from common

principles to develop and measure the success of financial literacy education.

Huston’s (2010) meta-analysis research included 71 financial literacy studies that

used 51 databases to develop conclusions. The research study was not to evaluate financial

literacy education but to assist researchers in establishing standard financial literacy

43

instruments by analyzing the constructs of previous financial literacy studies. The study

results compared four facets of construct validation (1) the definition of the financial literacy

construct to be operational and mutually exclusive from other constructs, (2) the instrument

content listed for each study, (3) the method of measure including structural concerns and

how data were collected, and (4) evaluating or scoring of procedures to provide consistency

in testing and interpreting results.

Huston’s (2010) results included 72% of the studies did not define financial literacy,

15% implied definition, 13% provided a definition and only two studies had the same

definition. Financial literacy and financial knowledge were used synonymously in 47% of

studies. The studies included four distinct content areas: money basics and the time value of

money, borrowing, investing, and protection of resources. Borrowing and investing

represent inter-temporal transfers of financial resources between time-frames. Only 25% of

the studies covered the four content areas important in obtaining comprehensive assessment

of financial literacy. Measurement structure included items from three to 68 questions with

the mean, median, and mode results between 10 and 16 correct. Data collection included

38% interviews with 95% over the phone and 62% of self-administered questionnaires with

38% from Internet responses versus mail. Nine out of 10 studies did not indicate whether or

not the respondent was financially literate, and studies with results used different scales to

determine failure. Sixty-eight percent of the studies had target audiences, and sample sizes

ranged from 42 to 12,140.

Huston’s research study results indicated three barriers to creating a standardized

approach for financial literacy. The lack of consistent conceptualization and definition limits

clear design, interpretation, and comparison to other studies. Content structure limits the

44

instrument acquisition of the respondent’s knowledge and can limit the respondent’s

financial rating. Lastly, the lack of a common and defined measurement interpretation limits

and creates a barrier to understanding financial literacy. Huston’s proposed approach to

research financial literacy includes acknowledging two dimensions of knowledge and uses it

in the financial literacy definition: Develop instruments that measure financial literacy

knowledge and application, understand how other influences effect financial decisions, and

create financial literacy education curricula designed for different demographic populations

(Huston, 2010).

Remund (2010) and Huston (2010) research studies support financial literacy

education. The fact that the meta-analyses found inconsistency in the presentation of

material, however, suggests that future financial literacy educational programs should clearly

define financial literacy and identify the areas of financial literacy that the programs cover.

The purposeful defining of programs provides information to measure the results of financial

literacy programs. Huston (2010) and Remund (2010) meta-analyses recommended future

research on financial literacy, requiring common principles, and measures to provide for

longitude studies to measure the ripple effects of financial literacy programs.

Estelami’s (2009) research correlates consumer financial literacy education with

behavior showing financial capability. Estelami identified five behavioral patterns that can

undermine financial literacy educational programs. The first, hyperbolic discounting, refers

to the time value of money and the distortion of interest rates in a positive manner whether

for payment or accumulation. Second, short-term memory overload explains that

understanding and actions for financial contracts requires more than just short-term memory

when processing financial documents. Third, attribute anchoring occurs in conjunction with

45

short-term memory overload; individuals can look for and attach too much significance to a

known attribute found in a financial contract. Fourth, poor knowledge of risk levels becomes

reflective of systematic bias when making decisions such as purchasing insurance and

deciding on disaster coverage. Fifth, mental accounting can define the treatment of income

based on source rather than as part of total income available for current or future purchases.

Study results referred to other influences on financial decisions and overconfidence of

financial knowledge.

Learning the negative patterns for financial behavior presented the platform for

education training for positive behavioral modification. The educational financial program

needs to link concepts and theories to financial documents and services and relate to

consumers’ cognitive biases toward financial transactions to reprogram instinctive responses

(Estelami, 2009).

The measurement of financial literacy within the United States continues by testing

the financial literacy of high school and college students to determine if educational

mandates for the kindergarten through 12 curriculum increases aptitude and awareness

(Lusardi, Mitchell, & Curto, 2010). The study expanded a biannual study to include

evaluating independent variables that could have affected individual scores, noting that

positive debt management skills result in building financial assets for retirement. Data

indicated that higher levels of financial knowledge were correlated to the mother’s education

level projecting parental influence for financial knowledge. The researchers theorize that

educational financial high school curricula can provide information to prevent detrimental

choices occurring with credit card debt and involving parents could be more effective than

involving only the young adults. The patterns noted during data evaluation supports the need

46

for the elimination of one-size-fits-all financial programs and to initiate financial educational

programs for specific financial knowledge and capability transfer.

Howlett, Kees, and Kemp’s (2008) quantitative research study evaluated the financial

literacy, self-regulation, and future orientation variables of 89 graduating college seniors age

20 to 36 to participate in a 401k plan offering. The research study involved college seniors

participating in the study to learn about 401k offerings with or without distraction and found

that learning about 401k plans could decrease their level of self-regulation. A questionnaire

collected data to evaluate the college students’ financial literacy regarding 401k programs,

and to determine personal orientation as either short or long-term.

Howlett, Kees, and Kemp’s (2008) study found a direct correlation to 401k

participation to people distracted thereby decreasing self-regulation and selecting not to

participate in the 401k option. Also participants with short-term orientation were less likely

to select participation in the 401k plan and long-term orientation participants were willing to

select the 401k option. The evaluation on the financial knowledge of the 401k showed

increased participation in the 401k plan. The study results present an opportunity for

employers and educators. Employers should present 401k information without other

distractions. Educators should support financial literacy education focused on long-term

financial success.

Cho, Gutter, Kim, and Mauldin (2012) collected data from a web-based survey

sponsored by twelve universities. The questionnaire was emailed to households with a likely

match of income less than $80,000 and 24-66 years of age, until 1,000 responses were

collected. The sample was then restricted to 826 participants after removing participants who

did not meet the predetermined criteria of income less than $80,000 and respondents 24-66

47

years of age. The study compared financial habits to parental influences. The study

collected information on four dependent variables of “spending less than income, making

financial plans, monitoring spending, and having spending goals” (p.417) to determine the

financial habits of the respondents; and asked about possible parental discussions or actions

regarding saving and to check off other sources of saving options.

The study’s results indicate: respondents younger than 45 and older than 54 were

monitoring their finances more frequently than the respondents 45 to 54; as family size

increased more planning and monitoring occurred; as income increased more savings

occurred; parental discussions about financial topics has a positive result, while parents seen

as just savers without discussion resulted with a negative financial savings results;

respondents with college degrees or more education than high school were more likely to be

spending more than their income in comparison to respondents with high school education or

less; and respondents sought out advice from financial planners or advisors (Cho, Gutter,

Kim, & Mauldin, 2012). The study recommended that employers partner with financial

professionals and have financial educational programs designed to include both adults and

children (p. 428).

Goetz, Cude, Nielsen, Chatterjee, and Mimura’s (2011) research evaluated three

financial education methods to increase participation of college students in financial literacy

programs. The three methods presented included an on campus financial counseling center,

online financial management resources, and in person educational workshops. The study was

conducted thru an email survey with 509 completed responses out of 3,261 sample

population (p. 31). The respondents were not representative of the student population.

Rather the population was skewed with more females and students with higher than average

48

grades. The study results showed that each method reached different spectrums of

participants, therefore the methods could be considered complimentary.

Providing financial literacy education to the low income, unbanked, and underbanked

population requires meeting them on their own terms and presenting financial education

materials and offering solutions that can affect them immediately (Allen & Miller, 2010;

Buckland, 2010, 2011; Birkenmaier & Curley, 2009; Servon & Kaestner, 2008; Weiss &

Bailar, 2002). Considering that low-income adults have aged out of K-12 educational

curricula and most do not work for employers offering retirement plans, (Friedman, 2005)

indicated a need exists for research to determine ways to educate low-income adults about

financial literacy. Therefore, researching the low income, unbanked, and underbanked

populations’ accessibility to financial literacy programs is aligned with Schuchardt,

Marlowe, Parker, and Smith’s (1991) three principles in reaching low income families (1)

understanding the community, (2) cooperating with local agencies, and (3) working with

volunteers to reach peers.

The Servon and Kaestner (2008) study supported by the banking industry in Chicago

provided benefits to unbanked individuals including a personal computer and free Internet

access for one year. The study failed to increase low-income participation in banking

services through the Internet. Low-income participants could not afford the Internet services

fees after the free period, therefore supporting previous studies stating that to reach the low-

income population, programs need to incorporate understanding the community.

Birkenmaier and Curley (2009) advocate for financial literacy training to be made

available through social workers who interact on a daily basis with low-income individuals

struggling with many issues including money matters. Social workers have long-term

49

relationships with low income, unbanked, and underbanked consumers and can follow up on

the success of financial training. Expanding the role of social workers to include financial

literacy might be difficult and require supplemental training or outsource training to be

available where the consumers meet with the social worker. Lim, DeJohn, and Murray’s

(2012) study concurs with expanding the responsibility of the social worker to include

financial literacy. The social worker’s ability to uncover the underlying personality traits and

behaviors creating financial issues puts low-income adults on a path of acknowledging the

need for change and receiving a referral to a financial counselor.

Allen and Miller (2010) reported on an initiative by the United Way in Tampa,

Florida to support family financial well-being by decreasing summer childcare costs. Low-

income parents were required to take financial literacy classes to qualify for free summer

care for their children. A common comment from participants was that some financial

material was too basic to meet their particular need and topics of child and stress

management would have been beneficial (p.96). The results indicate financial knowledge

alone will not create changes to improve the financial well-being of low-income families.

Accessing the low income population. Financial literacy studies with low-income

adults’ populations in the United States are sparse due to limited access to the population. A

symposium and research by Lyons and Scherpf (2004) explains that the low-income access

dilemma and studies after 2008 includes various attempts to access and sway the low-income

population into using mainstream financial services. This section begins with identifying the

government’s perspective on increasing the financial literacy of the United States population

as a whole through mandated educational curricula and employer retirement programs.

50

United States financial literacy programs were directed at educational curricula,

created by financial institutions helping current customers, used by employers to explain

company-sponsored retirement packages, and employed by nongovernmental organizations

(NGOs) to educate defined populations. The National Endowment for Financial Education

(NEFE, 2006) symposium brought together academicians and practitioners to determine

better pathways to financial literacy. The resulting suggestions included studying how

people learn, how people react, behavioral environmental influences, and educator bias

concerning teaching methods in the attempt to improve financial literacy. Described next is

a study specific to low-income adults and the FDIC Money Smart program, then other

studies involving low-income adults.

Lyons and Scherpf (2004) research study participants included the unbanked and

underbanked population from Chicago, which represented approximately 25% of the United

States population in 2009 (FDIC, 2010). The unbanked and underbanked populations rely on

alternative financial services such as payday lenders, refund anticipatory loans (RALs), and

pawn shops to conduct basic financial institution services such as check cashing and small

loans. The population can fall prey, unfortunately, to predatory lenders and financial scams

(Lyons & Scherpf, 2004; Lim, DeJohn, & Murray, 2012; Wilson, 2012). The FDIC financial

literacy program offered through the banking institutions to the unbanked measures success

by the number of new accounts. The Lyons and Scherpf’s (2004) research collected

information on why the participants stayed unbanked and evaluated the effectiveness of the

FDIC Money Smart program.

Lyons and Scherpf’s (2004) study reported four reasons that kept the unbanked and

underbanked population from opening accounts. The reasons included not having enough

51

money to open an account, the fees incurred for having an account, limited access to retrieve

deposited money, and the lack of need to write checks. These reasons present a rational

financial decision for people to remain unbanked or underbanked and reveal that the program

was successful based on the individual’s behavior while making a financial decision that

might be right for the individual. Understanding the reasons provides an opportunity for

financial institutions to develop and market specific products to the unbanked and

underbanked. These results are not captured, however, when the program’s success is

measured by opened bank accounts.

The study’s post-training survey indication that 80% of the participants that

completed the course would be opening an account may have reported overly positive results

because no one verified that any accounts were opened (Lyons & Scherpf, 2004). The

evaluation of the Money Smart program based on the number of bank accounts opened by

participants may not measure the true value of the program.

Goodman’s (2012) research reconfirmed Lyons and Scherpf’s (2004) reasons for low-

income adults remaining unbanked. The research in Massachusetts included a survey of 173

low-income adults and continued with focus groups of low-income adults to delve into the

advantages and disadvantages of having a bank account. The results of the study indicated

that low-income adults were unaware of low-cost banking options, which were required to be

available by state sanctioned banks, and participants with short-term financial orientation

rationalized the lack of a need for a bank account. The study recommends financial

education directed at low-income individuals and households in an effort to eliminate

financial ignorance.

52

Servon and Kaestner’s (2008) research study, previously reported under expectations

and education for a financially literate population, failed to connect and influence the

unbanked and underbanked population. The study provided information on behavioral

patterns influencing future research. The program, designed to entice low-income

individuals to become online bank customers, failed. The training provided benefits

including a new computer and free Internet access for a year, but Internet access was not

affordable to the low-income population to continue after the free benefit period.

Zhan, Anderson, and Scott’s (2009) quantitative research reached out to the

immigrant unbanked and underbanked population in the Chicago area, because the United

States’ immigrant population increased 57% from 1990 to 2000. Barriers to mainstream

financial services identified for immigrants were language related, legal, and cultural. The

program offered through NGOs worked through the barriers and provided information to

immigrants. The program participants started with 61 immigrants; 33 completed the 12-hour

financial literacy program. The post survey documents resulted in self-reported positive

participant results for the program. Verification of the self-reported positive behavioral

change such as opening a depository account, however, did not occur.

The FDIC (2010) evaluated the access to financial services for the unbanked and

underbanked population and that found bank fees and minimum balances contributed to the

lack of participation. Reporting that 1.3 million households closed bank accounts in 2008,

the Governmental Accountability Office (Consumer Finance, 2010) audit report pointed to

additional barriers to financial literacy. English as a second language is affecting financial

literacy with some informational bulletins available only in English, or Spanish. The United

States, also, has had an influx of Muslim immigrants who have different language and

53

religious constraints that do not permit the earning or paying of interest. The awareness of

new barriers presents opportunities to develop programs to overcome the challenges of the

United States government to increase the low-income population’s financial literacy. The

United States Federal Government continues to develop programs for the low income,

unbanked, and underbanked population (Agency Group 01, 2010). The United States

Treasury Department unveiled a program to reach people who received tax refunds through

the mail last year to work with financial institution partners to open accounts to have the

2010 refunds deposited electronically. The Federal budget for 2011 included funding to

sponsor state and local initiatives to help low-income Americans obtain access to financial

services and products (Agency Group 01, 2010).

Sherraden and McBride’s (2010) longitude research study, the American Dream

Demonstration, occurred from 1997 through 2005 (p. 15). The in-depth study was designed

to study low income adults’ savings behaviors whether selected to participate in Individual

Development Accounts [IDAs] or not. Savings provide the opportunity to increase long term

asset building for long term security. The study maintained connection with 84 individuals,

59 people were selected to participate in IDAs and 25 were not selected. The results of the

study told stories about low-income adults striving to save and make a better life for

themselves and their families. The participants described that saving represented security

and hope for the future. Access to saving and constant financial needs, however, made

accumulating significant amounts difficult. The study conclusions include that human

behavior, habits, and banking institutions policies all affect the individual’s ability to save.

Two future research suggestions are (1) to study the relationship between low-income adults

and social institutions; and (2) to study households’ financial decisions matrix of who is

54

involved in the decision process, and do decision discussions extend to family members

living outside the household.

Lim, Livermore, and Davis’ (2011) telephone survey of volunteer income tax

assistance (VITA) tax filers resulted in 352 participants from a pool of 582 from Louisiana’s

Department of Social Services records. The study inquired of VITA tax filers eligible for the

earned income tax credit [EITC] to discuss whether their refunds were electronically

deposited into personal bank accounts or did they receive a refund check. If the participants

received checks did they use an alternative financial service to cash their checks or did they

cash the checks at a local bank. The unbanked population was 56% less likely to use

mainstream financial services to receive the cash from their tax filing. The cost of using

alternative financial services promotes the study’s conclusion of suggesting policy changes to

link VITA sites to mainstream financial services for depositing and cashing tax refund

checks and additional financial education. Lim with others continued studying VITA and

EITC.

Lim, DeJohn, and Murray (2012) reports on linking VITA with social workers.

Social workers develop long term connections with low-income families and suggestions

from trusted social workers could increase low-income family’s participation in VITA.

VITA participation could increase the number of tax filings for low-income persons and

taking advantage EITC and prior preparation could provide time for low-income families to

establish a bank account to receive their tax refund electronically, creating an opportunity for

asset building as previously advocated by Sherraden and McBride (2010). This study, also,

concurs with Birkermaier and Curley (2009) linking social workers as advocates for financial

literacy.

55

De Sousa (2010) reported on a qualitative study of the unbanked for Namibia, Africa.

The unbanked population represents the final frontier for financial institutions. However, the

initial profits for the financial industry working with the unbanked are small until the

unbanked population moves into the mainstream of financial banking, so banking institutions

do not market to the unbanked. The Namibia regulatory agency, therefore, shifted the

paradigm of banking the unbanked to the government creating payment services for the

population of the unbanked. Nambia’s unbanked population embraced the National

Payment System (NPS) and nonbanking institutions provide a payment plan through mobile

coverage at costs much less than the banking institutions.

The need to increase the financial literacy level of low-income individuals and

households is imperative. NEFE (2006) had suggested research to find better pathways to

increase financial literacy. The selected studies relevant to the low-income population above

have found aspects of the low-income population that influence their abilities to increase

financial literacy are summarized below.

Lyons and Scherpf’s (2004) research results concluded that financial literacy

awareness does not require people to change behavior, such as opening a bank account, but

provides information for individuals to make rational decisions based on their personal

environment. Servon and Kaestner’s (2008) research provided computers and Internet access

for a year to help low-income individuals have access to banking. The participants of the

study could not continue to afford the Internet connection and the computer was a luxury

item considering their income level. Zhan, Anderson, and Scott (2009) provided financial

literacy education to immigrants in Chicago. The post class survey indicated that those

completing the training felt they would open bank accounts. No follow-up occurred,

56

however, to determine if accounts were opened. The FDIC sponsors financial literacy

education in the United States. DeSousa’s (2010) research conducted in Namibia, Africa,

reported that the Namibian government created a national payment system to support the

low-income population. Goodman’s (2012) research returned to the roots of Lyons and

Scherpf’s (2004). Goodman’s work confirmed the reasons for being unbanked as: not having

enough money to open an account, the fees incurred for having an account, limited access to

retrieve deposited money, and the lack of need to write checks. The focus group interviews

of low-income individuals found many had short-term orientation which prevented the

perceived need for savings.

No study, however, made inquiries into the perspectives and expectations of low-

income, unbanked, and underbanked populations regarding financial literacy, indicating a

gap in the research. This research study includes interviews of low-income individuals to

ascertain low-income adults’ perceptions and expectations for financial literacy. In doing so,

it uncovered unique factors that could contribute to the modification of financial literacy

programs and marketing in order to increase low-income adults’ participation levels and

hence their financial literacy.

Theoretical Framework for Interpretation of Data

The interpretation of the data is based on the concepts of financial literacy, Maslow’s

hierarchy of needs (1948), Proschaska’s (1979) transtheretical model of change, and the

research study’s population of low-income adults. The study’s definition of financial literacy

incorporated both financial literacy knowledge and behavior to establish financial capability

(Lusardi, Mitchell, & Curto, 2010; NEFE, 2006; Schuchardt et al., 2009). Enlisting the help

of a gatekeeper provided access to a population considered difficult to access (Buckland,

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2011; Creswell, 2012; Mandell & Klein, 2009; Schuchardt, Marlowe, Parker, & Smith, 1991;

Weiss & Bailar, 2002).

The interpretation of the interview used Maslow’s (1948) hierarchy of needs to

understand possible motivation and Proschaska’s (1979) transtheoretical model of change to

access research participants’ desire to increase positive financial behaviors. Maslow’s and

Proschaska’s theories were chosen as the theoretical research frameworks for this study’s

interpretation of the data to develop recommendations to financial literacy programs to

increase low-income adult participation; hence, low-income adult financial literacy.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Maslow’s (1948) hierarchy of needs theory describes

individual motivation as it relates to the fulfillment of needs from the most basic level of

needs level one to level five of self-actualization. The five levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of

needs pyramid begins with basic life requirements of physical and emotional needs; the

second level is safety needs, the third level is belongingness and love needs, the fourth is

esteem needs, and the pinnacle to the pyramid is self-actualization. The theory explains how

people become occupied with attaining needs at each lower level before ascending to the next

level.

Devaney, Anong, and Whirl (2007) posit that savings motives could be correlated to

self-actualization similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, referring to human stages of

development. Devaney et al. (2007) quantitative research obtained data from the 2001

survey of consumer finances sponsored by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the

United States Department of Treasury collected from 4,442 households. Devaney’s et al.

(2007) expanded Maslow’s hierarchy for the saving study to include a no savings level and

splitting Maslow’s second level of safety needs into both safety needs and the need for future

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financial security. The study’s seven levels of savings hierarchy included no savings, basic

need, safety needs, need for future security, love and societal need, luxury and esteem need,

and self-actualization. The main predictors of moving through the savings hierarchy

included the length of the planning horizon for the family unit, age of the head of the

household, and family size. The study’s conclusion suggested that financial literacy

education should focus on the need level of the population in connection with the program

objectives.

Transtheoretical model of change. Prochaska (1979) developed the

Transtheoretical Model of Change [TMC] for behavioral changes for mental health with six

stages for long-term behavioral change. The transtheoretical model of change, first

established to influence change in unhealthy behaviors, included five stages that reflect the

steps required for change and a sixth stage for when a person relapses into previous

unhealthy behaviors. The sixth stage could occur at any stage during a person’s quest for

change. The first stage, precontemplation, involves initial awareness but no decision yet to

make any changes in the coming six months. The second stage, contemplation, is where an

individual decides to make changes over the next six months. The third is where, preparation

plans are made for change in the next 30 days. The fourth stage is the period the individual

has changed his or her behavior, but is still within the first six months of change. The fifth

stage which is maintenance, occurs if the individual has continued with the change for more

than six months (Proschaska, 1979).

In 2004, the TMC was applied during a study to help consumers change their

behaviors to reduce and eliminate debt (Xaio, O’Neill, Prochaska, Kerbel, Brennan, &

Bristow, 2004). The mixed method research study was developed in two stages. The initial

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stage required interviews of five experts in credit card debt counseling to develop the survey

questionnaire to learn if a purposive sampling participant had reached the TMC stage two of

contemplation – intending to take action within the next six months. A pilot survey of 15

participants answered the initial questionnaire. The experts evaluated the question responses

and made some changes. For the second stage, 438 questionnaires were mailed with a

response rate of 60% [263 returned questionnaires].

To participate in the study (Xaio et al., 2004), consumers were required to be in at

least stage two, contemplation, and the purposive sample participants were selected from

debt counselors’ clients. The study was deemed successful in assessing the respondents’

TMC stages two, three, and four; the remaining stages five and six would have required

follow-up to determine if participants reverted back to negative financial behaviors. The

success of the study set the stage for credit counselors to design credit counseling around

client behaviors. Other researchers support the use of TMC in financial education (NEFE,

2006).

Schuchardt, Bagwell, Bailey, DeVaney, Grable, Leech, and et al. (2007) reported on a

professional conference that brought together researchers and practitioners to evaluate the

relationships that underlie financial literacy and found that family and friends influenced

financial behavior and suggested that the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning

Educators (AFCPE) employ TMC strategy to reach consumers. Williams (2007) and

Estelami (2009) supported TMC because to change their behaviors people needed to confront

old beliefs and habits.

Linking educational financial programs to behavior modification could provide the

basis to transfer financial literacy knowledge and financial capability. Financial program

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designs need to be varied to support the audience’s financial literacy level, eliminating a

single program approach for financial literacy success (Lusardi, Mitchell, & Curto, 2010;

NEFE, 2006; Schuchardt et al., 2009). Requirements for the program facilitators include

aligning participants and available training programs, competency in the ability to help

people manage change, and the ability to recognize and respond to teachable moments

(NEFE, 2006).

The theoretical framework of Maslow’s and Prochaska’s theories provides a valuable

background for understanding the participants in this study. The framework underlies the

interview questions’ development to obtain information from participants about their

personal mindset to learn financial literacy skills. Understanding the participants’ mindsets

can help during the interview with gathering information pertaining to needs and

expectations of the participants to increase participation in financial literacy classes.

Challenges of Financial Literacy Education

Financial literacy studies indicated financial literacy education participants have not

grasped the information at levels where external financial support would not be necessary

(Arnone, 2009; Arthur, 2011; Lumpkin, 2010; Willis, 2008). Curriculum changes requested

by the United States government for K12 educational programs have shown limited success

(Lusardi, Mitchell, & Curto, 2010, Yilmaz, 2011).

The complexity of financial markets cannot be bridged through financial literacy

education (Willis, 2008). Willis’ (2008) article titled Against Financial-Literacy Education

presented information about relegating the responsibility of the financial markets to the

consumer through advocating financial literacy. The research supported financial literacy

education in conjunction with governmental regulation, rather than having consumers being

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solely responsible for their financial future. The expectations that financial literacy

education can create empowered responsible consumers to control the financial markets

lacked empirical support.

Willis identified four barriers for financial literacy education to support the individual

consumers’ responsibilities: “(1) the complexity of the financial products and the speed at

which they change, (2) the low level of computational abilities possessed by most consumers,

(3) the widespread decision making bias that impairs consumer financial behavior, and (4)

the disparity in resources with which industry versus educators can reach consumers” (p.

211). The challenge for global financial sustainability requires responsibility to be shared

among governmental agencies and consumers. Government should establish policies and

legal rules to shape financial markets to become conducive to positive consumer outcomes.

Financial literacy education should reach out and deliver programs to teach about behavioral

bias in attitudes and perceptions, and link financial knowledge to financial capability.

Lumpkin (2010) from OECD concurs with Willis (2008) that financial consumer

protection is essential from the standpoint of both access and suitability for the consumer,

and that financial service providers develop internal controls that minimize inappropriate

consumer exposures.

Arnone (2009) reports from the practitioner perspective of consulting and advising

employer sponsored financial education, stating that individuals should not be expected to

manage personal financial planning on their own. Experience has shown that employer

sponsored financial educational programs must provide employees with information. The

information has not led employees to become their own financial planners. This has fostered

instead a realization of the need to obtain a financial planner. Arnone (2009) suggested

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implementing guidelines and aggressive management techniques to increase the personal

involvement in employer sponsored financial benefits and planning. The guidance

emphasizes that employer programs should include adequate protection against financial

risks, save more by living within one’s means, create investment goals, and not comingle

funds of investments linked to goals. Programs should aggressively advise employees,

support individual interventions to discuss personal finances, and include personal financial

reviews within the context of annual employee performance reviews.

Christman (2010) reported on employer sponsored plans to increase employees’

transition from retirement savings to managing retirement funds because of the shifting of

pension plans and changing social security benefits. Christman’s report supports Arnone’s

research conclusion that people need to start saving sooner and have professional support for

financial decisions. Professionals recognize that retirement plans are personal and there is no

single method for successful retirement funding.

Arthur (2011) discusses two financial literacy education challenges. First, financial

literacy is underminded prior to children entering school for the first time. Advertisements

and incessant messages to buy bolster the impression that people are valued by what they

consume. This is the framework that is absorbed by children. Secondly, the concept of

shifting financial responsibility from the government to the individual based on financial

literacy education alone is a simple solution to a complex problem. The development of

critical financial literacy education and collective government measures should be created to

protect the economy.

Willis (2008), Lumpkin (2010), Arnone (2009), Christman (2010), and Arthur (2011)

emphasized the need for financial literacy at a personal level while acknowledging the need

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for professional support. The challenges of financial literacy, therefore, suggested that the

financial literate individuals may not be ready to create or maintain a stable financial future

alone. Also, individual need for professional financial support should be recommended and

considered an acceptable part financial literacy programs. Financial literacy programs not

only should transfer knowledge and skills, but include a deeper understanding of the long-

term issues of developing a secure financial future. This requires governmental support and

the availability of financial advisors.

Further Research: Financial Literacy Initiatives

National financial literacy educational programs target children through curriculum in

K-12 schools and adults through secondary venues (FLEC, 2010a; FLEC, 2011; U. S.

Treasury, 2008; U. S. Treasury, 2013). Accessing working adults occurs through their

employers and financial institutions by spreading financial informational literature to their

customers, and some nonprofit organizations offer financial literacy programs for their

clients (U. S. Treasury, 2008; 2013). National surveys report, however, that the financial

literacy lowest levels occur with low-income adults, many of whom are unbanked or

underbanked (FDIC, 2009; 2012). The national financial literacy strategy council has not

identified programs that reach successfully to the low-income population because of this

population’s inaccessibility (U. S. Treasury, 2008). Accessing the low-income population

takes creative targeting and requires financial literacy educational training to match the

cohorts’ current need (Buckland, 2011; Goodman, 2012; Schuchardt, Marlowe, Parker, &

Smith, 1991; Weiss & Bailar, 2002).

This phenomenological research study of low-income adults’ perceptions and

expectations of financial literacy incorporated Prochaska’s transtheoretical model of change

64

and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The theoretical frameworks were used as the basis of the

data collection, interpretation, and support recommendations to modify the FDIC’s financial

literacy program to increase low-income adult participation.

Conclusions

The literature review uncovered a gap in research. No inquiries were made from the

perspectives of low-income, unbanked, and underbanked populations regarding financial

literacy. Financial literacy education, however, represents a part of the solution to global

economic recovery and sustainability (OECD, 2010; U.S. Treasury Department, 2009).

Studies of financial literacy programs initiated in the first decade of the 21st century

measured limited success in increasing financial literacy and accessing the population most

in need of financial literacy education. The results of these studies indicated the need for

program changes to increase the availability of programs to people outside academia, and

especially to low-income adult populations.

The low-income population in the United States in 2009 was approximately 25% of

the population (FDIC, 2009) and access was limited (Weiss & Bailar, 2002). This research

study identified possible financial literacy educational program design changes that could

increase participation in financial literacy programs by the low-income population. The

research process included the direct inquiry of the perceptions and expectations of a financial

literacy program for low-income adults. The qualitative phenomenological research

ascertained the low-income population’s perceptions and expectations of financial literacy

programs. The emerging themes resulted in recommendations to financial literacy program

curricula and marketing to increase participation from low-income adult populations.

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Summary

Financial literacy education is an important facet of global and national financial

sustainability (FLEC, 2010a; OECD, 2010). Numerous studies and educational programs

available indicate the need to increase financial knowledge and capability of the individual

(Buckland, 2011; Huston, 2010; Remund, 2010; Lusardi, 2012). The rise of low-income

families in the United States illustrates the importance of reaching this population (FDIC,

2009).

Understanding that access and participation of the low-income population is difficult

to obtain, community-based programs might be successful in providing financial education

that establishes a basis for financial behavioral change (Buckland, 2011; Mandell & Klein,

2009; Schuchardt et al., 2009; Weiss & Bailar, 2002). Financial literacy programs can

increase the awareness of personal financial goals and the requirement of soliciting expert

advice, such as when basic health knowledge indicates someone should see a medical doctor

(Lusardi, Mitchell, & Curto, 2010; Willis, 2008). The shift of long-term financial

responsibility back to the individual requires financial literacy education to be made available

across socio-economic levels. This study ascertained, therefore, the perceptions and

expectations of low-income adults to identify financial literacy programming changes to

influence low-income adults’ participation in programs and, therefore, increase low-income

adults’ financial literacy.

Chapter 3 outlines the qualitative methodology to access low-income adults’

perceptions and expectations toward financial literacy. The data collection design outlined in

Chapter 3 will provide the information about the low-income populations to support the

development of financial literacy programs. Documentation within the chapter of ethical

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research includes premises consent, informed consent, confidentiality, population, sampling

frame, data collection, storage, and processing.

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Chapter 3

Method

This phenomenological research study was designed to discover low-income adults’

perceptions and expectations of financial literacy to provide information for financial literacy

curricula designs that could attract low-income participants (Buckland, 2011; Servon &

Kaestner, 2008). The qualitative phenomenological study was appropriate for this work as

the research method attempts to understand the experiences of the participants through their

perceptions, perspectives, and expectations (Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The

study utilized interviews with closed-ended questions to establish the participants’

backgrounds, then opened-ended questions to obtain in-depth descriptions of personal lived

experiences about financial literacy concepts, educational programs, and future expectations

from the sample participants (Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010; Moustakas, 1994).

The analysis of the data uncovered trends and themes that affected financial behaviors, and

produced novel information that could help in the development and improvement of financial

literacy educational programs for low-income adults.

Chapter 3 presents the method used in this phenomenological qualitative research

study. The method focused on the responsibility to the participants and supports the

reliability and validity of the final conclusions. The chapter sections include descriptions of

the research method, design appropriateness, central research question, population, sampling

frame, data collection process, reliability, validity, and data analysis techniques for this

phenomenological qualitative research study.

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Research Method and Design Appropriateness

Research method. The research methods of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed,

represent categories used for scientific research (Creswell, 2009). The characteristics of

qualitative research include the researcher as the instrument to conduct face-to-face

interviews, data collection that includes both visual and verbal information at a field site

(natural setting), and the interpreting of data to understand complex issues in the search for

factors that influence behaviors (Creswell, 2009). Qualitative research of soft data follows a

nonlinear path to relate authentic interpretations of a specific sensitive issue. The nonlinear

path provides focus of the data’s richness and texture from the recorded thoughts of the

participants. This required the researcher to use inductive reasoning to develop insights and

generalizations from the data collection. Qualitative research data collected from a small

sample size provides for the examination of data for nuances to understand the issue in

context; hence, it is impractical to equate to numerical values to create statistical projections

(Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).

Qualitative designs include case study, content analysis, ethnography, grounded

theory, and phenomenology (Creswell, 2009, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). Case study

research involves studying a program or individuals to discover the paths taken to understand

the outcome of a particular issue. It is not relevant to this study’s emphasis on understanding

the perceptions and expectations of financial literacy for program development.

Content analysis is a qualitative approach that merges quantitative aspects and

generally becomes part of a mixed method study. This is done through a systematic

examination of characteristics of material to identify themes, bias, or patterns (Leedy &

Ormrod, 2009). The proposed study involved interviews to extract data with no preformed

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expectations from the individuals, rather than analyzing for expected characteristics required

for content analysis. Content analysis was therefore inappropriate for this study.

Ethnography requires researchers to immerse themselves in the culture of the

population to become a trusted member of the society covering a lengthy period to discover

and understand the population. The grounded theory approach utilizes data to develop theory

when theories have not been developed. This study’s data analysis applied Maslow’s (1948)

hierarchy of needs and Proschaska’s (1979) transtheoretical model of change theories to

develop recommendations for financial literacy programs to improve on curriculum and

increase participation. Both the qualitative study designs of ethnography and the grounded

theory would not work for this study because of the limited access to participants outside of

the community organization because of the transitory and suspicious nature of the low-

income population (Weiss & Bailar, 2002).

The phenomenological method fit this research study because of both the participant

characteristics and research topic. Low-income adults are characterized as underrepresented

in studies from noncontact attributable to the lack of telephone service, migration, language

barriers, and suspicion of strangers (Weiss & Bailar, 2002). Access to the participants

required the development of a relationship with a gatekeeper, who had developed a trust

connection to the study’s population, and who helped coordinate the interviews for the

collection of data.

The gatekeeper, as defined by Creswell (2012), is a person with insider status who

has an official or unofficial role at the organization and can become the liaison between the

participants and the researcher. The involvement at a site location through a gatekeeper

where low-income adults feel at ease will provide for better response rates (Weiss & Bailar,

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2002). Beloucif, Lal, and Strachan (2010) discuss the need to initially connect with the

gatekeeper to access the organization. The gatekeeper is essential to developing a positive

atmosphere for this phenomenological study.

The research topic of financial literacy is traditionally a taboo subject in the American

culture (Atwood, 2012; Lowrance, 2011; Trachtman, 2008). The research topic along with

the study’s population posed challenges that were overcome by the phenomenological

method and the employment of confidentiality and anonymity to assure the participants of

limited personal risk. The phenomenological method gave the low-income adult participants

an opportunity to have their voices heard (Creswell, 2012). The phenomenological approach

to understanding the population’s perceptions and expectations required the researcher to

collect data from low-income adults in a safe and supportive environment.

Quantitative research applies deductive reasoning to plan research design,

measurement, and sampling (Leedy & Ormrod, 2009). The data collection occurs through

large statistical samples. The data analysis is a reflection of the frequency of actions which

progress through linear research. Quantitative research tests the study’s hypothesis through

controlling variables (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The mechanical techniques for statistical

analysis generated in quantitative research stress objectivity and statistical projection through

standardized procedures and the principle of replication (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The data

in quantitative research are dominantly collected through surveys for statistical analysis of

the hypothesis to confirm or disconfirm the hypothesis. The data collection can take place

without input from the researcher interpreting the data. Data collection, therefore, does not

provide for an opportunity to change the methodology which can occur during qualitative

research. This researcher collected data concerning participants’ perceptions and

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expectations of financial literacy which did not connect to predefined variables associated

with quantitative research (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).

A mixed methodology combines elements from both qualitative and quantitative

methods to give more details than either could provide alone (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).

Qualitative research studies might quantify some answers and quantitative interview

questions might incorporate some open-ended questions to solicit insights. Teddlie and

Tashskkori (2009) suggested that the development of a mixed method research begins with a

research question, which, when broken down results in both quantitative and qualitative sub-

questions. Lusardi, Mitchell, and Curto (2010) researched financial literacy programs

through testing financial literacy ability years after participating in financial programs

offered through the K-12 curriculum. The options for quantitative or mixed method, which

required accumulating data to confirm or disconfirm a prior study would fit if financial

literacy programs similar to Lusardi, Mitchell, and Curto’s program (2010) were evaluated.

The study’s research, however, to explore the unique gap toward low-income adults’

perceptions and expectations of financial literacy best fits the selected qualitative

phenomenological research design.

Research exists regarding financial literacy programs for low-income adults’ access

to mainstream financial institutions (Curley et al., 2009; Lyons & Neelakantan, 2008; Servon

& Kaestner, 2008; Zhan et al., 2009). The literature review, however, shows that financial

literacy program development has not inquired into low-income adults’ perceptions and

expectations for financial literacy, but instead only the barriers to mainstream financial

access. Following the Leedy and Ormrod (2010) statement “the data dictates the research

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method” (p. 94), a qualitative phenomenological research method was deemed appropriate

for this study.

Design appropriateness. The research question revealed the necessity of a

qualitative phenomenological research method. The research question encapsulated

understanding the research participants’ perceptions and expectations toward financial

literacy. The study emphasized the exploration of the low-income adult population’s

experiences in developing their financial knowledge and behavior. Uncovering what low-

income adult participants’ desired from financial literacy programs could increase

participation in financial literacy programs.

Influencing the low-income adult population to increase participation in financial

literacy programs could positively impact the general problem of a lack of financial literacy

within the low-income population of the United States. The concepts supporting the general

problem of financial literacy in the 21st century include increasing financial complexity, the

shift of public policy toward individual fiscal responsibility, and the expanding percentage of

the United States population living in poverty (Buckland, 2011; DeNavas-Walt et al., 2011;

Cory & Pickard, 2008; Gallery & Gallery, 2010; Lenzner, 2012).

Creswell (2012) explained the appropriateness of using qualitative research when the

problem needs to be explored. The problem is the lack of financial literacy within the United

States. The government instituted financial literacy curricula, but financial literacy has not

increased significantly during the first decade of the 21st century (Lusardi, Mitchell, &

Curto, 2010; Mandell & Klein, 2009; Yates & Ward, 2011). The size of the United States

population living below the poverty level has increased, combined with the complex

financial environment of decreasing social security expectations, defined pension plans, and

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changing welfare terms affirms the need for financial literacy education for low-income

adults in the United States (DeNavas-Walt et al., 2011; FDIC, 2009).

This phenomenological study appropriately explored how low-income adults

approach financial literacy to increase the understanding of how low-income adults manage

financially; thereby, increasing the knowledge base required to develop financial literacy

programs that actively engage the cohort under study. Phenomenology studies fall into either

a hermeneutic or transcendental research method. Hermeneutic phenomenology follows the

development by van Manen (2007) where the researcher interprets the participants lived

experiences through interviews and observations. This would require emersion into the

population lifestyle to become an insider, this would be time consuming and would require a

commitment to a longitude study which could extend beyond the time-frame of the

dissertation process.

Transcendental phenomenology is a research methodology developed by Moustakas

(1994). This is a methodology in which the researcher focuses on the description of the

participants’ lived experiences and brackets out the researcher’s personal experiences of the

phenomenon. There are four steps in Moustakas’ transcendental phenomenology research

method: (1) epoche, which requires setting aside prejudgments to obtain information from

participants about their personal experiences and expectations; (2) reduction, which provides

the opportunity to acknowledge each experience ‘reducing’ the experience back to the source

of the meaning creating textual meaning; (3) imaginative variation, which describes the

researcher’s data analysis “to grasp the structural essences of the experience” (p. 35); and (4)

linking the textual and structural essences to the experiences to provide the foundation for

research conclusions. Moustakas’ (1994) transcendental phenomenological method was

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selected for this study because the transcendental method was expected to overcome the

financial literacy research barriers of topic taboo and low-income population access.

This study’s topic of financial literacy explored the personal subject of money which

is considered taboo (Atwood, 2012; Lowrance, 2011; Trachtman, 2008) and underlies many

behaviors. Trachtman (2008) explains that the challenge to money discussions stem from

internally and externally developed individual beliefs about money. The American culture of

money taboo by silencing discussion, provides for individuals to carry irrational attitudes

without an outlet for rational discussion (Atwood, 2012; Lowrance, 2011). The research

discussed money management at a personal level to evaluate a financial literacy program.

The participants were assured confidentiality to overcome the money taboo.

Participants’ selected pseudonyms for use during the interview provided for

confidentiality between the researcher and participant while obtaining lived experiences and

future expectations in a perceived nonjudgmental way (Creswell, 2012). Financial literacy

educational programming has been designed to increase the low-income population’s use of

mainstream financial services (Curley et al., 2009; Lyons & Neelakantan, 2008; Lyons &

Scherpf, 2004; Servon & Kaestner, 2008; Zhan et al., 2009). The study discovered the

participants’ reactions to a financial literacy program as to whether the financial literacy

program provided the knowledge and skill set to meet personal financial literacy needs. The

unique perspective of understanding the gap of financial literacy came from a low-income

adult population active in a community nonprofit organization in Danbury, Connecticut. The

data collection through interviews provided insights to further develop financial literacy

programs and create new measurements of financial literacy education effectiveness.

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Research Questions

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to ascertain the perceptions and

expectations of low-income adults regarding financial literacy. Understanding and learning

from their perspective provided the opportunity to make recommendations to modify

financial literacy programming curricula and increase participation. Studies concerning low-

income adults’ financial literacy have focused on adult learning techniques (Birkenmaier &

Curley, 2009) and the level of aptitude in financial literacy to increase the low-income

populations’ use of mainstream financial institutions (Chang & Lyons, 2008; Curley et al.,

2009; Lusardi, Mitchell, & Curto, 2010) leaving a gap of inquiry for what low-income adults

want to know about financial literacy to improve their financial future. The results of the

study could benefit financial literacy development and marketing, and possibly increase low-

income adults’ abilities to manage their money successfully. The timing of the study

corresponds to the United States’ national push to increase financial literacy of the individual

thereby supporting national economic stability by exploring the needs of low-income adults,

who comprise 30% of households in the United States (DeNavas-Walt et al., 2011; FDIC,

2009).

The phenomenological research study design from Moustakas (1994) provided the

basis for investigating the phenomenon of financial literacy perceptions and expectations of

low-income adults through their lived experiences. Interviews of low-income adults in a

community-based organization in Danbury, Connecticut occurred until data saturation in

response to the central research question, “What are your perceptions and expectations

concerning the financial literacy program?” Interviews organized through a gatekeeper

provided participants with the opportunity to divulge both their perceptions and expectations

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of financial literacy. The participants maintained anonymity during the interview

transcription process by selecting their own fictitious names. The sub-questions categories

for the central research question represent the construct variables of personal financial

literacy, financial literacy program results, and personal thoughts on how to increase

participation in financial literacy programs. The sub-questions supporting the central

research question included (1) “What do you feel is your financial literacy aptitude?”, (2)

“What are your reactions to the financial literacy program?”, and (3) “What should be done

to increase participation in the financial literacy program?”

Population

The general population for the study included 1,300 registered families with

approximately 30 percent representing low-income families from a nonprofit organization

located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. The specific population subset of approximately 20

people follows the parameters set for qualitative phenomenological studies to reach data

saturation (Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The participant selection criterion had

two conditions; (1) the adult’s income was under $30,000. Thirty thousand represents the

federal guidelines of low-income (FDIC, 2009), and (2) the adult attended a financial literacy

program offered at the nonprofit organization site.

Sampling Frame

The small sample size of 20 participants for this study is reflective of a

phenomenological research study method and fell into the typical range of five to twenty-five

participants for qualitative phenomenological studies to reach data saturation (Creswell,

2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The participants volunteered from a non-profit organization

that provided financial literacy education. An initial flyer was posted at the nonprofit

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organization site, did not generate enough participants confirming the challenge of accessing

low-income adults for research (Weiss & Bailor, 2002). Therefore, the organization’s

gatekeeper contacted clients to discuss the research project and the initial volunteers recruited

friends and family members to participate in this research study. All the volunteer

participants did meet the selection criteria. The purposive sampling criteria include low-

income adults willing to volunteer to share their lived experiences and expectations about

their financial acumen requiring in-depth responses to the interview and clarifying questions

(Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The sample is homogenous because the low-

income adult participants came from a single community nonprofit organization where they

attended a financial literacy program. The results of the study cannot be projected to the

entire low-income adult population because of the non-random selection, but could provide

trends which can be further researched.

Informed Consent

The research design, additionally, requires researchers to be ethically responsible to

protect the participants’ rights of privacy (Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The

initial ethically responsibility comes during the assembly of study participants. The process

began with informing members of the population of the opportunity to volunteer to

participate and the right to withdraw from continuing with participation at any time without

recourse came from two documents distributed to possible volunteers an informational flyer

and an informed consent form.

A flyer explaining the research was distributed to inform possible participants about

how an individual can voluntarily sign up for an interview, and included a description of an

incentive for participation (see Appendix B). The incentive for participation was considered

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important to increase participation from the low-income population (Weiss & Bailar, 2002).

If the number of respondents to the flyer did not result in enough volunteers, a secondary

method of snowballing was planned to be carried out until data saturation was met.

Individuals when inquiring about participation received an informed consent form to

review. Creswell (2009) explains that informed consent provides a document to participants

of a study which contains the reason for the study, expectations of the participants, and the

possible risks the participants may encounter. Participants were informed that there would

be no penalty for any unanswered questions; therefore, participants could make an informed

decision to participate voluntarily (Creswell, 2009; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). Participants

could also determine later, before the results have been published, to withdraw their

interview statements. If that occurred, the information from said participant would have been

removed from the data analysis, and the interview transcriptions shredded and interview

taped erased and destroyed.

The informed consent form was given twice: first at the time of inquiring about

participation, then at the beginning of the interview to read and sign. Appendix C has the

consent form. The informed consent forms will be kept in a secured file maintained for

documentation to fulfill research requirements of holding source documents for three years,

after which all documents will be shredded.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality confers the right to privacy of each participant (Creswell, 2012; Leedy

& Ormrod, 2010). Creswell (2012) explains that qualitative research studies invade privacy

when probing personal backgrounds, behaviors, and beliefs. Ensuring participants’ privacy,

therefore, through confidentiality agreements with researchers and research assistants and

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protecting participants’ identities with pseudonyms supports ethical research. Participants in

this study selected a pseudonym at the beginning of the interview. The pseudonyms are on

the informed consent forms and locked away for the prescribed three years at which time all

documentation will be destroyed.

Institutional Review Board

To further ensure the protection of the study’s participants, the University of Phoenix

required the submission of an application for human subject research. The application was

submitted to the University of Phoenix Institutional Review Board to review the study’s

classification for participants, the purpose of the study, and the selection process of

participants. The evaluation of the application determined this research project’s design

acceptable in maintaining the rights of the participants.

Geographic Location

Weiss and Bailar (2002) documented that the challenge to engaging low-income

populations in research is access. To overcome the challenge required identifying and

accessing low-income populations in environments where low-income adult populations

were comfortable. This study overcame the challenge by connecting through a nonprofit

agency located in the community offering services that included a financial literacy program.

The program director volunteered to act as a gatekeeper. The nonprofit program staff’s care

and consideration has made the organization highly respected in the community. The

staffing support for the research study and the program director accepting the gatekeeper

position was reflected in some in-depth interview responses because the gatekeeper

suggested that clients with verbal skills voluntarily participate in the study.

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The interviews occurred between the researcher and participants at the nonprofit

community organization location or at the participant’s residence. Each interview was taped

with the consent of the interviewee to ensure all the data collected became available for

analysis. The use of the nonprofit community organization location required a signed

premises consent form (Creswell, 2009). A copy of the premises consent form is in

Appendix D. The data provided by the interviews, when analyzed, uncovered some unique

and novel approaches to increase financial literacy program participation for low-income

populations.

Data Collection

Qualitative research data collection follows five steps as outlined by Creswell (2012).

Researchers first identify participants who can provide the data for the research and sites that

can provide access to a population of participants. The second step is when the researcher

acquires the necessary site permissions to have access to a participant population. The third

step is when the researcher assesses the characteristics of the population, the resources of the

site, and the needs of the study to determine the type of data that can be collected. The fourth

step is when the researcher designs and develops the data collection forms for documentation

that eases the retrieval of data for analysis. The final step encompasses the entire data

collection process requiring the need to proceed in an ethical manner.

Moustakas’s (1994) method for collecting data ensures ethical responsibility.

Moustakas’s qualitative transcendental phenomenology approach requires the researcher to

engage in epoche, the setting aside of beliefs, prejudgments, and prior knowledge,

approaching the data collection with a naïve openness to be receptive to the participant’s

voice. Qualitative research data collected from a small purposive sample size provides the

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examination of data for nuances to understand the issue in context, giving the participants a

chance for their voices to be heard (Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). This study

researched the perceptions and expectations of low-income adults toward financial literacy

by applying Creswell’s five steps for qualitative data collection procedures and applying

Moustakas’s (1994) transcendental phenomenology four step approach to the preparation of

the researcher mindset.

Following Creswell’s first step for data collection, this study identified the need for

low-income participants and the challenge became determining sites to access the low-

income population. Weiss and Bailar (2002) reported why access to low-income adult

populations is difficult to engage in research projects: the lack of telephones, it is hard to

engage them because they are suspicious of strangers, and they’re a transient population.

The topic of financial literacy created an additional problem; people feel discussions of

money and money behaviors are taboo (Atwood, 2012; Lowrance, 2011; Trachtman, 2008).

To overcome the lack of access to low-income adults and the financial literacy topic

required determining sites where low-income people felt comfortable to divulge financial

thoughts and behaviors. Low-income status therefore can be confirmed through site

documentation and can set the stage for the comfortable participation by the low-income

adults. The researcher contacted potential sites in order to determine the availability of a

financial literacy program and the need for premises consent. Once a nonprofit organization

willing to cooperate was located, the researcher arranged for premises consent [Appendix E]

to meet step two for data collection.

Step three began with developing a relationship with the program director and

determining the site resources. Creating a relationship with the program director, thereby

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enlisting a gatekeeper, presented the researcher with access to participants who were willing

to divulge sensitive personal information by maintaining participant privacy and

confidentiality from the initial interaction (Creswell, 2012). The data collected consisted of

the in-depth personal perceptions and expectations of financial literacy from low-income

adults through taped interviews and access to site information to confirm income levels of

participants. Participants selected the site of their interview to be at the nonprofit site or their

residence to provide an atmosphere where the participant would be comfortable discussing

their financial literacy perceptions and expectations.

Step four refers to preparing for data collection reflected both on the researcher as the

main instrument for the study and the researcher’s tool the interview. The researcher

prepared for the interviews using Moustakas’s (1994) transcendental phenomenology four

step approach and which also encompassed Creswell’s step five. Development of the

researcher’s tool follows.

The categories of qualitative data contain observations, interviews, questionnaires,

documents, and audiovisual materials were reviewed in relation to the study’s need and

participant’s desires for confidentiality enabled the researcher to determine that taped

interviews and documents would suffice (Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The

interviews were taped for transcription with the permission of the participant. The

transcriptionist had no information about the participant because the taping of the interview

only recorded the participant’s pseudonym. The transcriptionist also signed a non-disclosure

agreement [Appendix D]. The transcribed interviews were the basis for the research

analysis.

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Data saturation occurred with 20 participants (Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod,

2010). The interviews included using pseudonyms for the participants, which met the needs

of the participants for confidentiality, and fulfilled the data requirements of obtaining in-

depth personal responses. The interview question development included steps for construct

validity and ethical consideration, and the questions were pilot-tested (Creswell, 2012).

The data collection process of interviews, site documentation, along with the

qualitative research design and techniques achieved the purpose of the study. The study’s

purpose was to determine the perceptions and expectations of financial literacy for low-

income adults to increase the population’s participation in financial literacy programs.

Instrumentation

The primary instrumentation in a qualitative study is the researcher (Creswell, 2012;

Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2011; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The tool employed by the researcher

was the interview. To validate the researcher’s tool of the interview required evaluating the

interview questions ability to gather the intended information. To measure the interview

questions’ validity comes through pilot testing the interview questions (Leedy & Ormrod,

2010).

The pilot test of the interview questions ensued with interviewing two possible

participants to answer the questions so the researcher could determine whether or not the

participants felt that the questions were clear and unambiguous. One pilot test of the

interview questions occurred at the nonprofit organization site and the other at the residence

of the participant. An interview at setting provided information about the participant’s

comfort and followed the same procedures planned for the formal interview including getting

a signed participant consent form and taping the interview for transcription. The results from

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the pilot test provided information to revise the interview questions or setting before the

formal interviews began (Etchegaray & Fischer, 2011). The interview question development

follows, including information about instrument construct, ethical responsibility to

participants, and pilot testing the questions to support the study’s validity and reliability.

Interview question development. The interview question development provided for

the basis of the study’s validity and reliability. The interviews provided the opportunity for

participants to give in-depth responses to questions developed and answer the study’s central

research question (Creswell, 2012). The questions initially requested demographic

information to confirm that the participants met the selection criteria, followed by open-

ended questions to answer the study’s central research question (see Appendix E). The open-

ended questions were developed through information obtained during the literature review to

connect to the question construct validity, and the questions were reviewed by external

experts and pilot tested for validity and reliability.

The interview questions in Appendix E mix the sub-questions categories of personal

financial literacy, financial literacy program results, and personal thoughts on how to

increase participation in financial literacy programs. The questions’ order mixes the

construct categories to provide interviewees the opportunity to divulge experiences from

different viewpoints, adding to the richness of the data. Some questions have follow-up

probing questions. The need for clarifying and elaborating questions depended on the

participants’ initial answers. The probing questions, therefore, were inserted by the

researcher when deemed necessary.

The questionnaire design prior to the expert review and the pilot study is outlined

below. The questions to ascertain the interviewee’s first sub-question category of self-

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reported personal financial literacy are questions two, three, four, five, eight, nine, and eleven

(Appendix E). The responses to the questions about the participants’ expectations from the

financial literacy program indicated what they wanted to learn and reflected personal

financial literacy aptitude. A listing of items about which they still want more information

provided information for increasing the scope of the financial literacy curricula and

enhancing personal financial aptitude.

Data collection on the financial literacy program expectation, the second of the three

sub-question categories, included probing questions for elaboration on personal financial

literacy, questions three, five, seven, and eleven (Appendix E). These responses could have

established expected financial literacy knowledge transfers. Question eight, “What new

concepts/information about financial matters was presented to you in the learning modules?”,

relates to both personal financial aptitude and knowledge transferred during the financial

literacy program. Questions six, ten, twelve, and thirteen asked the study participants to

evaluate the financial literacy program based on thoughts about missing information,

including; whether they practice what they learned, and what they liked best and least.

The third category of personal thoughts on how to increase participation in financial

literacy programs can be found in the first and last questions (Appendix E). The first

question links to the marketing of the financial literacy program to learn the how, when, and

where the low-income adult became aware of the program. The final question directly asks

the participant what they believe could increase participation in the program.

Together the various responses answered the central research question: What are

low-income adults’ perceptions and expectations concerning financial literacy?; and, the sub-

questions that support the central research question of (1) “What do you feel is your financial

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literacy aptitude?”, (2) “What are your reactions to the financial literacy program?”, and (3)

“What should be done to increase participation in the financial literacy program?”

The researcher conducted a pilot study of the interview questions developed to

increase the validity and reliability of the questions (Creswell, 2012). Etchegaray and

Fischer (2011) outlined the steps for a pilot study. The steps required a review of the

questions by experts in the field of the study. The questions were reviewed by three local

experts one with research design experience and the other two experts with experience in

working with low-income adults. Once the questions were deemed acceptable, two

participants were chosen to answer the questions. This step is the pilot test or the cognitive

interview. The two chosen participants followed the initial interview protocol design. The

participants were formally interviewed starting with discussing the research, asking for their

consent, and answering each interview question. When answering the questions, they were

prompted to describe what they thought when answering the question and were asked to

identify anything confusing. Any questions that arose during the cognitive interview

required changing protocol for the interview, whether it was the setting or the questions. The

responses from the pilot participants were not used as part of the study results.

To increase the volunteer participation rate, an incentive was suggested (Creswell,

2012; Weiss & Bailar, 2002). Participants in the pilot study and the research study received

an incentive of a $25 gift card from a local store, when the interview was completed. The

results of the pilot test yielded information useful for revising the interview questions before

initiating the study, increasing the study’s validity and reliability. Participants of the research

study who attended the study’s results presentation had a chance in a drawing to win a $100

gift card.

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Validity and Reliability

Validity and reliability measurement tasks support the quality of research. Validity in

quantitative research differs from the measures of validity in qualitative research.

Quantitative research confirms or disconfirms prior research for validity. Qualitative validity

equates to truthfulness and authenticity of the measurement instrument (Leedy & Ormrod,

2010). Qualitative research conclusions attempt to generate new possibilities and create

dialogue concerning the phenomenon studied (Creswell, 2012). Creswell indicates the term

validity in quantitative research as measured in statistical language and validity is evaluated

by triangulation, member checking, and external audit in qualitative research (Creswell,

2012).

Reliability in research refers to consistency and dependability of the data. The nature

of qualitative research relies on data consistency and dependability to discover themes to

understand a phenomenon. The process of data analysis requires the reading and

interpretation of participants’ perceptions and behaviors recorded during the interview to

uncover trends and patterns that emerge (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). These trends and patterns

can then answer the central research questions to develop recommendations to increase

participation of low-income adults in financial literacy programs. The following sections

outline the steps taken to ensure validity and reliability that provides a defensible and

meaningful conclusion for this study (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).

Internal validity. The qualitative internal validation process includes credibility and

authenticity to eliminate other possible reasons for the results of the study (Creswell, 2012;

Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). Creswell’s (2012) methods for internal validation include

triangulation, negative confirmation, member checking, and prolonged engagement. The

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data collection took place in the Fall of 2012 with the researcher present onsite beginning in

the Spring of 2012. The researcher’s extended presence built trust among participants and

supported the concept of prolonged engagement. Interviews continued until data saturation

occurred. Triangulation of data obtained could not occur without further research, however,

because the study is making inquiries to discover themes which document why low-income

adults attended a financial literacy program. Negative confirmation and member checking

happened within a focus group debriefing of the study.

External validity. Aspects of qualitative external validity control the extent the

research finding can be generalized to other populations (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).

Creswell’s (2012) methods for external validation include peer collaboration, researcher bias,

and a final report thick with details including participant’s selection characteristics, and

external audits. Peer collaboration took place, involving an evaluation of the interview

questions by an expert panel of financial literacy providers and the host community

organization directors familiar with the low-income community in Danbury, Connecticut.

Researcher bias relates to the expectation that financial literacy programs do not address the

needs of the low-income population, which was bracketed out from the participants during

the interview review process. The final report’s detailed description provided information

regarding the populations’ characteristics that enable one to infer transferability to similar

populations. The dissertation process provided for external auditing of the study, further

supporting external validity.

Reliability. Qualitative studies’ references to reliability assert consistency and

dependability (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). During the interview question development, the

questions were reviewed by local financial literacy experts involved with the low-income

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adult population. To increase the reliability of this study’s developed questionnaire, a pilot

study was conducted whereby two individuals were interviewed. The participants in the pilot

study were not included as final study participants. The possibility of the Hawthorne effect,

where participants giving the researcher the expected response (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010), was

limited by the questions’ structure and lack of expected responses.

Data Analysis

The data analysis in qualitative research requires a systematic approach to the data

interpretation (Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). Following Moustakas’ (1994)

transcendental phenomenological qualitative data analysis based on Van Kaam’s (1966)

method requires seven steps in the process of extracting textual, structural data analysis to

obtain emerging themes to generate recommendations to support low-income adults’

attainment of stable financial futures. Moustakas’ (1994) seven steps to evaluate the data

include: (a) data horizonalization begins with listing out every term for every experience; (b)

the quantity of term is reduced responses, which requires the evaluation of whether the term

is necessary for understanding the experience and of whether the term can be eliminated

while maintaining the horizonalization of the data analysis; (c) remaining terms are clustered

for themes; (d) themes which are developed are validated, which requires auditing the source

documentation for the inductive and deductive reasoning, and the deletion of unsupported

themes; (e) the written documentation supports the emerging themes through the creating of

textual description from each participant; (f) the creativity, insight, and intuition of the

researcher provide for the imaginative variation and the development of the structural

essence of the experience; and (g) the synthesizing of textual and structural essence of the

experience integrates theories and develops recommendations.

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The documentation available from the site confirmed the participants’ low-income

status. The data from the interviewee responses and was analyzed to answer the central

research question of what low-income adults’ perceptions and expectations are concerning

financial literacy. The information obtained from the participants was analyzed for emerging

themes and patterns to create recommendations for financial literacy programs to engage

low-income adults so they could increase their financial literacy, thereby stabilizing their

financial futures. The data saturation process occurred during data interpretation. Each

interview was read multiple times and processed through qualitative research software

NVivo 9 ® for new and recurring themes until no new information was uncovered.

To fulfill the requirements of the study, the data from each interview question was

transcribed in its entirety from the taped interview. Then through the use of NVivo 9 ® a

qualitative research computer software, the research process of recording, storing, indexing,

sorting, and coding occurred (Creswell, 2012). The data analysis using NVivo 9 ® helped

identify emerging themes and patterns to support recommendations to develop financial

literacy programs that could increase low-income adults’ financial literacy. Other data

analysis techniques in qualitative research pertaining to classical content, word count, and

domain analysis was supported through NVivo 9 ®. The final presentation of the data

analysis emerged with the results including written conclusions and visual presentations.

The transcribed taped interviews are provided in Appendix G.

Summary

Chapter 3 depicts the phenomenological qualitative research methodology for this

study. Transcendental phenomenology approach provided the opportunity to ascertain low-

income adults’ perceptions and expectations toward financial literacy. The research results

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led to novel recommendations to develop financial literacy program curricula to increase

participation, hence financial literacy. The small purposive sample size is reflective of a

phenomenological research study method to collect data limiting the projection of this

study’s conclusions (Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The final report’s detailed

description and use of NVivo 9 ®, however, provided information regarding the populations’

characteristics that could infer transferability to other populations and present information

necessary for replication.

Chapter 4 presents the participants’ in-depth experiences and expectations concerning

financial literacy. The analysis of the data collected includes the details of the interview pilot

study and interviews from the study’s participants as outlined in Chapter 3.

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Chapter 4

Results

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to ascertain the perceptions and

expectations of low income adults regarding financial literacy to increase participation in

financial literacy programs. The data collected by interviews of low income adults resulted

in making recommendations, found in chapter 5, to modify a financial literacy program’s

marketing and curriculum. The qualitative approach chosen followed Moustakas’ (1994)

transcendental phenomenological qualitative data analysis based on Van Kaam’s (1966)

method that required seven steps in data analysis to obtain emerging themes and generate

recommendations to support low-income adults’ attainment of stable financial futures. The

steps taken provided the systematic approach to the data interpretation and gave the

participants the opportunity to have their voices heard (Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod,

2010). Chapter 4 presents the results generated in this phenomenological qualitative research

study. The chapter sections include discussions on the (a) study’s population and sampling,

(b) validity and reliability procedures, (c) data collection process, (d) data analysis process,

and (e) results of the analysis.

Population and Sampling

The study’s population consisted of 1,300 registered families with approximately 30

percent representing low-income families from a nonprofit organization in southern, New

England. Participation was limited to adults in the population earning less than thirty

thousand dollars annually and who attended a financial literacy program module or modules

available at the nonprofit organization. The purposive sample selection of 20 voluntary

participants initially came from respondents to a flyer distributed at the nonprofit

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organization’s site. Consistent with prior studies, access to attendees from prior financial

literacy classes offered at the nonprofit site proved difficult because contact information

available from mailing addresses and phone numbers were no longer valid (Servon &

Kaestner, 2008; Spader et al., 2009; Weiss & Bailar, 2002; Zhan et al., 2009). Therefore,

using the snowballing sampling technique (Creswell, 2012), the initial respondents referred

other candidates to attend additional financial literacy classes offered through the nonprofit

organization.

Validity and Reliability

Validity and reliability measurement tasks support the quality of research.

Qualitative validity equates to truthfulness and authenticity of the measurement instrument

(Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). Qualitative research conclusions attempt to generate new

possibilities and create dialogue concerning the phenomenon studied (Creswell, 2012).

Reliability in research refers to consistency and dependability of data. Procedures were

followed to assure participants that their responses would be kept confidential, which

enhanced the reliability of their responses. The procedures include the researcher reviewing

the confidentiality statement with the participant before the participant signed the document

and the participant also created a personal pseudonym to use during the interviews. The

pseudonym served as the moniker for the interview transcription and the reference to the

participant in the research report.

The processing of the data analysis required the interpretation of the participants’

perceptions and behaviors recorded during the interview through multiple readings and

listening to the taped interviews to uncover trends and patterns that emerged pertaining to the

phenomenon (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). These trends and patterns addressed the central

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research question which was, What are low-income adults’ perceptions and expectations

concerning financial literacy?, and identified the basic themes from which recommendations

were developed to increase the participation of low-income adults in financial literacy

programs. The use of external experts, a pilot study, and member checking for this study

were taken to enhance validity and reliability in order to yield creditable, defensible, and

meaningful recommendations for this investigation (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010).

External experts. Following the receipt of the research study’s approval, the

researcher contacted local experts to review the interview questionnaire. Three area external

experts working with low income adults in the Danbury, Connecticut area reviewed the

interview questionnaire in Appendix F for clarity, leading questions, and possible bias. The

interview questionnaire was given to each of the experts on September 24, 2012 with a

request to submit comments back to the researcher by October 10, 2012. The comments

from the local area experts provided face and external validity (Creswell, 2012). Changes to

the questionnaire occurred due to some clarity and sensitivity comments. The revised

questionnaire became the basis of the pilot study.

Pilot study. A pilot study increases validity and reliability by evaluating the

credibility of the research instrument which is the basis for the data collection (Creswell,

2009; 2012). The pilot study purposes include: (a) to determine the clarity and appropriateness

of the questions, (b) to determine whether the questions would result in meaningful responses,

and (c) to draw conclusions about the impact of the study from the perspective of the possible

research participants (Creswell, 2009). To increase the volunteer participation rate, an

incentive as suggested by Creswell (2012) and Weiss and Bailar (2002), was distributed to

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the participants in both the pilot study and the research study. The incentive, a $25 gift card

to a local store, was given at the completion of the interview.

The first pilot test participant was interviewed on October 15, 2012 and the second

participant was interviewed on October 19, 2012. The participants met the study criteria of

having an income of less than thirty thousand dollars per year and having attended a financial

literacy program module. The feedback from the pilot interview led the researcher to change the

order of the interview questions and led the researcher to conclude that a face-to-face request that

the participant provide his or her income level was not likely to be answered. The need to verify

income level required a change to confirm that the participants’ income levels were less than

thirty thousand annually. The results of the pilot test therefore yielded information which

increased the study’s validity and reliability.

The two pilot study participants’ responses were not included in the compilation of

the research study data. However, the pilot study results required the rearrangement of the

order of the interview questions. The rearrangement of the interview questions revised which

interview questions correlated to which of the three sub-question category constructs. Two

questions, six and nine, combined the constructs of both personal financial literacy and

financial literacy programs. The other interview questions related to the personal financial

literacy construct included three, four, five, seven, eight, and ten. In addition to questions six

and nine, questions one and eleven linked to the financial literacy programs construct. The

information for the third construct – increase participation in financial literacy programs

connected to questions two and twelve. Appendix F2 provides final revised interview

questionnaire employed during the formal interview.

Member checking. Member checking provided validation of the study’s findings

(Creswell, 2012). The researcher invited all twenty of the study’s participants to a gathering

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that presented and discussed the study’s findings. Fifteen percent (three) of the participants

attended the gathering: all agreed with the accuracy of the findings and considered the

recommendations realistic for reaching the target audience. Non-attendees received emails

inviting them to review the study’s findings. Twenty-four percent (four) of these participants

contacted the researcher by phone to discuss the findings and confirmed the accuracy of the

findings and the realistic approach with the recommendations.

Data Collection Process

Twenty interviews occurred for the study’s data collection and were conducted from

October 21 to December 3, 2012. The scheduling of the interviews indicated a solution to

one of the challenges of engaging low income adults identified by Weiss and Bailar (2002)

their suspicion of strangers. Two participants scheduled their interviews during their regular

attendance at the nonprofit site. The remaining participants scheduled their interviews when

other people they knew would be in attendance for interviews, even though they would need

to wait while the each person was interviewed. Attendance with other participants required

the participants to coordinate work schedules, thereby increasing the time-frame of the

interviews. The interviews occurred at either the nonprofit organization site or at the

residence of the participant, depending on the participant’s request.

Demographic information. The twenty participants met the initial requirements of

income under thirty thousand and attended a financial literacy program offered through the

nonprofit site involved in the research project. Additional demographic information collected

on the participants included gender, age, the number of people 18 and over in the household,

the number of people under 18 in the household, if the participant had any bank accounts,

and the type of bank accounts. Table 1 below identifies the sample’s gender and age cohorts.

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Table 2 provides household population information. Table 3 specifies the bank accounts of

the participants.

Six participants were male with five, 18 to 25 years in age and one, 36 to 50 years in age.

Fourteen participants were female with seven 18 to 25 years in age, five 26 to 35 in age, and

two 36 to 50 years in age.

Table 2

Household Population

# of participants

Children

With 10

Without 10

Adults

1 6

2 7

3 –

4 2

5 –

6 4

7 1

Table 1

Sample

Age Female Male

18 to 25 7 5

26 to 35 5 –

36 to 50 2 1

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Adults and children

1 2

2 5

3 4

4 2

5 –

6 5

7 2

Half of the participants (ten) have children in their households. Thirty percent (six of

the twenty participants) have a single adult and 35% (seven) have four or more adults in their

households. Ten percent (two) of the participants’ households have only an adult.

Table 3

Types of Bank

Accounts

# of
participants

None 4

Savings only 1

Checking and savings 15

Twenty percent (four) of the participants do not have a bank account, while the

remaining participants have established a savings account or savings and checking accounts.

Data Analysis Process

The participants’ interviews were taped and professionally transcribed. The

researcher cross checked the transcription to the interview tapes. The transcriptions of the

recordings created the data used in the analysis. The transcriptionist did not know the names

of the study’s participants, providing anonymity to the participants. The participants selected

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their own pseudonyms used during the interview sessions. The transcribed taped interviews

are provided in an Appendix G.

The data analysis followed Moustakas’ (1994) transcendental phenomenological

qualitative data analysis based on Van Kaam’s (1966) method of seven steps to evaluate the

data. The seven steps taken include: (a) the data horizonalization begins by listing out every

term for every experience; (b) the reduction of the quantity of terms requires the evaluation

of whether each term is necessary for understanding the experience and of whether the term

can be eliminated while maintaining the horizonalization of the data analysis; (c) the

remaining terms are clustered for themes; (d) the themes developed are validated, which

requires auditing source documentation for inductive and deductive reasoning, and the

deletion of unsupported themes; (e) the written documentation supports the emerging themes

through the creating of textual description from each participant; (f) the creativity, insight,

and intuition of the researcher provides for the imaginative variation and the development of

the structural essence of the experience; and (g) the synthesizing of the textual and structural

essence of the experience integrates the theories and develops recommendations (Moustakas,

1994). The research was completed with the use of NVivo 9 ®, a qualitative research

computer software, which provided a central location to record, store, index, sort, and code

the data. NVivo 9 ® helped identify themes and patterns in the data analysis.

The detailed description of the theme development follows in the results section and

employs the participants’ pseudonyms as the identifier to support the research ethical

boundaries for confidentiality. In Chapter Five, the themes are integrated to both Maslow’s

(1948) hierarchy of need and Prochaska’s (1979) transtheoretical model of change to develop

recommendations to complete the data analysis’ final step, the synthesizing of the textual and

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structural essence of the experience integrates the theories and develops recommendations

(Moustakas, 1994).

Results

The central research question of this study was What are low-income adults’ perceptions

and expectations concerning financial literacy? The initial analysis reviewed each interview

for three construct categories of personal financial literacy experiences, financial literacy

program expectations, and accessibility to financial literacy education. This horizontal

analysis followed the first step of Moustakas’s (1994) modified Van Kaam

phenomenological data analysis.

Multiple readings of the interviews with reductions and eliminations followed

Moustakas’ second step. The next step taken of clustering identified three themes (1)

Participant characteristics, (2) Presentation of financial literacy programs, and (3) Access to

low income adults. These themes reflect sub-themes to be considered to increase

participation in financial literacy programs by low income adults. The emergence of these

themes along with references to textual and structural support follows and is the basis for

Chapter Five.

Theme 1 – Participants’ characteristics. Participant characteristics theme emerged

from participants’ responses referring to personal descriptions of their expectations and

experiences regarding financial literacy. Inductive reasoning established two characteristics

the belief in self and current time-frame orientation. Belief in self theme reflected the

participants’ descriptions of themselves acknowledging their weaknesses and strengthens of

financial literacy, and their attempts to resolve a perceived weakness. Current time-frame

orientation derived from referrals by participants to deal with financial issues as they appear.

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Belief in self. Individual excerpts from Monster, Annastasia, and Margarita support

the belief in self by a description of personal money management habits perceived as good or

bad. Monster remarked that

I’ve never been too responsible with money and I’ve never really fallen into the negatives but

I’m always scraping by and I’m lucky enough to make my bills on time but it’s the money

that I need for myself for fun that I never have (Monster).

Annastasia responded that she hoped, “To get better knowledge on budgeting and see

where I am with my budgeting and see what can help me from this.” Margarita stated, “I

really need to fix my bills and I need to learn how to keep my money.”

Comments from John, Betty, and Paul present other references construed to a belief

in self by the identification of why the participant decided to attend a financial literacy

course. John stated, “I wanted to see what it was about and to learn more about the program

and to see how to save money better.” Betty responded, “It sounded like a good opportunity

to learn about budgeting.” Paul replied, “I didn’t see anything wrong with learning new

ideas and concepts with financial literacy and budgeting.”

All the participants answered a question asking to rate themselves regarding their

financial literacy without clearly defining financial literacy. The responses therefore, are

limited to the individuals’ perception of financial literacy. For instance, Monster

commented that

I don’t really follow the plan I set down but I don’t have the will power to go through with it.

This program has given me a little bit more of an understanding and before I was at a 7 and

now I am at about an 8 (Monster).

Wetgrass observed that,

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Before the program I would say a 5 and now I would probably say a 6 or 7. I feel like only a

5 because if it were higher than that I would have a lot of money saved up and I would not

need to take this class, but now I do have a better grasp on things I can do to save money

(Wetgrass).

Raptor explained his rating in this way

Before the program I had an educated guess on everything and now I know I have more of a

direction on steps that other people take to do things and that always helps, having a guide

behind everything. My rating of myself before would be a 4 but now would be a 7 or an 8

(Raptor).

The participants’ response about the clarity of the financial literacy program clearly

stated they understood the concepts being taught. Holly Berry responded “Yes, they were

clear.” Belle stated, “Absolutely.” Raptor replied, “Yes, to me it was very clear.”

Current time-frame orientation. Current time-frame orientation is captured by

responses that infer a time period of less than ninety days. The current time-frame

orientation impacted directly on the participation of financial literacy programs as noted by

the attendance records at the research site and participant responses to the question about

interest in other financial literacy modules. Ninety-five percent (19 of the 20) of the study

participants were interested in taking other modules, not all modules, and not in the order

presented by the financial literacy program offered at research site.

The participants’ responses generally indicated the modules for future attendance

centered on financial knowledge wanted at the present time. Belle explained that, “I wanted

to look into the Your Credit module because there are some issues with my credit and I

would like to rebuild it.” Chester stated, “…the two that I would be most interested in are

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Loan to Own and Your Own Home because for myself the next big investment that I want to

make is owning my own home.” Sarah replied that “Pay Yourself First sounds really

interesting because I run my money like crazy and I need to constantly save more money for

myself.” One participant Oil Man referenced wanting to learn about savings to support his

daughter’s college education and the child’s due date is in January 2013, “The money

building so that I could try to put money aside for a college education for my daughter before

she gets here and by the time she turns 18.”

After responding to which other financial literacy modules they would be interested

in attending, the participants were then asked why they did not want to attend the other

modules. The participant responses support a current time-frame orientation theme. Lee

replied, “Not now… but maybe I would take them at a later time.” Wetgrass stated, “I know

stuff about banks and information on banking and understanding credit cards and how to use

them, so I feel that the one I chose are the ones that I would need help with.” Betty said,

Well the Charge it Right I don’t really use credit cards so that would not be one I would

attend. The Loan to Own I don’t know if I would need that at this time because I don’t know

that I would be taking out any loans at this time or in the near future (Betty).

The request on current money management style resulted with 75% of the

respondents divulging information that correlates to the current time-frame orientation sub-

theme. The money management style descriptions were grouped into sub-sections within the

sub-theme of current time-frame orientation that included; here and now, self-sabotage, and

savers. The Here and Now sub-section within the sub-theme of current time-frame

orientation can be identified through Chester, Jane, and Snow White. Chester described

himself as “…a paycheck by paycheck person.” Jane’s commented that “I never actually

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stop to think about how I spent my money I just spent it as I went.” Snow White replied, “I

am one of those frequent spenders. I go into the stores and if I see something, even if it is not

on my list I buy it.”

The Self-Sabotage characteristic sub-section was derived from participants’

comments that budgeting can be difficult. Annastasia remarked that “I get unnecessary

things with my savings stash that I dig into. I have a good budget plan but I still dip into that

money that I want to save.” Paul commented that “I try to budget but I could definitely steer

out of temptations here and there.” Juliet explained her bad habit

Pretty much at this point I just have all of my money going into one bank account and I

forget it until I need to make a payment and then I take it out but then as soon as I see how

much I have. I say I have a lot of money in there. I spend a little more because I saved a little

more, which in turn makes all my savings go away (Juliet).

The remaining 25% of the participants were labeled as savers within in the sub-theme of

current time-frame orientation. One respondent indicated that she was not always low

income by her story on savings. Angelina spoke about how her savings have helped her

since she became unemployed.

I do save but then there are times when I have to go into it for a reason but I have had savings

where I have been able to live off of it for a whole year …My financial situation or bills etc.,

is more than my income at this time, so me it is hard to budget. I have always been a saver, I

have a savings to buy what I want and then I have a long term savings where I know I am

going to need this in the long run (Angelina).

Specific characteristics of belief in self and current time-frame orientation represent

sub-themes of the first theme, participant characteristics. Participant characteristics identify

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personality traits of low income adults. These sub-themes are the components of theme one

interpretation in chapter five.

Theme 2 – Presentation of financial literacy programs. The second theme, the

presentation of financial literacy programs, uncovered the participants’ expectations and

perceptions for taking a financial literacy class. The presentation of financial literacy theme

contains three sub-themes. The first sub-theme titled, information wanted gathered what

information participants found relevant. The second sub-theme, presentation style pulled

together the participants’ preferences on how the information was delivered. The third sub-

theme, environment of financial literacy classes assembled class environment details favored

by the participants, which they considered helpful with their learning. Learning the

participants’ expectations provided information to modify financial literacy program

curricula and locations to meet the wants and needs of the program’s intended audience.

Information Wanted. What information for a financial literacy programs comprises

of the general consensus noted from the participants regarding wants, needs, and expectations

for attending a financial literacy program. The details underlying the concept of what should

be presented in financial literacy modules reflect the attitudes of participants who attended a

single financial literacy module on budgeting. Specific sub-sections included money

management and available support. The sub-section of money management was found in

selected responses from Chester, Jane, John, and Betty. Chester’s response was that,

The biggest thing I expected to learn obviously was management of money and how to

divide up spending and also the idea of how to be able to compromise what you don’t need

all the time versus what you do need, in terms of you don’t need to eat out twice a week, or

go out to buy new toys or new video, or sports equipment etc. (Chester).

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Jane replied that “I was just hoping to learn different ways to keep track of money.”

John stated his expectation “I expected that I would learn more banking and financial and

more about saving money.” Betty said,

I liked learning about the different ways to budget your money more for things that you want

versus the things that you need and how you can eliminate the wants if your needs are more

important and putting those above the wants (Betty).

Expectations to receive information on methods to managed money are supported by

5 selected participants’ responses. Belle responded that “How to organize my money issues.

Maybe an example of the spreadsheets…” Raptor said,

I just wanted to learn more of a guideline on how to save…The models for savings and

writing down expenses and everything, I had considered that in the past but I never realized

how practical it would be until it was written on paper until now so that was something that is

new to me now and I like that idea a lot (Raptor).

Margarita stated, “I wanted to learn how to better distribute my money for my bills

and pay my bills on time.” Betty answered,

Just talking about different systems of saving money, like putting it in envelopes, or you have

the option of putting it in the bank so that you do not see it, or different ways of organizing

on a calendar, or spreadsheet however you want to. I would like to start writing down more

daily of my spending habits so that I can see on paper what I am doing wrong or right

(Betty).

Jane response spoke of a budgeting technique, “The Spending Diary, so that I can see day to

day what I spend money on. I think I am going to take this page.”

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Available Support sub-section of the information wanted sub-theme emerged from

participants, who were pleased to learn of available support. Margarita happily responded,

“That there are places that can help me.” Paul stated, “Some tax credit, other information

about taxes and certain agencies that can help you out.” Annastasia expressed, “Yes, the tax

filing section, discussed who can file your taxes for free and who can file your taxes for free,

I did not know that and it was something new to me.”

Presentation style. The presentation style sub-theme falls under the presentation of

financial literacy programs theme, related to the delivery of the information when a

participant attended a financial literacy program. The participants remarked on what they

learned and what they liked best of the program and focused on simple ideas presented

clearly. The following comments textual support the key presentation items of simple ideas

and clear presentation appreciated by the study’s participants.

Participants spoke of learning new savings tips. Juliet’s, John’s, Foxy’s, and Snow

White’s responses follow. Juliet stated, “I did like the concept of using the separate account

with having and extra savings it’s a smart idea.” John replied,

Yes definitely, some of the new ones presented to me were about how I can save money with

the coupons and all the different ways to save money and financially be able to do other

things with your money and not spend it all (John).

Foxy answered, “The thing about paying yourself first, just simply before you get the

money in your hand. Just send $20 in an account and letting it build over a period of time.”

Snow White expressed, “Yes, the spreadsheets, the taxes, tax numbers and a couple of the

ideas for savings such as the list and not getting anything that is not on the list.”

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Organizing ideas were well received by the participants who expected to learn how to

organize money issues. Comments supporting organizing ideas included below are from Oil

Man, Angelina, Clint, Wetgrass, and Monster. Oil Man said, “They talked about the finance

expense and bill that you have to put away, and how you put the bill to come in at the same

time.” Angelina responded, “Yes the one where I can reschedule my bills so that they all

come in at one time.” Clint stated, “the Lemon Log”, referred an iphone application

mentioned by one of the other attendees who used Lemon Log to manage their expenses.

Wetgrass replied,

I think so, I like the expense envelop system it is a good way to not spend your money and

put them in different places and keep them separate, label them for things that you need them

for and know that you cannot take from there and then you have that money set aside and you

know what you can take from and what you can’t (Wetgrass).

Monster stated,

I would say the monthly payment calendar, although I would never really consider the

monthly aspect like daily and break it down, that was the most informative to me. It opens

the door for a yearly plan and it makes me looks towards the future rather than daily

(Monster).

Interesting financial literacy tips using technology came from participants not from

the material in the financial literacy program. The lemon log mentioned by Clint in the

organizing ideas sections was a suggestion by someone in his class. Juliet mentioned, “My

credit card limit is only up to $400 and I have an e-mail notification once I hit $200.” Raptor

explained, “…my bank every time I use my debit card it puts $1 dollar into my savings

account…”

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Another aspect of how to present the financial literacy program includes comments

from 40% (eight) of the participants about the clarity and helpfulness of the presentation

material. Textual support for clarity and helpfulness came from selected responses by Raptor,

Sarah, and Wetgrass. Raptor declared, “That it was written in a way that was easy to

understand and you don’t have to be super smart to understand money and it was simplified

so it was easy to comprehend.” Sarah commented,

What I liked the most is that it targeted me personally, because I knew exactly what was

going on and that everything that was being taught I had to take seriously and it was to help

me with my spending problem (Sarah).

Wetgrass remarked that

I liked all the different tools that I have, all the different sheets that were given to me to help

me manage my money, different worksheets like the monthly expense worksheets and the

monthly payment schedule and the monthly payment calendar. I think that will be useful in

the future (Wetgrass)

Environment of financial literacy classes. Environmental needs of a financial

literacy information session derived from comments describing class atmosphere liked by

participants. The participants’ commented on the class environment centered on small

groups which provided an atmosphere where the participants felt comfortable expressing

their thoughts. Chester’s spoke of class size begins the textual support for the environment

of financial literacy class sub-theme.

I think smaller groups work best; a big open group might make people more hesitant to ask

more questions because you don’t want to feel like you are so dumb in front of so many

people. When things are conducted in smaller groups or even a one on one session you feel

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you get a much stronger learning experience because you are directly in contact with the

person as compared to being in a big open atmosphere where there is plenty of who may

have the same question but are afraid to ask and by being a one on one you can say wait I

don’t understand or I have a question about this, can you explain that better. You will have

more clientele with larger classes but the learning experience I think will diminish (Chester).

Annastasia, Belle, Jane, and Juliet agreed about small groups,

Hearing everybody’s thoughts on what they do to save and to keep track of their money, like

the apps that they talked about, everyone had a different app as to how they saved for their

phone, on what they do and what could be helpful (Annastasia).

Belle declared, “Smaller groups are better. I would say 10 max, after that it starts to

get too loud and too many side conversations and you cannot really focus.” Jane responded,

I liked the people that I took it with because they asked questions that I couldn’t form so it

gave me more answers to questions that I couldn’t think of right away and more insight to

other things and it was described in a way that was also easy to understand (Jane).

Juliet expressed,

I liked that it wasn’t very dry course, it was fun, and I was able to understand things a little

bit better instead of just of being told to just do this, this and this, it was presented in a more

personal manner. I definitely would say a small group of people would be fine.

The presentation of financial literacy programs is the second theme and contains three

sub-themes that reflect on the participants’ wants, needs, and expectations concerning

financial literacy. The first sub-theme, information wanted, detailed information wanted

about money management and available support. The second sub-theme, presentation style,

provided guidance from participants about how to deliver the financial information with

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simple ideas clearly presented. The third sub-theme, environment of the financial literacy

class, participants requested the classes should be small.

Theme 3 – Accessing low income adults. The third theme, accessing low income

adults, extracted through the data analysis reflects the primary challenge of accessing low

income adult populations to increase participation in financial literacy programs. Questions

answered by the study participants provided possible solutions to increase participation by

low income adults in financial literacy programs. In order to increase participation of low

income adults in financial literacy programs participants’ responses were weighted toward

verbal communication (word of mouth) and focused advertisement targeting this population

group.

One hundred percent of participants attended the financial literacy program by verbal

referrals from either a family member (30%, six participants) or friend (70%, fourteen

participants). Some textual support follows. Clint said, “My friend told me about the

program.” John replied, “I learn about it from my neighbor.” Raptor commented, “I learned

about it through my roommate.” Holly explained, “I learned about it from my sister.” Lee

stated, “Through a family member.” Oil Man mentioned, “I heard about if from my cousin.”

Suggestions by participants to increase participation focused on advertising. Table 4

compiled the suggestions.

Table 4

Accessing low income adults – Participant Suggestions

Sub-themes
Sub-
sections Detail % of Respondents

Advertising

Flyers 65%

Community Centers
15%

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Schools 15%

Mall Kiosks 10%

Churches 5%

Coffee Shops 5%

In Utility Bills 5%

Tax Centers 5%

Where People Look for
Jobs 5%

Inclusions 40%

Food 10%

Interesting and
Beneficial

10%

Small Groups 10%

Child Care 5%

Weeknights 5%

Social
Media 30%

Word of
Mouth 40%

The interviewees were requested to think about marketing the financial literacy

program to attract people, like themselves, or people they perceived needed to learn financial

literacy skills. Each participant made multiple suggestions. The total percentage of

respondents therefore shown in Table 4 is greater than 100%. The results displayed in Table

4 were aggregated into two broad sub-themes from the study’s third theme: access to low

income adults. The sub-theme, Advertising generated sub-sections such as the location to

place flyers, suggested advertisement copy, and use of social media. The second sub-theme,

Word of Mouth is backed 100% by how the study participants came to attend financial

literacy program.

The subsequent quotes recorded from participants’ interviews provided textual

support of advertising. Snow White described,

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To get more people to come it depends because everyone is motivated by different courses

but if someone is going to be taking the budgeting class or something of that nature it is

because they are have money issues so the one thing that would stimulate people that are

having budgeting issues is money… post the signs in the stores and maybe even in the

papers, a lot of people flip through the paper, so that would be a good advertisement but not

where you have to spend a lot of money because obviously there are people who are

financially strapped who would benefit from taking a budgeting class. So as far as a

marketing strategy maybe you can talk to CL&P and see if you would be able to send a letter

out with the monthly electric bill and tie into some of the companies that bill people (Snow

White).

Juliet suggested,

After hearing it I’m going to put it into effect for myself and I can say look I’ve taken these

tips and use them to save money and you can do the same. If they ask how did I learn how to

do that, I can tell them that I went to these classes and they were easy, well spoken, easily

understood and you can learn a lot. I would say for something along this line I see people at

tables at certain events {mall kiosks} you can do that you can do that and do small

advertisement. Say hey, check out these modules they can help you save money or work on

your finances (Juliet).

The advertisement sub-section of inclusions listed different participant advertisement

ideas to increase participation rates. Wetgrass proposed that advertisements should mention

how individuals could benefit from a financial literacy course and that the module titles

should be revised to focus on benefits on the modules’ information

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I feel like if it is explained that this is to help people budget…I feel that they will be more

likely to take the course if they realize it is solely to benefit them and if they are going to get

tricks out of it and it will be useful so maybe explain to them how much debt people are in

and let them know that it is for their benefit. I feel like word of mouth is one of the best

advertising techniques. I’m not sure of any ways you can make it seem like it is a fun thing

but I feel like people are very into like benefiting themselves and helping themselves and if

they hear that they can get heal to save money they might be more inclined to go take the

course. Maybe make different titles for each module and make them sound more exciting and

more like they are going to benefit people (Wetgrass).

Chester impressed the need to include in financial literacy program advertisements

that classes are small and recommended that advertisements be made through social media

sites.

I think smaller groups work best; a big open group might make people more hesitant to ask

more questions because you don’t want to feel like you are so dumb in front of so many

people. When things are conducted in smaller groups or even a one on one session you feel

you get a much stronger learning experience because you are directly in contact with the

person as compared to being in a big open atmosphere where there is plenty of who may

have the same question but are afraid to ask and by being a one on one you can say wait I

don’t understand or I have a question about this, can you explain that better. You will have

more clientele with larger classes but the learning experience I think will diminish…Well of

course the one thing that probably in most age do is browse the net, so there is the basic

things of social media networking sites is always the best way to go (Chester).

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Sarah advised that word of mouth and social network advertising, explicitly Facebook

should be used. She added,

I will tell more people to come myself as well as my friends, because it has been really

beneficial to me. They might be skeptical at first but hopefully after l listening to it they will

have a better understanding. Possibly post something on the website as everyone is on the

web now-a-days. Maybe try to go on Facebook. Yes because everyone is always on it even if

it is for 5 minutes, they check updates and such. You can get many people to read it and

understand it especially all ages (Sarah).

The second sub-theme, Word of Mouth, came from 40% (eight) of the participants

but never as the only option. Lee remarked, “I guess by word of mouth. Oh, well maybe you

can visit like a church setting and hand out flyers to church members or a community center

and hand out flyers there as well”. Betty simply stated, “Word of mouth, maybe people

could tell their friends, and you can put up flyers in schools, banks or community centers”.

Raptor suggested both word of mouth and to advertise where people look for jobs.

Well, I think word of mouth couldn’t hurt and obviously advertising is big and maybe

placing ads in papers or maybe on job websites that is one thing I realize that when I am

looking for a job I am always worried about my finances as well, so perhaps something like

that may help some more people that are working or are not working but they are looking for

a new job so they can see that they can come take a class like this (Raptor).

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The results showed verbal communication from either friend or family made the

participants’ attend of the program. Participants’ suggestions included verbal

communication (word of mouth), place advertisement in locations where low income adult

population congregates, and that advertisement should focus on benefits to audience.

Summary

Chapter 4 began with the documentation of the data collection process to ensure the

occurrence of ethical procedures throughout the research, which included the validation of

the research instrument through external experts and a pilot study. The objective of chapter 4

included the presentation of themes generated from analyzing the responses from the

research participants. The themes represent categories to base curricula and marketing

platform changes to increase participation in financial literacy programs.

Theme one, participants’ characteristics identified two sub-themes of low income

adults’ personality traits: belief in self and current time-frame orientation. Theme two

reflects on the presentation of financial literacy programs acknowledging the participants’

wants, needs, and expectations. Sub-themes within the presentation of financial literacy

programs include information wanted, presentation style, and environment of the financial

literacy class. The third theme, access to low income adults, resulted in two sub-themes:

advertisement and word of mouth. The multiple suggestions by participants’ to increase

participation in financial literacy classes are outlined in table 4 listed under the sub-themes of

word of mouth and advertisement.

The three themes are connected to the research theoretical framework in chapter 5

and support the recommendations listed in chapter 5 in response to the central research

question of, What are low-income adults’ perceptions and expectations concerning financial

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literacy?, to increase participation of low income adult financial literacy programs. Chapter

5 contains the findings, limitations, and the recommendations derived from this study.

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Chapter 5

Conclusions and Recommendations

The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to ascertain and interpret the

experiences and future financial expectations of low-income adults in Danbury, Connecticut

to increase attendance in financial literacy programs. Financial literacy programs for low-

income adults in the United States are designed for basic financial management to guide

participants into mainstream financial services (Curley, Ssewamala, & Sherraden, 2009;

Lyons & Neelakantan, 2008; Lyons & Scherpf, 2004; Servon & Kaestner, 2008; Zhan,

Anderson, & Scott, 2009) and to decrease their vulnerability to predatory lenders and

reliance on welfare programs (Chang & Lyons, 2008; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

[FDIC], 2009; Lim, DeJohn, & Murray, 2012; Wilson, 2012). Financial literacy programs

available through government agencies and financial institutions, however, have low levels

of participation (Chang & Lyons, 2008; Servon & Kaestner, 2008; Spader, Ratliffe,

Montoya, & Skillern, 2009).

This study explored the participants’ reactions to a financial literacy program

regarding whether the financial literacy program provided them with the knowledge and

skills to meet their personal financial literacy needs. The unique perspective of

understanding the financial literacy program participation of low-income adults from a

community nonprofit organization provided insights to develop financial literacy programs,

discovered new measurements of financial literacy education effectiveness, and uncovered

possible methods for increasing participation.

The research method of this study involved a small sample size of 20 interviews of

low-income adults and is reflective of the phenomenological research design used to collect

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data about personal experiences (Creswell, 2012; Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The data

collection occurred between October 20, 2012 and December 4, 2012. The data analysis

followed Moustakas’ s (1994) modified Van Kaam’s seven steps for phenomenological

research studies.

Chapter 5 presents the results of the study’s themes in conjunction with Maslow’s

(1948) hierarchy of needs and Proschaska’s (1979) transtheoretical model of change to

understand human behaviors that affect personal behavioral change in relation to personal

financial knowledge development. The intent of this chapter is to present and interpret

findings drawn from the analysis of data. The chapter includes limitations and delimitations,

a discussion on the findings overarching themes; the significance of the study’s conclusions

and resulting implications, and recommendations for future research and financial literacy

program marketing and curricula changes to increase low-income adults’ participation in

financial literacy programs.

Limitations

Limitations to the study reflected availability of participants, honesty of the

participants regarding their financial literacy perceptions and expectations, the attendance of

a single financial literacy program module, the use of a transcriptionist, and geographic

restrictions. Weiss and Bailar (2002) explained that low-income adults’ lack of participation

in research studies comes from various factors, such as no telephone service, frequent moves,

language barriers, transitory nature, and often suspicion of strangers.

Participation in the study through interviews was supported by the nonprofit

organization’s gatekeeper and the use of the snowballing technique. The gatekeeper

maintained regular contact with low-income adults (Creswell, 2012; Weiss & Bailar, 2002).

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The use of snowballing was required because of the transitional nature of low income

populations and makes it difficult to follow up with the low-income participant population to

determine whether or not the participants made changes in their behaviors as assumed by

Proschaska’s (1979) second stage of contemplation.

Interview participation was voluntary, and participation resulted in a $25 gift card for

a local grocery store to increase response rates (Creswell, 2012; Weiss & Bailar, 2002).

Participants’ were only required to attend a single financial literacy program module, because

attendance records from the site gatekeeper showed a lack of attendance in a five module

financial literacy program. The interview’s open- and closed-ended questions were reviewed

by local financial literacy experts and the questions were revised. The pilot study required

additional revisions to the interview questions which increased the study’s validity and

reliability. To encourage participation in member checking gathering to review the research

recommendations, a raffle of a $100 gift card was included.

The use of a transcriptionist to document the interviews could be perceived as a

decrease in time the researcher could be immersed in the data. The skill of the

transcriptionist confirmed by the researcher, however, provided the researcher’s with more

time to effectively immerse herself in the data by listening and reading the interviews

necessary for interpretation of data.

The recommended curriculum additions could be applied to the target population to

increase participation in financial literacy programs not generalized to low-income

populations because opportunities and barriers reflect local environments. The study could

be replicated by other local organizations concerned with understanding the needs of their

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service population. The study provided new strategies, however, to increase attendance in

financial literacy programs.

Conclusions for Research Question

The central research question of, What are low-income adults’ perceptions and

expectations concerning financial literacy?, led the current study. The interpretation of the

data resulted in finding behavioral attitudes of low-income adults regarding attendance in

financial literacy programs. The findings revealed the study’s low-income adults’

perceptions of financial literacy and marketing ideas of financial literacy programs through

three interview constructs: of personal financial literacy, financial literacy programs, and

increase participation in financial literacy program. The data collected from the constructs

resulted in three themes.

Theme one, participants’ characteristics, provides information about two attributes:

sub-themes (1) the belief in self, and (2) current time-frame orientation. Theme two,

presentation of financial literacy program, reflects the participants’ described wants, needs,

and expectations from financial literacy programs. The three sub-themes resulted (1)

information wanted, (2) presentation style, and (3) environment of financial literacy classes.

Theme three, access to low income adults, resulted in two sub-themes (1) word of mouth and

(2) advertisement.

The themes were evaluated using both Maslow’s (1948) hierarchy of needs and

Proschaska’s (1979) transtheoretical model of change. Maslow’s motivation theory,

hierarchy of needs, describes an individual’s character growth. Character growth develops

from the fulfillment of lower-level needs before advancing to the next higher level of need.

The levels of needs, or stages, are physiological, security (safety), social (belongingness),

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ego or self-esteem, and self-actualization (Maslow, 1948). Proschaska’s transtheoretical

model of change developed to influence behavioral changes from unhealthy habits to healthy

habits. The model refers to six possible stages of change. The first stage, pre-contemplation,

involves initial awareness but no decision yet to make any changes in the coming six months.

In the second stage, contemplation, an individual decides to make changes over the next six

months. During the third stage, preparation, plans are made for change in the next 30 days.

The fourth stage is the period in which the individual has changed his or her behavior, but is

still within the first six months of change. The fifth stage, maintenance, occurs if the

individual has continued with the change for more than six months. The sixth stage can

happen at any time, and it is when a person relapses into their previous unhealthy behavior

(Proschaska, 1979). The themes evaluated using the theoretical framework from Maslow and

Proschaska, and the researcher inductive reasoning follows.

Theme 1 – Participants’ characteristics. Theme one participants’ characteristics

evolved from two constructs. The personal financial literacy construct questions investigated

the study’s participants’ perceived personal financial literacy aptitude and requested a self-

assessment of financial knowledge. The financial literacy construct requested specific details

about the financial literacy program design and results from the participants. The responses

provided the basis for both the first and second theme. The resulting sub-themes under

participants’ characteristics include belief in self and current time-frame orientation.

Belief in self sub-theme describes the lack of participant responses placing blame for

their financial low income status on others and the sense of self-confidence of the

participants. Current time-frame orientation sub-theme was identified by the lack of

financial goals or experiences that carried beyond a year time-frame. These sub-themes

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support theme two – presentation of financial literacy programs. Evaluating theme one in

relation to Maslow and Proschaska theoretical framework created information to design

financial literacy programs to possibly keep low-income populations engaged during the

program presentation and to expand the financial literacy program curricula.

The interpretation of the responses for the participants’ characteristics sub-themes

using Maslow’s (1948) and Proschaska’s (1979) personal motivation theories revealed that

85% of the participants were in Maslow’s second level of security and safety, and 15% of

the participants were at the third level of need, social (belongingness), when participants

mentioned their financial issues in reference to family. The participants were rated to be

either in Proschaska’s first or second stage of contemplating change and changed based on

individual question responses. A solitary participant appeared to be in Maslow’s second

stage of security (safety) need and Proschaska’s sixth stage of contemplation, which

represents a relapse into a detrimental money habit regarding the lack of the use of bank

accounts. This assessment was the result of the interpretation of a participant’s response to

question 1 about whether or not the participant has or would be willing to open a bank

account. In response to having or opening a bank account Jane said, “No, they are closed.

[Do you think you will be opening any bank accounts?] No, I think I will continue to keep

the cash with me and do the envelope idea.” A response later to what is missing in the

module explained the participant’s answer to question one. Jane stated, “As for myself

checkbooks never worked for me because I always balanced it out wrong. I need something

better than the checkbook and the envelope [system] that would work better.”

A question from the personal financial literacy construct asked the reason(s) the

participants attend the financial literacy program. The sub-theme belief in self correlates to

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Maslow’s second level of need for security, that is, of participant’s want to fill a gap of

knowledge to improve his or her financial security. Reference to Proschaska’s

transtheoretical model of change for the question revealed from the responses the second

stage of contemplation, that is, to make changes over the next six months (Proschaska, 1979).

Fifty percent (ten) of the respondents indicated their need to learn. A selected sample of the

participants’ responses confirming Maslow’s second level and Proschaska’s second stage of

contemplation follow. Chester’s response elaborated on his situation and his perceived need

to learn more about money management in his statement,

I was informed by a friend of mine who had told me about the program and told me that she

was going to be participating in the program as well. And she knows that I have financial

struggles and she knows it has been hard for me to manage money in certain situations and

thought the program would be helpful and that I would not have to feel uncomfortable

because the person that teaches the course is very nice, open minded and will listen to what I

have to say, so I wanted to give it a full effort and try and learn more so that I can also be

better at handling my finances (Chester).

Monster explained his reason for attending,

I’ve never been too responsible with money and I’ve never really fallen into the negatives but

I’m always scraping by and I’m lucky enough to make my bills on time but it’s the money

that I need for myself for fun that I never have (Monster).

Participants’ responses revealed a desire to improve their financial skills by

acknowledging poor money choices and infer that the participants are capable of learning

support the belief in self sub-theme of participant’s characteristic theme. Other participants’

remarks indicated why they need to learn, therefore a belief in self. These same remarks

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however can be related to participants’ current time-frame orientation. Juliet and Annastasia

reported on their self-sabotaging behavior. Juliet explained,

Pretty much at this point I just have all of my money going into one bank account and I

forget it until I need to make a payment. And then I take it out but, then as soon as I see how

much I have. I say I have a lot of money in there I spend a little more because I save a little

more, which in turn makes all my savings go away (Juliet).

Annastasia stated, “Well, because I get unnecessary things with my savings stash that

I dig into. I have a good budget plan but I still dip into that money that I want to save. I’m

pretty good otherwise.”

Further support to the sub-theme of the belief in self is the participants rated

themselves for money management on a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being the worst and 10 the best).

Table 5 presents the results of 80% of the participants rated themselves a 7 or better.

Table 5

Participant Self-Rating of Money Management

Rating 1 to 10 % of Respondents

1 –

2 –

3 –

4 –

5 10%

6 10%

7 25%

8 45%

9 10%

10 –

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An inquiry of whether or not the information presented was clearly understood by the

participants, resulted with all the participants in agreement that the material presented was

completely understood. Ninety-five percent (19) of the participants indicated that they

learned new financial concepts therefore, a transfer of knowledge occurred. Whether or not

the transfer of knowledge occurred because of the intelligence factor of the participants, the

presentation by the instructor, the material outlined by the program or a combination of all

three would require further research.

Many participant responses have an undercurrent reference to a short term time

orientation, hence the current time-frame orientation. The concept of the need to learn

reflects participants’ belief in self, yet what they need to learn represents current financial

issues. The participants were asked why they lacked interest in other available modules and

the resounding 100% of the responses were that the other modules were not of interest at this

time, therefore, the participants did not rule out taking the modules at a later date. The

participants were asked if they would be interested in taking other available modules.

Showed that 80% of the participants would be interested in taking one or two additional

modules demonstrating the participants’ willingness to learn based on their perceived needs

and a current time-frame orientation to financial literacy programs. One participant,

however, referenced wanting to learn about savings to support his daughter’s college

education and his daughter was due in January 2013, indicated a definite shift in current

orientation to long term orientation. His comment confirms a study by Sano, Manoogian,

and Ontai (2012) that a shift to long term orientation can occur for low income adults when

they have children.

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Theme one, participants’ characteristics, with both sub-themes, belief in self and

current time-frame orientation, should be considered in the modification of financial literacy

program development. The sub-themes indicated the participants’ readily fluctuate between

Maslow’s (1948) hierarchy of need levels two (security and safety) and three (social and

belongingness) as they develop their financial literacy knowledge. The participants’

responses indicated that their placement in Proschaska’s (1979) theory is either stage one,

pre-contemplation, that is, initial awareness but no decision on the making any change in the

next six months, or stage two, contemplation, that is, plans to make changes over the next six

months.

Theme 2 – Presentation of financial literacy programs. The financial literacy

programs construct expanded on the personal financial literacy construct to obtain specific

details about the financial literacy program design and results from the study’s population

perspective. The information obtained provided details about what was perceived as missing

and what course materials were effective. The responses generated from these two constructs

established the second theme of the presentation of financial literacy programs and sub-

themes. The sub-themes contained in the presentation of financial literacy program theme

comprise of information wanted, presentation style, and the presentation environment.

The information wanted sub-theme reflected back to the module title and the

participants’ expectations for money management and available support. The sub-theme,

presentation style, defined the participants’ request to present simple ideas clearly describes

the delivery of the material and combines to the participants’ characteristics of belief in self

and current time-frame orientation from theme one. The presentation environment refers to

the class environment of location and class size. The interpretation of the sub-themes using

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Maslow’s (1948) and Proschaska’s (1979) personal motivation theories revealed that the

participants were in Maslow’s second or third level of need and either Proschaska’s first, or

second stage of contemplating change.

The sub-theme information wanted comprises of the general consensus noted from

the participants regarding wants, needs, and expectations for attending a financial literacy

program. The details for underlying the concept information wanted represented the

financial literacy module on budgeting taken by the study’s participants and identify specific

sub-sections of money management and available support.

The sub-theme of presentation style evolved through various questions with answers

about simple ideas and budget examples. The financial literacy program construct requested

information regarding what participants liked best about the program, comments that the

presentation of materials was clear and helpful, which promotes the presentation style theme.

Paul’s, Sarah’s, and Wetgrass’ selected answers present the support for the current

presentation set up for the financial literacy program module. Paul described the presentation

style, “The clarity, it was very clear, straight forward and down to the point.” Sarah voiced

her opinion,

What I liked the most is that it targeted me personally because I knew exactly what was

going on and that everything that was being taught I had to take seriously and it was to help

me with my spending problem (Sarah).

Wetgrass expressed that the material offered was helpful,

I liked all the different tools that I have [received], all the different sheets that were given to

me to help me manage my money, different worksheets like the monthly expense worksheets

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and the monthly payment schedule and the monthly payment calendar I think that will be

useful in the future (Wetgrass).

Presentation environment sub-theme emerged details about the participants’ class

attendance of small groups. Clint remarked that, “The module on Money Matters, well, I just

like the environment of it…small group seems good because then you would get to actually

engage the reader I would say 10 people max, that would seem like a good number.” Juliet

revealed that,

I was able to understand things a little bit better instead of just of being told to just do this

and that. It was presented in a more personal manner. I definitely would say a small group of

people would be fine. A room full of 40-50 people would be too much but if you had a room

of 20 to maybe 30 that would be ok (Juliet).

The environmental theme was also supported by extracting comments from questions

in the increase participation in financial literacy programs construct. For example,

Annastasia explained how to market the financial literacy program environment,

I think group sessions are more fun and you hear everyone’s opinions on everything. You

offer people free appetizers and child care and designate one person to watch the children to

get the people going, because they may see it posted somewhere but it may be for a date

where they cannot find a babysitter or it’s going to be one on one and it’s not going to be

worth my time. A lot of people have children and they cannot take their children because

they hear financial and they think money just so grown up and they cannot bring the child

(Annastasia).

Chester elucidated on the size of class that he feels creates the best learning environment,

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I think smaller groups work best; a big open group might make people more hesitant to ask

more questions because you don’t want to feel like you are so dumb in front of so many

people. When things are conducted in smaller groups or even a one on one session you feel

you get a much stronger learning experience because you are directly in contact with the

person as compared to being in a big open atmosphere where there is plenty of who may

have the same question but are afraid to ask and by being a one on one you can say wait I

don’t understand or I have a question about this, can you explain that better. You will have

more clientele with larger classes but the learning experience I think will diminish (Chester).

Jane confirmed Chester’s opinion about how other attendees may have a question but are

afraid to ask,

I liked the people that I took it [the class] with because they asked questions that I couldn’t

form so it gave me more answers to questions that I couldn’t think of right away and more

insight to other things (Jane).

The environmental theme equates to small groups, ease of access, and program site

support of child care.

Presentation of financial literacy programs, theme two, confirms the theoretical

concepts from Maslow and Proschaska. Acknowledgement of the Maslow’s (1948) second

level in the hierarchy of needs, safety and security, and Proschaska’s (1979) transtheoretical

model of change, stage two contemplation, provides a basis of financial literacy program

development to meet the needs of low income adult audience. The three sub-themes offer

areas of financial literacy program development of financial literacy curriculum, financial

literacy presentation, and suggestions to engage low income adults audience in financial

literacy program.

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Theme 3 – Accessing low income adults. The third theme of accessing low income

adults resulted from direct questions of the participants under the third construct increasing

participation in financial literacy programs. The questions compiled data about (1) how the

participants’ learned of the financial literacy program and (2) the participants’ suggestions to

increase participation in financial literacy programs. The results of the compilation produced

two sub-themes of word of mouth and advertisement.

One question inquired about how the participant learned about the financial literacy

program. The responses referred completely to word of mouth from either friends or family.

This confirms the results of Schuchardt et al, (2007), who found that family and friends

influence the financial behaviors of the low-income population. The second question, which

asked for the participants’ opinions about how to market financial literacy programs,

produced the varied responses found in Table 4, which were clustered into two sub-themes,

advertising and word of mouth (Table 4).

Advertising suggestions came from 65% of the participants and 40% of the

participants stated the second theme of word of mouth. These responses were not mutually

exclusive because the participants offered multiple suggestions. One hundred percent of the

twenty participants attended, however, a financial literacy program because they were

influenced by either a friend or family member to attend. Participation was influence,

therefore, by referrals from trusted family or friends, not by advertisement.

This phenomenological study’s unique research method of soliciting the opinions of

low-income adults’ perceptions and expectations of financial literacy programs confirmed the

results of Weiss’ and Bailar’s (2002) study identifying why there is a lack of low-income

adults in research studies. The findings provided insight to the perceptions and expectations

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of low-income adults related to financial literacy program curricula. The program

development should be focused, therefore on; (1) participants’ characteristics to modify

financial literacy curriculum, (2) identify opportunities to transfer financial literacy

knowledge, (3) the marketing of the program encompassed by the low-income population’s

needs and that the program is trustworthy, and (4) the presence of the financial literacy

program by trusted people through community organizations. The findings to improve

participation came from participant suggestions and provide concrete marketing ideas. Only

through word of mouth, however, did the participants acknowledge the financial literacy

program and were influenced to attend.

Lachance and Tang’s (2012) research of trust and financial advisors found that there

is a U-shape curve regarding trust and financial advisors. Higher levels of distrust of

financial advisors occurred from people of both low and high levels of financial literacy. A

researcher from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Collins (2012), reported that financial

advisors should complement rather than substitute for personal financial capabilities. Robb,

Babiarz, and Woodyard (2012) researched when people seek professional financial advice

and found that 40% of the participants earning less than $35,000 located debt counseling.

These studies confirm that trust is a factor in financial literacy program attendance and set

the framework for further research on the aspect of trust in financial literacy programs.

Significance of the Study

Financial literacy within the United States has not increased significantly during the

first decade of the 21st century (Lusardi, Mitchell, & Curto, 2010; Mandell & Klein, 2009;

Yates & Ward, 2011; Yilmaz, 2011). An increase in the size of the population living below

the poverty level, however, combined with the complex financial environment of decreasing

133

social security expectations, defined pension plans, and changing welfare terms, affirms the

need for financial literacy education for low-income adults in the United States (DeNavas-

Walt et al., 2011; FDIC, 2009; Lenzner, 2012; Lusardi, 2012).

This phenomenological study of how low-income adults approached financial literacy

increased the understanding of how low-income adults manage their finances. This study

increased the knowledge base to develop financial literacy programs that actively engage the

cohort under study, and provided recommendations that could increase participation in

financial literacy programs. Considering low-income adults’ perspectives reversed the

existing top-down approach of program development for what low-income adults need to

learn to participate in the mainstream financial sector, and what low-income adults want to

learn to secure a stable financial future.

The results of the study contributed to identifying conceptual foundations about

understanding how low-income adults perceived financial literacy and how organizations

intent on increasing financial literacy among the low-income population may recruit

participation into their programs. The findings revealed new strategies to attract low-income

adults with minimal changes in curricula and increased community organization

advertisement with an emphasis on trust. These new strategies can support the United States

national push to increase financial literacy and support the population cohort’s preparation

for a sound financial future.

Significance of Study to Leadership

The United States and countries around the world support financial literacy at the

individual level because of deficiencies in financial literacy within the populations of many

countries (OECD, 2010; Yilmaz, 2011). The United States Treasury Department’s Financial

134

Literacy Education Commission’s (FLEC, 2010a) stated vision is: “Sustained financial well-

being for all individuals and families in the United States” (p. 6). Access to low-income

adults, however, is difficult and participation in programs directed toward low-income

persons is low (Servon & Kaestner, 2008; Spader et al., 2009; Weiss & Bailar, 2002; Zhan et

al., 2009). The significance of a phenomenological study of low-income adults’ perceptions

and expectations of financial literacy to leadership is that the information collected provides

knowledge for program development.

The results of this study expanded the body of knowledge concerning low-income

adults’ perceptions and expectations of financial literacy in an effort to increase the

population’s participation in financial literacy programs. The extraction of information

regarding the study population’s preferences provided insights for curriculum design to

correspond to participant characteristics of current time-frame orientation and belief in self,

the presentation of financial literacy programs to deliver needed information timely, and

identified possible access points to engage the low income adult cohort.

Implications and Recommendations for Future Research

The findings of the study present opportunities for future research to determine

possible causal relationships between financial literacy program attendance using variables of

program duration and trust factors such as the class site location and instructor. The

phenomenological research study’s conclusions presented options to national and local

leaders to revise the financial literacy programs’ designs and presentation to increase access

to low-income adults. The study’s implications for future studies revolve around the research

study’s three constructs and resulting themes: (1) participants’ characteristics; (a) the belief

in self, (b) current time-frame orientation; (2) presentation of financial literacy program; (a)

135

wanted information, (b) presentation style, (c) environment of financial literacy classes; and

(3) access to low income adults; (a) how the participants’ learned of the financial literacy

program – word of mouth, and (b) the participants’ advertisement suggestions to increase

participation in financial literacy programs.

Two implications for future studies consolidate the themes and focus on increasing

participation in financial literacy programs. First, increasing access to the low-income

population can come through building a trusting relationship with local organizations while

decreasing financial literacy class time commitments. The second implication involves

understanding that the low-income adult attributes of current time-frame orientation in

dealing with situations and wanting quick results requires modifying financial literacy

program curricula. Futures studies recommendations combine the hypotheses proposed and

measure the outcome by attendance numbers and referrals.

Recommendations to Increase Participation

The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological research study was to ascertain and

interpret the experiences and future financial expectations of low-income adults to increase

attendance in financial literacy programs. Understanding that financial literacy levels are the

lowest nationally for low-income adults, and that the population represents 30% of

households in the United States (FDIC, 2009), requires increasing this population’s financial

literacy. This is paramount in increasing national financial stability.

This study’s recommendations represent ideas to increase this populations’ financial

literacy. The first recommendation involves revising financial literacy curricula to meet the

needs of the population by recognizing the populations’ attributes, especially their current

time-frame orientation. The second recommendation follows the first, because without

136

smaller modules of information and the removal of long term commitments an increase in

participation cannot occur. The second recommendation is to offer the financial literacy

program modules in familiar and trusted sites in the community at regularly scheduled

intervals. The sites can provide other necessary support for attendance based their local

resident’s needs. This recommendation is consistent with Maloney’s (2010) research

findings that financial literacy education needs support from organizations on a state by state

basis. These recommendations attempt to break the barriers of connecting with the low-

income adult population because of their current time-frame orientation and transitory living

situations.

Recommendations to National Leaders

National leaders and organizations designing financial literacy programs should

design modules in the framework of instant gratification, such that the participants leave a

class with a useable benefit. Funding of financial literacy programs should not require

lengthy commitments from attendees. Increase financial literacy program advertisement

funding for local communities to access their low income population.

Recommendations to Community Organizations

Community leaders providing financial literacy classes to low-income adult

populations should understand that lengthy commitments to financial literacy programs that

extend over multiple sessions are not of interest. Information should be provided as single

sessions and calendars of other available sessions handed out at the end of classes to provide

(1) opportunities for further personal development and (2) information on classes for

participants to refer friends and family. The offering and presentation of financial literacy

programs with a better understanding of low-income adult audience attributes can increase

137

participation and, subsequently, create a foundation of long-term financial success for

individuals. This provides an opportunity to causes a positive ripple effect on global

economic stability.

Reflection

The dissertation topic, financial literacy, connected my skills and my desire to help

others. The dissertation process presented challenges, provided opportunities to meet people,

confirmed my desire to help, and developed options to continue my quest to help others.

First, of many challenges came through researching the significance of my dissertation to

understand what could happen with the research results.

Researching the significance of the study prepared me to be able to speak intelligently

on the topic of financial literacy. This knowledge provided the ground work to reach out to

people and organizations involved in financial literacy education. I found many organizations

working to increase financial literacy of low income adults were interested in my study, but

would not allow its clients to become part of the study. The interest but lack of access

became the biggest challenge of dissertation. The lack of access outweighed research

barriers outlined by Weiss and Bailar (2002) for having low income adults participate in

research studies. Weiss and Bailar (2002) explained that low-income adults’ lack of

participation in research studies comes from various factors, such as no telephone service,

frequent moves, language barriers, and often suspicion of strangers.

To overcome the biggest challenge required the evaluation of established contacts,

thereby, finding connections into the low income communities to establish a location for the

research study. The site I initially step up to use participants would speak English as a

second language if at all. Accepting that the researcher is the qualitative research instrument,

138

I deemed the language different would impede data collection. My participation in other

nonprofit locations then provided a site location for the research and external local experts to

review the interview questions for clarity, leading questions, and possible bias.

The long standing relationship with the selected site coordinator provided access to

documentation on the financial literacy program offered at the site. The records showed very

few individuals actually attended every financial literacy program module presentation. The

lack of participation for a financial literacy program over an extended period was consistent

with my literature review results. Therefore, the flyer about the research project was posted

at the site and mailed to the addresses retrieved from the site documentation. The response

rate of five individuals from previous attendees was the basis for the snowballing of

additional participants. To initiate snowballing, the original participants told friends or

family members could attend a single financial literacy module offered at the site and qualify

to participate in the study. Three participants gathered four to six friends or family members

to attend what they felt was the most useful financial literacy module of budgeting. These

additional participants then scheduled interviews.

The results of the research confirm some characteristics of low income adults of

suspicious of strangers and current time-frame orientation. A method found to cajole

attendance from low income adults into a financial literacy module combined word of mouth

advertising and financial literacy education program modification to a single module. This

method and information accumulated in data collection provide the basis for further research

and began my continued involved in financial literacy education.

As I go beyond the dissertation, I am making use of new contacts in the community.

I have expanded my activities to include tax preparation for VITA, as a board member for

139

Fairfield County United Way Financial Resources, became a volunteer budget counselor, and

plan to expand my drop in roll at the local high school to provide financial literacy education.

I understand now the dissertation process reflects the process of change.

Summary

Chapter 5 developed the study’s themes and connected the themes to the environment of

financial literacy education through sections on conclusions, implications, and recommendations.

The study’s conclusion confirmed previous studies findings of low participation rates by low

income adult cohorts (Chang & Lyons, 2008; Servon & Kaestner, 2008; Spader, Ratliffe,

Montoya, & Skillern, 2009) and documented possible modifications to financial literacy

programs and advertisement to increase participation. The recommendations included

acknowledgement of low income adults current time-frame orientation and belief in self to

modify financial literacy programs to be single topic sessions with information available at the

close of each sessions of other available sessions. The information made available at the close of

each session links to possible changes in advertisement. Suggested access points came from

participants requesting advertisement at local trusted sites, however, all the participants of this

study became involved through word of mouth signifying advertisement should be boosted

through trusted site spokespersons. Future studies could validate if these changes increase low

income adult participation in financial literacy, therefore increasing individual’s financial

stability and rippling results increase the nation’s financial stability.

This phenomenological research study to discover low-income adults’ perceptions

and expectations regarding financial literacy was documented through five chapters. Chapter

1 recorded the (a) background of the problem, (b) problem, (c) purpose, (d) research method and

design, (e) research questions, (f) scope and limitations, and (g) delimitations. Chapter 2 included

the literature review to present information on the topics related to financial literacy, low-income

140

population characteristics, and theoretical synopsis on Maslow (1948) and Proschaska (1979) in

relation to human behavior to access financial literacy knowledge. Chapter 3 presented the

methodology and the rationale for the use of a phenomenological, qualitative research study

design to investigate low-income adults’ perceptions and expectations regarding financial

literacy. Chapter 4 outlined the results and themes generated by the analyses of this research

study data. Chapter 5 contained a discussion on the themes, implications, conclusions, and

recommendations.

141

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154

Appendix A

Key Word Searches

Key Words Peer-

reviewed

articles

Journal

articles

Books Websites

government

reports

Financial literacy 17 2 2 5

Financial

illiteracy

3

1

3

Prochaska’s

Transtheoretical

Method

Maslow’s

Hierarchy of

Needs

7

3

1

1

Financial literacy

educational

programs

12

2

2

Low Income and

Unbanked

15 3 1 3

Expectations of

financial literacy

Research Design

2

2

2

2

6

1

5

Total 61 12 11 19

155

Appendix B

Flyer to Solicit Participants

156

Appendix C

Individual Informed Consent Form

INFORMED CONSENT: PARTICIPANTS 18 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER

Hello,

My name is Brigid Schaffer and I am a student at the University of Phoenix working on a doctorate of business administration [DBA]
degree. I am doing a research study entitled: A phenomenological study to discover low-income adults’ perceptions and expectations
regarding financial literacy. The purpose of the research study is to identify recommendations to improve the Money Smart program
and increase participation in the Money Smart program.

Your participation will involve one hour of your time answering questions about personal demographic information, your personal
thoughts and experiences in money management and the Money Smart program. The interview will be taped to ensure accurate
transcription. A validation check of the researcher’s interpretation of your comments will occur at the interview site in November
2012, where a drawing of a $100 store gift card will be drawn from the twenty volunteer participants of this study. You can decide to
be a part of this study or not. Once you start, you can withdraw from the study at any time without any penalty or loss of benefits.
The results of the research study may be published but your identity will remain confidential and your name and any family names
divulged during the interview will not be made known to any outside party.

In this research, there are no foreseeable risks to you.

Although there may be no direct benefit to you, a possible benefit from your being part of this study is your comments
could influence a change in the Money Smart program improving the program and increasing participation. If you have any questions
about the research study, please call me at (203) 241-5121 and [email protected] For questions about your rights as a
study participant, or any concerns or complaints, please contact the University of Phoenix Institutional Review Board via email at
[email protected]

As a participant in this study, you should understand the following:

1. You may decide not to be part of this study or you may want to withdraw from the study at any time. If you want to withdraw, you can
do so without any problems. If you decide to withdraw during the interview because you no longer want to participate, please feel free
to tell the researcher then leave to go about your day. If you decide after the interview, to withdraw your interview comments, you
can call (203) 241-5121 or email the researcher Brigid Schaffer at [email protected] or contact nonprofit organization’s
director at (203) 788-1920.

2. Your identity will be kept confidential.
3. Brigid Schaffer, the researcher, has fully explained the nature of the research study and has answered all of your questions and

concerns.
4. The interview will be recorded. Your signature of this document gives permission for the researcher, Brigid Schaffer, to record the

interview. You understand that the information from the recorded interviews will be transcribed. Your selection of a pseudonym
provides a code for the researcher to assure that your name is protected.

5. Data will be kept in a secure and locked area. The data will be kept for three years, and then destroyed.
6. The results of this study may be published.

“By signing this form, you agree that you understand the nature of the study, the possible risks to you as a participant, and
how your identity will be kept confidential. When you sign this form, this means that you are 18 years old or older and that you give
your permission to volunteer as a participant in the study that is described here.”

I agree to take part in this study, A Phenomenological Study to Discover Low-income Adults’ Perceptions and Expectations

Regarding Financial Literacy. I understand that my name or the name of anyone else in my family will not appear in any publications
or reports given to anyone else.

( ) I accept the above terms. ( ) I do not accept the above terms. (CHECK ONE)

Signature of the interviewee ____________________________________ Date _____________

Signature of the researcher _____________________________________ Date _____________

157

Appendix D

Non-Disclosure Agreement

Non-Disclosure Agreement

XXXXXXX acknowledges that in order to provide the services to Brigid Schaffer (hereinafter
“Researcher”) who is a researcher in a confidential study with the University of Phoenix, Inc.,
XXXXXXX must agree to keep the information obtained as part of its services (as more fully
described below) confidential. Therefore the parties agree as follows:

1. The information to be disclosed under this Non-disclosure Agreement (“Agreement”) is
described as follows and shall be considered “Confidential Information”: The taped interviews for
the phenomenological research study entitled “A Phenomenological Study to Discover Low-
income Adults’ Perceptions and Expectations Regarding Financial Literacy will be transcribed by
XXXXXXX. The interview tapes and resulting computer file with the transcription will be given
to the Researcher and no copies of said documents will be retained by XXXXXXX. All
information shall remain the property of Researcher.

2. XXXXXXXX agrees to keep in confidence and to use the Confidential Information for
transcription only and for no other purposes.

3. XXXXXXXX further agrees to keep in confidence and not disclose any Confidential
Information to a third party or parties for a period of five (5) years from the date of such
disclosure. All oral disclosures of Confidential Information as well as written disclosures of the
Confidential Information are covered by this Agreement.

4. XXXXXXXXX shall upon Researcher’s request either destroy or return the Confidential
Information upon termination of this Agreement.

5. Any obligation of XXXXXXXX under this Agreement shall not apply to Confidential
Information that:

a) Is or becomes a part of the public knowledge through no fault of XXXXXXXXXX;
b) XXXXXXXX can demonstrate was rightfully in its possession before disclosure by Researcher/

research subjects; or
c) XXXXXXXXXX can demonstrate was rightfully received from a third party who was not

Researcher/research subjects and was not under confidentiality restriction on disclosure and
without breach of any nondisclosure obligation.

6. XXXXXXXXXX agrees to obligate its employees or agents, if any, who have access to any
portion of Confidential Information to protect the confidential nature of the Confidential
Information as set forth herein.

158

7. XXXXXXXXX shall defend, indemnify and hold the Researcher and the University of Phoenix
harmless against any third party claims of damage or injury of any kind resulting from
XXXXXXXXX use of the Confidential Information, or any violation of by XXXXXXX of the
terms of this Agreement.

8. In the event XXXXXXXXX receives a subpoena and believes it has a legal obligation to disclose
Confidential Information, then XXXXXXXX will notify Researcher as soon as possible, and in
any event at least five (5) business days prior to the proposed release. If Researcher objects to the
release of such Confidential Information, XXXXXXXX will allow Researcher to exercise any
legal rights or remedies regarding the release and protection of the Confidential Information.

9. XXXXXXXX expressly acknowledges and agrees that the breach, or threatened breach, by it
through a disclosure of Confidential Information may cause irreparable harm and that Researcher
may not have an adequate remedy at law. Therefore, XXXXXXXX agrees that upon such
breach, or threatened breach, Researcher will be entitled to seek injunctive relief to prevent
XXXXXXXXXX from commencing or continuing any action constituting such breach without
showing or providing evidence of actual damage.

10. The interpretation and validity of this Agreement and the rights of the parties shall be governed
by the laws of the State of Connecticut.

11. The parties to this Agreement agree that a copy of the original signature (including an electronic
copy) may be used for any and all purposes for which the original signature may have been used.
The parties further waive any right to challenge the admissibility or authenticity of this document
in a court of law based solely on the absence of an original signature.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, each of the undersigned has caused this Agreement to be duly
executed in its name and on its behalf:

Printed Name of Third Party/Vendor: ____XXXXXXXXXX_________________
Signature: _/s/__XXXXXXXXXX________________________________________
Address: ______XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX_______
Date: __8/8/2012____________________________________________________

Printed Name of Researcher: ____Brigid Schaffer______________________
Signature: ____/s/ Brigid Schaffer_____________________________________
Address: _____XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX______________________
Date:_____8/8/2012______________________________________________

159

Appendix E

Premise Consent Agreement

160

Appendix F1

Interview Research Questions Prior to Validation

Research Project Introduction: The research project wants to evaluate the Money

Smart Financial Literacy program to determine what can be done to improve the program

and increase participation. Also, to organize the data collected the interview begins with

demographic questions. Participants such as yourself have been asked to participate in an

interview because you have attended the Money Smart program.

The interview will be taped to offset my lack of ability to take shorthand and

ensure accurate documentation of the interview. The interviews will be analyzed to

develop recommendations to improve the Money Smart program. The interview should

take about one hour. If you feel comfortable to continue, I have a consent form which

explains the research project and your rights to end the interview at any time.

Your signature on the form provides me with your consent to use the information

collecting during the interview for the research study. Also, to protect your rights to

confidentiality after you sign the consent please give yourself a fictitious name which

will identify you in the research report.

[Collect signed consent form turn on microphone to record interview.]

Questions:

A Gender ___________ Female __________ Male

B Age when you attended the Money Smart program ___ 18 to 25 ___ 26 to 35 ___ 36

to 50

___ 51 to 60 ___ 61 to 70 ___ 71+

161

C Number of people in your household _______ 18 and over ________ under 18

D Annual household income ____ 0 to $20,000 ____ $20,001 to $30,000

____ $30,001 to $40,000 ____ $40,001 to $50,000 ____ $50,001 to $60,000 ___ over

$60,000

E Do you have a bank account(s) ____ Never _____ Closed _____ Savings _____

Checking ____ Other

1. How did you learn of the financial literacy program?

2. Why did you enroll/take part in the financial literacy program?

3. What banking/financial information would you like to learn more about before you began

the program?

3.1. What would you like to learn since taking the program?

4. On a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being worst and 10 best), how would you rate yourself in terms of

understanding banking/checking/saving/bill paying and all aspects of money

management?

4.1. Why did you rate yourself this way?

5. What did you expect you’d learn before you enrolled in the financial literacy program?

5.1. Were your expectations met?

5.2. Why, or why not?

6. What did you find missing in terms of information provided in the financial literacy

program?

7. Were the learning modules clear and did you understand the concepts being taught?

7.1. If not clear, what was unclear or confusing?

162

8. What new concepts/information about financial matters was presented to you in the

learning modules?

9. Were any of the concepts/information/money management methods presented in modules

things you already know about, or do?

9.1. What are they?

10. If the concept/information were new, do you plan to start using it or doing it now that you

have finished the program?

10.1. Why, or why not?

11. Do you know more about banks, banking, and handling money than you did before?

11.1. What are the new things you’ve learned?

12. Now that you’ve finished the program, will you open a bank account?

12.1. If so, checking or savings?

12.2. Why, or why not?

13. Please tell me what you liked best about the financial literacy program?

13.1. What you liked least?

14. We want to help people and we want to improve, so what can we do to improve our

financial literacy program?

14.1. What can we do to get more people involved?

Closing: Thank the interviewee for their participation and cooperation and that

their confidentiality will be maintained. Let them know if they have questions or

concerns they can get in contact through the gatekeeper, or use the phone number or

email listed on their copy of the informed consent form.

163

Appendix F2

Interview Research Questions for Research Study

Research Project Introduction: The research project will evaluate the Money

Smart Financial Literacy program to determine what can be done to improve the program

and increase participation. To organize the data collected the interview begins with

demographic questions then, follows with questions about the Money Smart program.

Participants such as yourself volunteered to be interviewed because you have attended the

Money Smart program.

The interview will be taped to offset my lack of ability to take shorthand and

ensure accurate documentation of the interview. The interviews will be analyzed to

develop recommendations to improve the Money Smart program. The interview should

take about one hour. If you feel comfortable to continue, I have a consent form which

explains the research project and your rights to end the interview at any time which we

can go over.

Your signature on the consent form provides me with your permission to use the

information collected during the interview for the research study. It also protects your

right to confidentiality. To ensure your confidentiality, please give yourself a fictitious

name which will be used in the research report.

[Collect signed consent form turn on microphone to record interview.]

Questions:

A Gender ___________ Female __________ Male

B Age when you attended the Money Smart program ___ 18 to 25 ___ 26 to 35 ___ 36 to 50

___ 51 to 60 ___ 61 to 70 ___ 71+

164

C Is your income over $30,000 _____ yes ______ no

D Number of people in your household you are financially supporting: adults 18 and over

________ and children under 18 ________

E Do you have a bank account(s) ____ Never _____ Closed _____ Savings _____ Checking

____ Other

1. Now that you’ve finished the program, will you open a bank account?

1.1. If so, checking or savings?

1.2. Why, or why not?

2. How did you learn of the Money Smart program?

3. Why did you decide to attend the financial literacy program?

4. Do you recall which Money Smart module or modules you attended?

4.1.1. Bank on It [Information on banks];

4.1.2. Borrowing basics [understanding credit cards];

4.1.3. Check It Out [How to use a checking account];

4.1.4. Money Matters [Budgeting];

4.1.5. Pay Yourself First [Savings];

4.1.6. Keep It Safe [rights as a consumer];

4.1.7. To Your Credit [how to read credit report and build and repair credit

history];

4.1.8. Charge It Right [How to use credit cards responsibly];

4.1.9. Loan to Own [Understanding options of types of loans];

4.1.10. Your Own Home [Home buying process];

4.1.11. Financial Recovery [steps to recover after a financial setback]

165

4.1.12. Why?

4.2. And which modules would be of interest now, why?

4.3. Why not other modules?

5. On a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being worst and 10 best), how would you rate yourself in terms of

understanding banking/checking/saving/bill paying and all aspects of money management

before taking the program and after?

5.1. Why did you rate yourself this way?

5.1.1. Describe your money management style.

5.1.2. Do you have money habits you would recommend for others to use?

6. What did you expect you would learn before you enrolled in the financial literacy

program/module?

6.1. Were your expectations met?

6.2. Why, or why not? Can you describe information you expected but found missing?

7. Were the learning modules clear and did you understand the concepts being taught?

7.1. If not clear, what was unclear or confusing?

8. Were any of the concepts/information/money management methods presented in modules

things you already know about?

8.1. What are they?

9. What new concepts/information about financial matters was presented to you in the

learning modules?

9.1. If the concept/information were new, do you plan to start using or doing the new

concepts now that you have finished the program?

9.2. Why, or why not?

166

10. Do you know more about banks, banking, and handling money than you did before?

10.1. What are the new things you’ve learned?

11. Please tell me what you liked best about the financial literacy program?

11.1. What you liked least?

12. We want to help people and we want to improve the financial literacy modules, so in

your opinion what can we do to improve our financial literacy program/modules?

12.1. What can we do to get more people to attend any of the financial literacy

modules?

Closing: Thank the interviewee for their participation and cooperation and ensure them that their

confidentiality will be maintained. Let them know if they have questions or concerns

they can get in contact through the organization’s director, use the phone number, or

email listed on their copy of the informed consent form.

167

Appendix G

Participants’ Interview Transcripts

Participant Annastasia

Researcher: Good afternoon Annastasia thank you for participating in my research study

Researcher: What age were you when you attended the Money Smart Program 18-25, 26-35,

36-50,

Annastasia: 26-35

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Annastasia: No

Researcher: How many people are in your household, children under 18 and adults over 18?

Annastasia: Under 18 there are 2, over 18 including myself there are 4

Researcher: Do you have any bank accounts?

Annastasia: Closed

Researcher: They are closed

Researcher: Now that you have finished the program are you going to open any bank

accounts?

Annastasia: I would consider opening a savings account

Researcher: But why?

Annastasia: I budget money and I put it to the side but then I dip into it, but if I open a

savings account, I can then take that savings money and put it into the account where I can’t

just run and go take

Researcher: So you are saying control access to your money

168

Annastasia: Yes, you can call it that.

Researcher: How did you learn of the Money Smart Program?

Annastasia: From a friend

Researcher: Why did you decide to attend the program after you learned about it?

Annastasia: To get better knowledge on budgeting and see where I am with my budgeting

and see what can help me from this

Researcher: On the list of the Money Smart Modules can you recall which one you

attended?

Annastasia: I attended Money Matters

Researcher: Now you read the rest of them Bank on It- is information on Banks, Borrowing

Basics- is understanding basics credit cards, Check It Out- is how to use a checking account

and you did Money Matters, Pay Yourself First- is savings, Keep It Safe- is your consumer

rights, To Know Your Credit- is how to read your credit reports, Charge It Right –is how

to use your credit cards responsibly, Loan to Own-is understanding types of

loans,Homeownership and Financial Recovery. Do any of these perk your interest to go into

further?

Annastasia: The Pay Yourself First about savings

Researcher: Are there any that are of no interest

Annastasia: That would be the Homeownership process. I’m not quite there yet

Researcher: So the savings you would be interested in so we can put you in touch with

someone and if any others become of interest you can contact me and we can put you in

place to take the next one

169

Researcher: On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best how would you

rate yourself in terms of your money management skills before the program?

Annastasia: Before the program, I would say an about an 8

Researcher: Now how would you rate yourself after the program?

Annastasia: After the program, I would say probably about a 9-9.5

Researcher: Now why did you rate yourself that?

Annastasia: Well because I get unnecessary things with my savings stash that I dig into. I

have a good budget plan but I still dip into that money that I want to save. I’m pretty good

otherwise

Researcher: So you rate yourself a 9 because

Annastasia: Well now I am considering doing the savings account with the bank I won’t

have access to the money as easily

Researcher: Do you have any money habits that you would recommend for other people?

Annastasia: I would cut back on your non necessities if you are don’t need it or just because

it’s nice you don’t have to get it, use lots of coupons and shop around. If you have computer

or internet shop around for the best prices and value for what you need and not what you

want.

Researcher: What did you expect to learn before you enrolled in the Financial Literacy

module?

Annastasia: I thought that it was going to be a bunch of numbers, because you hear financial

and you think numbers, numbers, numbers. So I though numbers

Researcher: Was your expectations met

Annastasia: Yes, it was different than what I thought it was so yes

170

Researcher: So it wasn’t formulas.

Annastasia: No it was talking about planning and saving and ways you can save more

Researcher: Without being formula forced

Annastasia: Yes

Researcher: Taking it can you described what you expected but found missing

Annastasia: As far as missing, not really because like I said I was expected more formulas

number wise and we discussed it in a different way so not really

Researcher: Were the learning modules clear and did you understand the concepts being

taught?

Annastasia: Yes

Researcher: Was any of the concepts presented, things that you already knew?

Annastasia: Yes

Researcher: What were they?

Annastasia: The spending the plan, and keeping trap and the sheets and such

Researcher: Were there new concepts presented to you?

Annastasia: Yes, the tax filing section, discussed who can file your taxes for free and who

can file your taxes for free, I did not know that and it was something new to me

Researcher: So the new things you plan on using them

Annastasia: Yes absolutely, its money savings

Researcher: Do you feel you know more about the banks and handling money than you did

before?

Annastasia: Yes

171

Researcher: The new things you learn or new things you can pass along to the next

generation

Annastasia: The next generation is becoming very savvy with technology like we discussed.

What can I do say take these surveys they are not boring.

Researcher: What did you like best about the program?

Annastasia: Hearing everybody’s thoughts on what they do to save and to keep track of their

money, like the apps that They talked about, everyone had a different app as to how they

saved for their phone, on what they do and what. Could be helpful

Researcher: What did you like the least?

Annastasia: The least, I don’t think I have anything that I liked the least about the program

Researcher: So we are trying to improve the Financial Literacy Module so in your opinion

what can we do to make it more wow?

Annastasia: Bring more cake, to make it more wow, tell people that there will be others

there in groups instead of just a single one on one interview, you do it in a group and you tell

them you will share your ideas and learn new ideas and things. When people think about

doing an interview or we are going to interview someone or one on one and you have to sit

there and listen you get more than one person’s opinion and you learn ideas from that person

cCombine it. I think group sessions are more fun and you hear everyone’s opinions on

everything.

Researcher: So based on this whole concept of groups, how can we get more people to

attend, because they post that they have them but attendance is very low

Annastasia: You offer people free appetizers and child care and designate one person to

watch the children to get the people going, because they may see it posted somewhere but it

172

may be for a date where they cannot find a babysitter or it’s going to be one on one and it’s

not going to be worth my time. A lot of people have children have children and they cannot

take their children because they hear financial and they think money just so grown up and

them cannot bring the child to the interview. So you designate someone to watch the children

and you have light refreshments and there will be other children for the kids to interact with

acts. Little parties maybe.

Researcher: Thank you for participating

173

Participant Angelina Jolie

Researcher: Hi Angelina Jolie I appreciate you coming in for the interview for the Financial

Literacy Research Study.

Researcher: At what age did you attend the Money Smart Program 18-25, 26-35 or 36-50?

Angelina Jolie: 18-25

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Angelina Jolie: No

Researcher: How many people are in your household, adults over 18 and children under 18?

Angelina Jolie: There is 1 adult myself and two children under 18

Researcher: Do you have any bank accounts?

Angelina Jolie: Yes I do

Researcher: What kind?

Angelina Jolie: Checking and savings

Researcher: So how did you learn about the Money Smart Program?

Angelina Jolie: Through a friend

Researcher: Why did you decide to attend the program?

Angelina Jolie: To see how it is and see if it would be able to help me budget

Researcher: You have in front of you a list of the 11 Money Smart modules and you

attended the Money Matters Budgeting and looking at the rest are there any of the remaining

modules that are of interest to you now or in the future and if not why?

Angelina Jolie: Own Your Own Home

Researcher: Why?

174

Angelina Jolie: Well because renting is starting to be a pain to me

Researcher: What is a pain the rent?

Angelina Jolie: The rent and all of the other bills on top of the rent, it is just a lot of bills to

worry about every month

Researcher: You didn’t mention a lot of other ones, why didn’t they sound appealing?

Angelina Jolie: I like Pay Yourself First

Researcher: Ok that is the savings and why?

Angelina Jolie: I do save but then there are times when I have to go into it for a reason but I

have had savings whereI have been able to live off of it for a whole year, so I do know how

to save

Researcher: So there is no reason why the others have no interest for you?

Angelina Jolie: Probably the Loan to Own

Researcher: Understanding the different types of loans available out there

Angelina Jolie: Yes

Researcher: So the rest of them don’t have any interest for you?

Angelina Jolie: No not at this time

Researcher: Now on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best; how

would you rate yourself in terms of understanding money management before you took the

program and after?

Angelina Jolie: I would say I was an 8 before

Researcher: And after?

Angelina Jolie: Still an 8 after

Researcher: Why do you rate yourself these numbers?

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Angelina Jolie: I don’t really have a problem budgeting, it is more of a money factor with

the income that I have coming in to budget with. My financial situation or bills etc., is

more than my income at this time, so me it is hard to budget.

Researcher: How would you describe your money management style and how you

developed it and what influenced you into your savings mode?

Angelina Jolie: I have always been a saver, I have a savings to buy what I want and then I

have a long term savings whereI know I am going to need this in the long run.

Researcher: So you developed it on your own

Angelina Jolie: Yes

Researcher: Do you have any money habits, tricks of the trade things that you would

recommend to others that has worked for you?

Angelina Jolie: Don’t make plans for money you don’t have in your hands, like your tax

returns because you never know what can happen, if you can’t go out with your friends this

weekend that you can’t go out

Researcher: What did you expect to learn before you enrolled in the Financial Literacy

module?

Angelina Jolie: No not really

Researcher: Do you have any future expectations or goals, because you mentioned that you

wanted to buy a house, is that your next big goal?

Angelina Jolie: For the future yes

Researcher: Were the learning modules clear and did you understand the concepts being

taught?

Angelina Jolie: Yes

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Researcher: Were any of the concepts presented in the module things that you already knew

about?

Angelina Jolie: Yes

Researcher: Which ones do you remember?

Angelina Jolie: The scheduling

Researcher: What are some new concepts that were presented that you will use going

forward?

Angelina Jolie: Yes the one where I can reschedule my bills so that they all come in at one

time

Researcher: Do you feel you know more about handling your money than you did before?

Angelina Jolie: Yes I would say so

Researcher: Can you tell me what you liked best about the Financial Literacy program?

Angelina Jolie: I the daily and monthly charts

Researcher: What did you like the least?

Angelina Jolie: I don’t think there was anything that I liked least

Researcher: Now we are trying to help people and improve the financial modules, so in your

opinion what can we do to make the modules better or more interesting?

Angelina Jolie: Not anything that I can think of off hand

Researcher: The big one is how we can get more people to attend the modules? What kind

of marketing schemes do you think we can use to get more interested about Money

Management?

Angelina Jolie: Well it shouldn’t have to be a scheme because people should want to know

how to balance their finances.

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Researcher: How would we attract one that is slightly more interested to market to them to

say hey this is a great thing to do?

Angelina Jolie: Well you have the big money thing maybe give them lotto tickets, no not

really but maybe a small reward or a certificate.

Researcher: Ok and where do you think we should put up the signs?

Angelina Jolie: In tax offices, so that when they receive their refunds they won’t just blow it

and stores

Researcher: I was thinking too to put it in with your refund check to people so the Federal

Government can say well why Don’t you sign up for these programs that are close by

Angelina Jolie: Yes that would be good

Researcher: Well thank you so much for coming and participating.

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Participant Belle

Researcher: Good evening Belle and thank you for coming and participating in my Research

Study.

Researcher: What age were you when you attended the Money Smart Program 18-25, 26-35

Belle: 18-25

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Belle: No

Researcher: What is the number of people in your household – adults over 18 and children

under 18

Belle: Adults over 18 is two and children under 18 is three

Researcher: Do you have any bank accounts?

Belle: Yes

Researcher: Current

Belle: Yes

Researcher: Are they checking, savings or other

Belle: Saving and checking

Researcher: Now that you have finished the program are you going to open other accounts

or are you satisfied with the with the accounts that you have.

Belle: For now I’m ok with the checking and savings

Researcher: Now how did you learn about the Money Smart Program?

Belle: Through a friend

Researcher: Why did you decide to attend the program

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Belle: Because I need help figuring out my money disabilities, because I do not know how to

manage my money properly

Researcher: Now you have a list of all the Money Smart modules there is a list of 10 of

them and you took the Money Matters Budgeting modules, now when you look at all the

other modules, were any of them of any interest to you to take

Belle: I wanted to look into Your Credit Module because there are some issues with my

credit and I would like to rebuild it.

Researcher: Ok, so also that might be Financial Recovery as well, just though you might

want to look into that.

Researcher: Now the other modules you did not pick, why?

Belle: Well some of the things I had already learned in school, like how to use a checking

account. I learned as a child and Understanding how to use a credit card is not that hard to

figure out that you have to use it and pay it off.

Researcher: On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the worst and 10 and being the best how would

you rate yourself with your money management before the program and after the program

Belle: Before the program probably a 3-4 and after a program getting up to about a 5-6 and

on my way to higher

Researcher: So why did you rate yourself those numbers?

Belle: I don’t really think about saving too often, I just think about paying thing off at the

moment but the module did make me think about saving for bigger things

Researcher: For long term more orientation so you are not dealing with today but dealing

with the future

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Belle: Right, that I don’t have to save big amounts I can save small amounts and it will add

up to big amounts eventually

Researcher: Do you have any money habits that you would recommend to others that would

help them. Any tricks of the trade that you use to make your money stretch, you know when

you are feeling pinched what do you do?

Belle: I stick to Ramen Noodles for food and get extra money by not spending it on bigger

food items, because I tend to eat out a lot

Researcher: So you just cut back on the eating out and you save.

Researcher: What did you expect to learn when you enrolled in this module?

Belle: How to organize my money issues

Researcher: Were your expectations met?

Belle: Yes

Researcher: Now thinking back is anything missing now that you think about the budgeting

and what you’ve learned, do you feel like there is something we should be adding to the

modules, something that is missing?

Belle: Maybe an example of the spreadsheets to use maybe

Researcher: Something to fill in and a more detailed explanation

Belle: Yes

Researcher: Now were the learning modules clear and did you understand the concepts?

Belle: Absolutely

Researcher: Were any of the concepts presented things that you already knew about?

Belle: I knew that I could get certain things back on my income tax if they were towards

school or work, like my uniforms for school could be put on my income tax.

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Researcher: Did you learn anything new

Belle: Everything else

Researcher: Are there any of the key modules that you are going to use later on?

Belle: The spreadsheets, it makes it easier to keep track of everything if I can write it all

down and learn to keep my Receipts so that I have an actual physical copy of things that I

have been spending my money on

Researcher: I might not have mentioned but someone else mentioned that there are some

apps on the phones this yellow wallet or leather wallet and you can just scan them in

Belle: That would be good because my receipts tend to fade pretty quickly when I try to save

them

Researcher: Do you feel that you know more about banks and handling money than you did

before?

Belle: Handling money yes, banks not so much, there is not too much to know about the

banks

Researcher: What did you like best about the program?

Belle: The presenter was very upbeat, it is a lot easier to follow information if the presenter is

not very drab and dull and can actually keep me interested in the program

Researcher: So how many people were in your program, was there a limit that works?

Belle: Smaller groups are better

Researcher: What is the number frame that works best for you?

Belle: I would say 10 max, after that it starts to get too loud and too many side conversations

and you cannot really focus

Researcher: What did you like the least about the program?

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Belle: I am a visual person and I like to have very color things around me to make me focus a

little more

Researcher: So the presentation should be more of a flash screen up on the wall

Researcher: We are trying to improve the modules, so in your opinion is there anything we

should do to jazz up the modules besides the visuals

Belle: Maybe have some exercises and have us walk through each one of the exercises

Researcher: Would people mind giving that kind of information up?

Belle: They could possibly use fake numbers just so that we could have an idea of how to

walk through it

Researcher: What is your marketing technique that you would use to bring people to take

the modules?

Belle: People my age and that are around me a lot tend to go coffee shops a lot, so I would

suggest putting out flyers in. Or anywhere that has caffeine available

Researcher: Is there any marketing ploy a big flashy phrase that we should put up, can you

envision something like that. We could put up at the coffee shop, like buzz words. Can you

think of anything like that? Think in terms of if you. We’re making it up and you had to go

put the signs up.

Belle: The only things I can think of is Manage Your Money Better, Save Your Money, Do

You Want to Have More Money Those kinds of things

Researcher: To draw their attention

Belle: Something in big bold letters to draw their attention

Researcher: Now do you think the time we already scheduled for them to walk-in or should

they be calling to set their own schedules

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Belle: I like the idea of setting their own schedules because people tend to be busy and it is

easy to work around your own schedule that to fit something into their already busy one. But

I think it is better to have a little of both to have the option to go to an open class or to have

one at your own time

Researcher: Ok so it’s better to have the option and say these are the scheduled classes but if

they don’t accommodate you please call here. Great ideas. Thank you Belle for participating

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Participant Betty

Researcher: Hi Betty thank you for participating in my research study

Researcher: What was your age when you attended the Money Smart Program 18-25, 26-

35?

Betty: 26-35

Researcher: Is you income over $30, 000

Betty: No

Researcher: What is the number of people in your household that you are financially

supporting, adults over 18 and children under 18?

Betty: Adults including myself only 1 and children under 18 there is 1

Researcher: Do you currently have any bank accounts?

Betty: Yes, checking and savings

Researcher: How did you learn about the Money Smart Program?

Betty: From a friend

Researcher: Why did you decide to attend the Money Smart Program?

Betty: It sounded like a good opportunity to learn about budgeting

Researcher: Do you recall which Money Smart module you attended?

Betty: It was Money Matters

Researcher: I have a list of all of the modules available through Money Smart, could you

tell me which ones you would like to attend in the future or not?

Betty: Own Your Own Home and Financial Recovery

Researcher: Why

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Betty: In the future I may be interested in purchasing a home or condo, so it would be good

to find out more about that and the Financial Recovery because I was laid off for two years

and just recently started working again in the past year, to find out more about getting a

handle on getting my finances back on track.

Researcher: You have the other modules listed, can you give me any reasons why you

would not attend any of the other ones?

Betty: Well the charge it Right – I don’t really use credit cards so that would not be one I

would attend. The Loan to Own – I don’t know if I would need that at this time because I

don’t know that I would be taking out any loans at this time or in the near future

Researcher: On a scale of 1being the worse and 10 being the best, how do you rate yourself

on understanding Money Management before you took the program and after?

Betty: I would say a 6 before the program and after I would say an 8.

Researcher: Why did you rate yourself this way?

Betty: Well, I think before I knew pretty well how to manage my money but then hearing

different ideas and new things made me have some new ideas I may want to think about.

Researcher: Could you describe your current money management style?

Betty: At this time it is week to week

Researcher: Do you have any money habits that you would recommend to others to use?

Betty: What I do now is write my bills out on a piece of paper as what’s needed to be paid

sooner and later and try to get to those immediate items first and then get to the lesser items

that are due months down the road and figure out how I can save for that later.

Researcher: What did you expect that you would learn before you enrolled in the Financial

Literacy module?

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Betty: I guess ways to manage my money as far to cut out things that I don’t need or

different ways to lay out your finances, bills and things like that and also to organize.

Researcher: Were your expectations met?

Betty: Yes

Researcher: Can you describe any information you expected but might have been missing?

Betty: I can’t really think of anything that was missing

Researcher: Were the learning modules clear and did understand the concepts being taught?

Betty: Yes

Researcher: Were any of Money Management methods presented in the modules things that

you already knew about?

Betty: Some of them yes

Researcher: What were they?

Betty: Some of the tax programs I knew about, also writing daily your spending habits as

well

Researcher: What new concepts about money management were presented to you?

Betty: Just talking about different systems of saving money, like putting it in envelopes or

you have the option of putting it in the bank so that you do not see it or different ways of

organizing on a calendar or spreadsheet however you want to.

Researcher: Now that you have finished the program are you planning on using any of these

new things?

Betty: I would like to start writing down more daily of my spending habits so that I can see

on paper what I am doing Wrong or right

Researcher: Do you feel that you know more about handling money that you did before

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Betty: Yes I do

Researcher: Can you tell me what you liked best about the program module?

Betty: I liked learning about the different ways to budget your money more for things that

you want versus the things that you need and how you can eliminate the wants if your needs

are more important and putting those above the wants.

Researcher: What did you like the least?

Betty: I can’t really think of anything that I liked the least. I think it was all useful

information

Researcher: We want to help and improve the Financial Literacy Module, so in your opinion

what can we do to improve the module that you took.

Betty: I think maybe making more people aware of the program so that more people know

about it

Researcher: That is the next questions, what are your ideas that will increase participation?

How can we get more people to take a module that interests them and make them aware of

the program?

Betty: Word of mouth, maybe people could tell their friends, and you can put up flyers in

schools, banks or community centers

Researcher: Thank you for your participation in my research study.

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Participant Chester

Researcher: Hi Chester thank you for coming and participating in my research study

Researcher: So what was your age when you attended the Money Smart module 18-25, 26-

35?

Chester: 18-25

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Chester: No

Researcher: What is the number of people in your household, adults over 18 and children

under 18?

Chester: There are 2 over 18 and none under 18

Researcher: Do you have any banks accounts?

Chester: Yes I have two

Researcher: Are they currently open?

Chester: Yes

Researcher: Are they savings and checking?

Chester: Yes

Researcher: Now that you have finished the program are you going to open any additional

accounts?

Chester: I plan on eventually opening another account, I’m not sure of the name of it but it is

a locked account where you cannot open it for x amount of years and you can deposit into but

if you were to withdraw you get a penalty.

Researcher: Now how did you learn about the Money Smart Program?

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Chester: I was informed by a friend of mine who had told me about the program and told me

that she was going to be participating in the program as well and she knows that I have

financial struggles and she knows it has been hard for me to manage money in certain

situations and thought the program would be helpful and that I would not have to feel

uncomfortable because the person that teaches the course is very nice, open minded and will

listen to what I have to say, so I wanted to give it a full effort and try and learn more so that I

can also be better at handling my finances.

Researcher: Do you recall which Money Smart module you took?

Chester: It was the Money Matters Budgeting module

Researcher: You have the list of all ten modules Money Smart has, when you look at then

are there any of interest to take in the future?

Chester: For me the two that I would be most interested in are Loan to Own and Your Own

Home because for myself the next big investment that I want to make is owning my own

home.

Researcher: Now looking at the other one are there one that are of no interest to you?

Chester: There are two and that is because I want to make sure it never happens is Financial

Recovery, because I don’t plan on having anything happen to be set back and Right of the

Consumer.

Researcher: Are these two that you are saying you would want to take just to steer clear?

Chester: No, they are the two I would be the least interested in?

Researcher: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best how would

you rate yourself in term of your money management before and after the program?

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Chester: Before the program I was about a paycheck by paycheck person so I would be on

the lower side so about about a 3 or a 4. After the program and getting a better understanding

of what I need to know, what I’ve learned from it if all goes right I should be between

an 8 to 9.

Researcher: can you describe your current money management style, how you manage your

money?

Chester: Well throughout each paycheck it is direct deposit and from there I divide off based

off on what I have to pay the bills so I get paid biweekly. So each paycheck half is going to

bills, and I have a lot of hospital bills to pay and I have my car paid off which helps. So 45%

of each pay check goes directly to bills from the start so that leaves me with essentially one

check every period that I have to myself. More recently I have been spending money a bit

more easily than in the past. Before I would spend my money down to the wire and hope to

make it the last few days before the next paycheck and then repeat that process. The best way

I go about budgeting before I had the bigger bills was that I would take $50 cash out during

the week and keep that in my wallet and everything else I would keep in my savings account

so that way I can’t use my credit card to charge because I would have to go down to the bank

and transfer the money and this was before I had smart phone to do it electronically.

Therefore anything I had to spend on it was something that I had to prepare for, granted that

it leaves me stuck if there is an ice for example and my car breaks down or if I ran out of gas,

then I would have to better prepare but for the most part I would leave everything in my

savings and only car a small amount of cash on me. If I had to go to the bank I knew I only

spent the $50 so far and what I have in the bank remaining.

Researcher: So how are you planning on changing what you are doing now?

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Chester: Well, I still plan on doing the same idea where I keep the minimum amount of cash

on me

Researcher: You were talking about owning your own home, so what is your plan on

starting to save towards owning your that?

Chester: At this point I work more hours than I did before, so I have more income coming in

now, and I have a very short commute to work and on that route I pick up a co-worker so

now we carpool and split the cost of commuting to work. So that saves me on gas money and

I also have in both accounts now for that where my paycheck gets divided through both so I

still have money in my checking accounts as I need to and the money that goes into my

savings I take half of that and put it into this separate investment account where it goes

strictly for home ownership and because there is a penalty for withdrawing monies from it I

cannot afford to do so, so all of that money will be just for purchasing a home. So I may

have a bit less in my savings but I have that money ultimate worst case scenario it is still

available, but not readily accessible for things that are not necessary at this time.

Researcher: What did you expect to learn before you enrolled in the Financial Literacy

Budgeting Module?

Chester: The biggest thing I expected to learn obviously was management of money and

how to divide up spending and also the idea of how to be able to compromise what you don’t

need all the time versus what you do need, in terms of you don’t need to eat out twice a

week, or go out to buy new toys or new video, or sports equipment etc. I felt that it also

taught me the idea of being able to control your spending by knowing what you can write out

for meaning if you were to make a spreadsheet for example to show what you spend on

average, whether it is per day, week or month whatever suits you that it gives you a better

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idea than saying I have $1200 in this and this item that I want is about $300 so I’ll have about

$800 left and if you don’t keep track of it then of course you are going to keep spending and

then one day you are going to be declined. But by writing out a spreadsheet and having a

budget, even on a phone or computer so that you have it easily accessible it will help.

Researcher: Were your expectations met from the modules?

Chester: Yes they were

Researcher: When you think back on the module is there anything missing or something that

should be put in there for people to see or hear on budgeting?

Chester: I think if there was some ideas to grow it could be like giving the attendees a fake

budget with monopoly money and say here is your budget and say you have a certain amount

of money for the month and these are your bills, this the rest of what you have now what do

you want to spend your money on and how would you normally handle your bills versus

what you think you should do for the day.

Researcher: Were the learning modules clear and did you understand what was being

taught?

Chester: Yes every single point

Researcher: Were any of the concepts presented things that you already knew?

Chester: Some yes

Researcher: Do you know which one they were?

Chester: The ones I remember are the ideas of how to meet your financial goals, the free tax

program called VITA and the idea of using spreadsheets to better finance your accounts.

Researcher: Are there any new ideas that were presented to you in the module?

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Chester: The one new thing that was presented to me because I did not know the difference

was ideas of expenses and what the difference was between flex spending and fixed

expenses. I always thought that fixed and fiscal spending were the same but was explained

to about some of the differences were as comparison to and I got a better understanding of

the two.

Researcher: Are any of the new concepts things that you are will apply going forward, in

terms of the computer spreadsheet?

Chester: Yes, that is one of them

Researcher: Do you feel that you have learned more about banks and how to handle money

that you did before the program?

Chester: Definitely more about how to handle my money absolutely

Researcher: What did you like best about the program?

Chester: From the start I had a very comfortable feeling going into this and I knew that this

was not just going to be a yes/no this is what you need to do. If I had to walk into a bank with

these same questions to get help it would not have had the same outcome. I felt this program

made me feel more at ease, that I did not have to eat out all the time, or take random drives to

Maryland. Before the program I was on overkill and now I see ever expense I can do instead

of waiting for my monthly bank statement to show me that I blew through my money, this

can show me how much I can spend for the weekend and if I go over that that if cuts into

what I have for the next week and limits my flexibility going forward.

Researcher: What did you like the least?

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Chester: I felt that I needed more of an understanding about banks in general. I do know a

thing or two about banks but maybe some smaller details like the difference between bank

and credit union and how one can help over the other.

Researcher: Actually that is the Bank On module which explains the difference between the

two, just so you know.

Researcher: Now the concept we are trying to do here is to improve the Financial Literacy

modules, so the one that you took, what do you think can help jazz it up or make people like

it more? Is there anything you can suggest, like the size of the classes, doing it on a loan

basis, etc.?

Chester: I think smaller groups work best; a big open group might make people more

hesitant to ask more questions because you don’t want to feel like you are so dumb in front of

so many people. When things are conducted in smaller groups or even a one on one session

you feel you get a much stronger learning experience because you are directly in contact with

the person as compared to being in a big open atmosphere where there is plenty of who may

have the same question but are afraid to ask and by being a one on one you can say wait I

don’t understand or I have a question about this, can you explain that better. You will have

more clientele with larger classes but the learning experience I think will diminish.

Researcher: So is there a number that you think the class size should not go beyond?

Chester: Honestly I don’t think it should go above one. For the best experience if you don’t

have anyone else to cause a distraction to you then you can focus directly on what you need

to. I think any experience is best learned one on one. Depending on the person they can be

as easily distracted as the person causing the distraction.

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Researcher: We are trying to get more people to take the program, so what would your

marketing scheme be for your age group to get them to come? How can we market the

program and different modules to them? Should we market the modules all together as one

big package or individual packages?

Chester: I would definitely go with the individual marketing of the module approach. When

someone especially in an age range such as mine the 18-25 range, everyone would be

hesitant with a lot of more thrown at them especially with the younger group. To throw so

much at someone from the start seems overwhelming for anybody, if you give someone a big

book to study compared to a smaller flip through book you will be more intrigued by the

smaller book and you may find interest in a certain chapter and you may learn about loans

and how they work so then you say let me learn about the home mortgages and expand from

one to the next. But throwing all of them at once you might find that they are not interested in

A-E but F and G is ok, then you feel that you are wasting your time and not care until it

comes to a point where you do care. Individually marketing the ones that you want you

specifically target what you want and need to learn for what you feel will make you grow

better.

Researcher: That is a great way to market by module. Now how do we get in contact with

your age group, what is the best marketing tool for that…posters on boards?

Chester: Well of course, the one thing that probably everyone in my age group do is browse

the net, so there is the basic things of social media networking sites is always the best way to

go. Those always have the most viewers at a time even though you may not have the best

results because someone might not be there to check that out. Television programming works

very well if you know your target audience, usually for the most part it will be people late at

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night because a. they do not work or b. they are up late to begin with because they are

stressed throughout the day and they can’t sleep. Targeting the weekends would not work for

my age group because we like to go out, so they are harder to do. So targeting at the

beginning or at the end of the month when people have their bills due and that would be the

perfect time to exemplify what you have to offer because you are there to say you are

struggling, why not take an hour out of your day like a Thursday if you are home and not

busy. You have that are due soon and you won’t have enough to pay them and you won’t

know what to do, you may try to do a Google search but that won’t help but if you took this

program it will help you out much better along the way much better than last minute. I’m out

of ideas searches.

Researcher: Ok, well thank you for being a part of my research study.

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Participant Clint

Researcher: Thank you Clint for participating in my research study

Researcher: So what age were you when you attended the Money Smart Program 18-25,

26-35, 36-50

Clint: 18-25

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Clint: No

Researcher: How many people in your household adults 18 and over and children 18 and

under?

Clint: One adult over 50 who is my father

Researcher: And no children under 18

Clint: No children under 18

Researcher: Do you already have a bank account?

Clint: No

Researcher: Never or were they closed

Clint: Never

Researcher: Now that you have taken the program are you willing to open any bank

accounts?

Clint: Yes, a savings account would be nice

Researcher: Why

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Clint: Just to save money and keep it. If I ever come across a situation where I am

financially in debt or something like that, I would have that money stored so if I ever need it I

could take it out and use it

Researcher: How did you learn about the Money Smart Program?

Clint: My friend told me about the program

Researcher: How did you decide to attend the program? Your friend told you about it but

what made you want to go.

Clint: I was curious to see what was going on and to be better financially suite myself

Researcher: Now do you recall and I am giving you the list of the 10 Money Smart modules,

if you can look at it. Can you recall which one you attended?

Clint: Money Matters

Researchers: Out of the remaining ones, are there any that seem of interest to take later if

not now, next month, or two months from now?

Clint: Financial Recovery

Researcher: Why?

Clint: It seems like it would save me out of a situation, so I would see what happens

Researcher: That’s a module that’s inclusive of all the other ones so you are just hitting it to

the quick and then you can skip all the other pieces

Researcher: Is there any on here that you would never want to attend that just don’t seem to

fit?

Clint: I mean all of them provide knowledge about a financial situation which some of them

or pretty much all of them I really don’t know about. So to say one I wouldn’t take it a bit

presumptuous. I don’t want to say that.

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Researcher: On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best, how do you rate

yourself in terms of your financial literacy and your money management skills before the

Budgeting Module and after?

Clint: Before I rated as a 4, now I would say it has moved up to a 5 or 6

Researcher: Now why would you rate yourself as a 4 and then a 5?

Clint: I learned ways that I could better adapt myself, like conserving my money and

keeping track of my spending. That is definitely some knowledge that I could use. The 4 I

didn’t care that much, and now especially opening a savings account to save some money

would be nice. So I rate myself from a 4 to about a 6

Researcher: What is your current money management style like?

Clint: Do you mean how my spending is

Researcher: Yes

Clint: I don’t really spend a lot; the only thing I would spend nowadays is just on food. I

would say at least $20-$30 a month on delivery or something like that. There are times my

dad cooks so we are set on that

Researcher: Do you have any money habits that you would recommend for others to use?

Good tips, things that you do that are really helpful that other people could take to heart.

Clint: Definitely that Lemon Log let app could definitely save you some money. It keeps

track of your receipts and the amount of money you spend on food and such and one photo of

receipts and you can put that on a spreadsheet and keep track of your money spending habits,

which is definitely good.

Researcher: What did you expect to learn before enrolling in the Financial Literacy module?

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Clint: I kind of expected spread sheets and things like that, maintaining your money,

spending, how to conserve your money, etc. I kind of expected what came to be.

Researcher: So your expectations were met?

Clint: Yes

Researcher: Is there anything that you found missing now that you look back, is there

something out there that we could add to the program?

Clint: No, I think that it is all there, I think maybe you could add another question. It seems

like all of the questions from the beginning part to the end seems a bit sequential and they

almost seem in the same order. So maybe vary that up and make it seem harder and more of a

challenge.

Researcher: Were the learning modules clear and were the concepts being taught clear?

Clint: Yes

Researcher: Were any of the concepts presented in the modules things that you already

knew about?

Clint: Spreadsheets, I already knew that because my dad does that himself

Researcher: Were there any new things that were presented, like the Lemon Log

Clint: Yes the Lemon Log

Researcher: Do you plan to start using or doing any of the new concepts?

Clint: Yes, I am going to get that app right away and probably open up a savings account

and put some money in.

Researcher: Do you feel that you know more about banks and handling money than you did

before?

Clint: Yes I would say so

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Researcher: Could you tell me what you liked best about the financial literacy module that

you attended?

Clint: The module on Money Matters, well I just like the environment of it.

Researcher: Was it the environment, the small scale versus a big room or going into a big

auditorium.

Clint: Yes. No, no not really a small group seems good because them you would get to

actually engage the reader

Researcher: You have a number that you think it should not be bigger than X for it to be

effective and then if we went to like 50

Clint: Oh yes 50 would be a disaster,

Researcher: But 1 does not work?

Clint: No, 1 does not work, I would say 10 people max, that would seem like a good number

Researcher: What did you like the last about the program?

Clint: I guess my issue was the multiple choice portion was not that challenging enough but

that would be it.

Researcher: The research is to try and improve the module so it there anything that you can

think of than can help improve the module itself?

Clint: Not really, I think it is ok the way it is

Researcher: We are trying to engage more people and get more people to attend, you got it

through word of mouth and someone convinced you to come, how can we convince the

average person. What marketing ideas do you have that can make more people come?

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Clint: Well I think you need to target people who are financially struggling with their debts

and such, because if they learn about this then they would start saving and it would be an

education for them to start saving.

Researcher: So you are saying target but how?

Clint: I guess you can contact their friends, like I said my friend told my about this and I

came to the program so I guess you can put posters up but mainly tell people, “listen if you

can tell your friends about this place I would be grateful” to get more people to come and

learn

Researcher: So more word of mouth would work.

Researcher: Great thank you Clint for coming.

Participant Foxy

Researcher: Hi Foxy I appreciate you coming in for the interview for the Financial Literacy

Research Study.

Researcher: At what age did you attend the Money Smart Program 18-25, 26-35 or 36-50?

Foxy: 18-25

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Foxy: No

Researcher: How many people are in your household, adults over 18 and children under 18?

Foxy: There are 2 adults and 1 child

Researcher: Do you have any bank accounts?

Foxy: Yes I do

Researcher: Which ones do you have?

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Foxy: Checking and savings account and closed

Researcher: So how did you learn about the Money Smart Program?

Foxy: From my cousin

Researcher: Why did you decide to come take the program?

Foxy: I think it is always good to know more information

Researcher: So you attended the Money Matters Budgeting module and as you can see

Money Smart offers 11 different modules, can you review them and see if there are any that

may be of further interest to you?

Foxy: I like the Pay Yourself First I think that is the savings

Researcher: Why does this one interest you?

Foxy: Well I pay everything first and then take out something last and then I have less at the

end. But if I take out some first and use the rest then I think I will be able to save more

Foxy: The other one that interests me is Owning Your Own Home because in a few years I

would like to own my own home.

Researcher: So there are about 9 others on the list that you didn’t choose from can you tell

me why they didn’t interest you?

Foxy: They just do not seem that interesting to me.

Researcher: Now on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best; how

would you rate yourself in terms of understanding money management before you took the

program and after?

Foxy: I would say a 6 before the program and now I would give myself a 8

Researcher: Why do you rate yourself these numbers?

Foxy: The little things I would never take those things into consideration but they do add up

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Researcher: How would you describe your money management style and how did you

developed it?

Foxy: I think it was family based and watching my mother from before and it was much

easier when I was single but now that I recently got married the beginning of this year it has

been a bit tough to match both of our ideas of managing money together and now with a baby

added in too. Plus our priorities are different.

Researcher: Do you have any money habits or recommendations, tricks of the trade things

that you have learned that other people might be able to use?

Foxy: I do not want a credit card, I want to avoid that as long as I have to and I try to take a

little cash out and do not use my debit card unless I have to and just live off of the money in

my purse and that way I can account for what I have. I find when I swipe I have no idea how

much money I end up spending

Researcher: Were the learning modules clear and did you understand the concepts being

taught?

Foxy: Yes they were clear

Researcher: Were any of the concepts presented in the module things that you already knew

about?

Foxy: A couple of them like the daily spending log which is tough when you are on the go

Researcher: I think it was more of like a once in a while kind of thing to analyze where your

money is going because otherwise you are not going to pay attention.

Researcher: What are some new concepts that were presented that you will want to take

forward?

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Foxy: The same thing about paying yourself first. Just simply before you get the money in

your hand just send $20 in an account and letting it build over a period of time.

Researcher: Do you feel you know more about handling your money than you did before?

Foxy: Yes I think so

Researcher: Can you tell me what you liked best about the Financial Literacy program?

Foxy: I liked that it opened your mind to different possibilities and there are a lot of

different ways to do things. We think that everything has to be computerized and I like that

but like my husband does not so this has a happy medium so that both of us can do it.

Researcher: What did you like the least?

Foxy: I don’t think there is anything I liked the least.

Researcher: Now we are trying to help people and improve the financial modules, so in your

opinion what can we do to make the modules better or more interesting?

Foxy: I think maybe some people are very graphic in terms of showing them how other

people did things, not just on paper maybe like more power points.

Researcher: What can do so more people will attend, how can market the program to get

them to attend?

Foxy: I did these focus groups that I say on Craigslist, so you could put it there and hold it at

a venue and you would be surprised at the amount of people that actually will come, because

a lot of big companies do that especially like Yale places ads and they call it a focus group

and they pay you like $30 and people do show up.

Researcher: Ok great that’s really good, thank you for coming.

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Participant Holly Berry

Researcher: Hi Holly I appreciate you coming in for the interview for the Financial Literacy

Research Study.

Researcher: At what age did you attend the Money Smart Program 18-25, 26-35 or 36-50?

Holly Berry: 36-50

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Holly Berry: No it is not

Researcher: How many people are in your household, adults over 18n and children under

18?

Holly Berry: There is one adult and no children

Researcher: Do you have any bank accounts?

Holly Berry: Yes I do

Researcher: Which ones do you have?

Holly Berry: Checking and savings account

Researcher: So how did you learn about the Money Smart Program and this budgeting

module?

Holllie Berry: I learned about it from my sister

Researcher: Why did you decide to come take the program?

Holly Berry: I wanted to see what I could learn

Researcher: So you have a list of the Money Smart modules and I believe you took the

Money Matters Budgeting one. Now when you look at the remaining ones are any of them of

interest and why?

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Holly Berry: Number five is of interest the Pay Yourself First module

Researcher: Why does this one interest you?

Holly Berry: I would like to see if I could save a little bit more than I am now

Researcher: Are there any other ones of interest?

Holly Berry: Number 11 which is Financial Recovery

Researcher: So why would you want Financial Recovery?

Holly Berry: Well I am not working right now so maybe that could help me

Researcher: So there are about 9 others on the list that you didn’t choose from can you tell

me why they didn’t interest you at all?

Holly Berry: Well I do not have a credit card and I don’t own my own home at this time

and I can budget myself pretty good so far.

Researcher: Now on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best; how

would you rate yourself in terms of understanding money management before you took the

program and after?

Holly Berry: I would say I was about a 2 before the program and now I am at a 7 after.

Researcher: Now why do you rate yourself this way?

Holly Berry: I was not spending the right way before

Researcher: So after the program you are a 7

Holly Berry: I learned not to spend my more

Researcher: How would you describe your money management style and how did you

develop it and who influenced it?

Holly Berry: My mother influenced my style and I pay the most important bills first and I

don’t go shopping a lot.

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Researcher: Do you have any money habits or recommendations, things that you have

learned along the way that other people might be able to use?

Holly Berry: I don’t really have anything special that I do

Researcher: What did you expect to learn before you enrolled in the learning Money Matters

module?

Holly Berry: Just basic budgeting because I watch Suzie Orman a lot on t.v.

Researcher: Do you have any future goals or expectations for yourself financially?

Holly Berry: Yes to hopefully get a job and start saving more

Researcher: Were the learning modules clear and did you understand the concepts being

taught?

Holly Berry: Yes they were clear

Researcher: Were any of the concepts presented in the module things that you already knew

about?

Holly Berry: Yes somewhat

Researcher: Do you know which ones they were?

Holly Berry: I think believe it or not I knew most of them

Researcher: What about anything new that you learned that you will take with you going

forward?

Holly Berry: Maybe not going to Dunkin Donuts every day and eating out all the time, I am

going to

Researcher: Do you feel you know more about handling your money before?

Holly Berry: Yes I do

Researcher: Can you tell me what you liked best about the program?

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Holly Berry: I like you and really learned a lot from the program

Researcher: What did you like the least?

Holly Berry: I can’t think of anything that didn’t like

Researcher: Now we are trying to help people and improve the financial modules, so in your

opinion what can we do to make the modules more interesting?

Holly Berry: I think everything is fine, the problem starts when people don’t follow the rules

of the module and then there is nothing that you can do to help them beyond that.

Researcher: The other big thing is how do you think we can market the program to get more

people to attend?

Holly Berry: Maybe offer them food

Researcher: Ok offer them food and get it out to the people, but where do we offer it to

them and say we are going to have a discussion on Money Matters and Budgeting to help

you? Where would we put that ad?

Holly Berry: Well you can do flyers in e-mails, pass them out at schools and have kids hand

them out to people as well.

Researcher: Holly, Thank you for participating.

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Participant Jane

Researcher: Good afternoon Jane and thank you for being apart of the Financial Literacy

Research Study.

Researcher: At what age did you attend the Money Smart Program 18-25 or 26-35?

Jane: 18-25

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Jane: No it is not

Researcher: How many people are in your household, adults over 18n and children under

18?

Jane: There are 6 adults and no children

Researcher: Do you have any bank accounts?

Jane: No, they are closed

Researcher: Now that you have finished the program, do you think you will be opening any

bank accounts?

Jane: No I think I will continue to keep the cash with me and do the envelope idea and split

it off into different

Researcher: So how did you learn about the Money Smart Program?

Jane: My mother informed me about it

Researcher: Why did you decide to take the program?

Jane: I need a lot of help with my spending and I spend very frivolously

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Researcher: So you have a list of the Money Smart modules and I believe you took the

Money Matters Budgeting one. Now when you look at the remaining ones are any of them of

interest?

Jane: It would probably be To You Credit about how to read your credit and how to build

and repair your credit history because mine is pretty bad

Researcher: So are there any listed that you have no interest in?

Jane: Probably the Loan to Own

Researcher: Now on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best; how

would you rate yourself in terms of understanding money management before you took the

program and after?

Jane: Before I took the program I was probably only like a 4 and now I feel like it is around

a 7 or an 8.

Researcher: Now why do you rate yourself this way?

Jane: Before I never actually stop to think about how I spent my money I just spent it as I

went.

Researcher: You just described your money management style which, is spend as you go.

Jane: Yes

Researcher: Do you have any money habits or recommendations, things that you have

learned along the way that other people might be able to use?

Jane: One of the big things that I have learned this week is that I actually roll my own

cigarettes as oppose to buying pack after pack. When I calculated it I was spending about

$400 on individual packs and now rolling my own it cost me $30 and that lasts me 3 weeks

of cigarettes.

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Researcher: What did you expect to learn before you enrolled in the learning module?

Jane: I was just hoping to learn different ways to keep track of money

Researcher: Were your expectations met?

Jane: Yes

Researcher: Now thinking back about it is there anything in the module that is missing that

would be helpful to be thrown in there?

Jane: I guess more ways for people besides doing the envelope or the check book for writing

down your expenses. As for myself checkbooks never worked for me because I always

balanced it out wrong. I need something better than the checkbook and the envelope that

would work better, like examples of how to do it.

Researcher: So you are a more visual hands on learner than to have something on the side

and now you have figured out that the envelope is the best way for you?

Researcher: Were the learning modules clear and did you understand the concepts

presented?

Jane: Yes they were clear and I liked the examples that were examples that were given

Researcher: Were any of the concepts presented in the module things that you already knew

about?

Jane: Some of the things I already knew about were not spending on things that want versus

things that I need

Researcher: What were some of the new concepts that were presented to you in the module?

Jane: The Spending Diary, so that I can see day to day what I spend money on

Researcher: Will you use this new information going forward?

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Jane: Yes I plan to, I think I am going to take this page from you actually and bring it

upstairs and write it down

Researcher: Do you feel you know more about handling your money before?

Jane: Yes because now I can see myself saving for future expenses are a better idea than just

spending for now.

Researcher: Can you tell me what you liked best about the program?

Jane: I liked the people that I took it with because they asked questions that I couldn’t form

so it gave me more answers to questions that I couldn’t think of tight away and more insight

to other things and it was described in a way that was also easy to understand.

Researcher: What did you like the least?

Jane: Pretty much all of it was useful and there was not much that I did find that was not

useful

Researcher: Now we are trying to make the financial module better, so after taking them is

there anything that we can do to improve the module?

Jane: The only thing I can see that would relate to visual learners like myself is having

diagrams to explain it, like having the daily spending diary with a little bit more to it like,

instead of having is just separated where you have the whole day out you can halve columns

where you have morning, midday and night so I can better keep track.

Researcher: So what can we do, because we are trying to get more people to take the

program so how can we market the program to them, what would you suggest as a marketing

tactic?

Jane: Well plenty of people now a day are going out and spending money on things they

think they need as oppose to what they actually do need, so it would be good to market it

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towards people who like we were saying before go out and spent $200 on junk food as

oppose to getting meals for the week

Researcher: How do week approach that person without offending them to get them

interested because if they are offended then they are not going to be bothered so how do we

target those people?

Jane: It would be good to market towards college students who have to balance between

working, school and their daily lives because you may be able to get them to see that a

budgeting class would be good because it can show then that there are a lot of better ways to

spend their money and that.

Researcher: So you are saying catch them in school before they go out on their own.

Jane: Pretty much before they go out into the world and they are just shoved into it and have

no idea, catch them while they are still in school and show them that this is a better way to do

it.

Researcher: Is there a way to catch the ones that have gotten out and have no idea that these

things are available? Where should we put up signs and we do you think we can catch

attention?

Jane: Besides like businesses, I don’t know many places that would allow posting besides

colleges

Researcher: It is just food for thought and it you think of anything else later you can contact

me. I appreciate your time and thank you again.

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Participant John

Researcher: Good evening John thank you for in my research study.

Researcher: You are male and at what age did you attend the Money Smart Program 18-25,

26-35

John: 18-25

Researcher: Do you have income of over $30, 000

John: No

Researcher: What is the number of people in your household adults over 18 and children

under 18?

John: Two that are over 18

Researcher: Do you have a bank account

John: No

Researcher: Never or did you close them

John: I closed them

Researcher: Now that you have finished the module will you be opening any bank accounts

anytime soon?

John: Yes, soon not too soon, but soon enough

Researcher: How did you learn about the Money Smart Program?

John: I learn about it from my neighbor

Researcher: What made you decide to attend the program?

John: I wanted to see what it was about and to learn more about the program and to see how

to save money better

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Researcher: Do you recall which Money Smart module you attended?

John: The Money Matters budgeting

Researcher: Are you interested in any of the other modules now or in the future?

John: Probably the Pay Yourself First savings because I would like to learn how to save

more and also your Charge it Right on how to use a credit card responsibly, I would

definitely want to learn how to try and do that better. The Homeowner one is another module

but not right now, maybe in the future when I would like to buy a home. Financial Recovery

Steps so if I ever need to recover from financial debt I would know how to do it.

Researcher: Why would you not want to be in the first couple, one was Bank on It for

information on banks or Borrowing Basics

John: Actually I would like to do the Bank on It, I do know a good bit about banks but I

would like to know a little more, the Borrowing Basics and the understanding credit cards, I

do know a bit about credit cards already but maybe I could learn a little more so yes I would

be interested in that and in most of them.

Researcher: What would make you attend them, what is stopping you from attending these

modules now?

John: Nothing really, I would attend them if I could

Researcher: Ok well then I will put you in touch with the person in charge of them

John: that would be great

Researcher: On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best how would you

rate yourself in terms of understanding banking, your savings and bill paying pretty much

everything about money management before the program and after the program?

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John: I would say before the program I was at a 3 and now after the program I almost closer

to a 10 almost like and 8 or 9

Researcher: Why did you rate yourself this way?

John: Well based on the fact that I didn’t really know much about banking before and

definitely this has taught me a lot more about it

Researcher: What is your current money management style? How Do you control or

organize your money or spending?

John: Well when I had money I would put it in my bank account and check it by getting a

receipt to see what I was spending each day and try to write down what I spend each day i.e.

if I bought a soda so that I would know how much money I would have the next day

Researcher: Do you have any money habits that you would recommend to others to use?

John: Basically everyday write down what you spend and make sure that your finances are

good and don’t spend more on something if you know you have to pay your rent

Researcher: What did you expect you would to learn before you enrolled in this Financial

Literacy module?

John: I expected that I would learn more banking and financial and more about saving

money and I did learn that and monthly calendar and writing down what you spend

Researcher: Was there any information that you expected but was found missing in the

program?

John: No not at all

Researcher: Were the learning module clear and did you understand the concepts being

taught?

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John: Yes almost every one of them was clear and I understood the concepts being taught.

One of the questions on the pre-test that I got mixed up on because it was not too clear

Researcher: Were there any concepts in the Money Management methods things that you

were already doing or knew about?

John: Yes, like how I save my receipts, because it said to do that usually all the time and I

always know how much money I have in my bank account.

Researcher: Were any new concepts about financial matters presented to you in the learning

modules?

John: Yes definitely, some of the new ones presented to me were about how I can save

money with the coupons and all different ways to save money and financial be able to do

other things with your money and not spend it all on things you

Researcher: Do you plan to start using any of these new items you learned about?

John: Yes definitely

Researcher: Do you feel you know more about the banks, banking and handling money than

you did before?

John: Yes

Researcher: What did you like best about the program and what you liked the least about it?

John: I liked best probably being explained how to save money more efficiently than I was

before. I was spending my money more quickly before even though I knew how much I had

but now I learned more how to save my money and put it aside for the things that I really

need than things that I want.

Researcher: Is there anything that you liked least about the program, maybe something that

you would change to make it better for you?

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John: It seemed ok, I learned a great deal of stuff

Researcher: We want to help people and we want to improve the Financial Literacy

Program so in your opinion what can we do to improve out Financial Literacy module for

budgeting?

John: Maybe talk about financial aid more

Researcher: A big thing is how can we get more people to attend these Financial Literacy

Modules? What do you think is a good marketing tool for people your age group to get them

to come?

John: Post an add on a billboard, tv or in newspaper or even just something like in the mall

where young kids hang out advertisement set up at like a kiosk in the mall because a lot of

young kids hang out there and spend money and if they see these signs up they might want to

learn more about it because the kids don’t know how to save their money.

Researcher: Do you think they would feel uncomfortable asking or going

John: Maybe some people might feel uncomfortable about it probably 90% would feel

comfortable and 10% would feel uncomfortable

Researcher: Thank you for being a part of my research study

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Participant Juliet

Researcher: Hi Juliet I appreciate you coming in for the interview for the Financial Literacy

Research Study.

Researcher: At what age did you attend the Money Smart Program 18-25 or 26-35?

Juliet: 18-25

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Juliet: No

Researcher: How many people are in your household, adults over 18 and children under 18?

Juliet: There are 6 adults including myself and no children

Researcher: Do you have any bank accounts?

Juliet: Yes I do

Researcher: Do you have any currently that are active?

Juliet: Yes, savings and checking

Researcher: Now that you have finished the program are you going to open any additional

bank accounts?

Juliet: I actually might

Researcher: Why?

Juliet: I like how you talk about the splitting your paycheck into two separate accounts so

have one that you forget about so that you can save the extra money.

Researcher: So how did you learn about the Money Smart Program?

Juliet: From my roommates

Researcher: Why did you decide to come take the program?

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Juliet: II thought it was good to learn more about money and budgeting, I could always use

the extra help with that.

Researcher: You have in front of you a list of the Money Smart modules can you tell me

which one you attended?

Juliet: It was the Money Matters Budgeting module.

Researcher: If you look at all the other modules are any of them of any interest to take

currently or in the future?

Juliet: Definitely I really like this course so I would definitely take a couple more

Researcher: Is there a specific time-frame or interest because we can set you up for that?

Juliet: Yes I would definitely be interested in taking something in a couple of weeks

Researcher: Is there any listed there that you have no interest in?

Juliet: Well I really don’t need a loan so I wouldn’t be interested in that one but everything

else looks pretty interesting.

Researcher: Now on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best; how

would you rate yourself in terms of understanding money management before you took the

program and after?

Juliet: Before the program I would say a 5 but afterwards I say about a 8 or 9 because I don’t

think I knew as much as I thought I did.

Researcher: How would you describe your money management style?

Juliet: Pretty much at this point I just have all of my money going into one bank account

and I forget it until I need to make a payment and then I take it out but then as soon as I see

how much I have I say I have a lot of money in there I spend a little more because I save a

little more, which in turn makes all my savings go away

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Researcher: Do you have any money habits, tricks of the trade things that you would

recommend to other?

Juliet: It is pretty much just if you are going to spend money on yourself you need to set a

specific that you are not going to go over. My credit card limit is only up to $400 and I have

an e-mail notification once I hit $200 and that is pretty much the amount that I will spend on

myself for recreational stuff.

Researcher: What did you expect to learn before you enrolled in the Financial Literacy

module?

Juliet: I hoped to learn some extra tips and see if I’m doing anything right or if I’m doing it

all wrong

Researcher: Were your expectations met?

Juliet: Yes I figured out where I could definitely improve a lot

Researcher: Were the learning modules clear and did you understand the concepts being

taught?

Juliet: Yes they

Researcher: Now that you think about and reflect it is there something missing, something

we can add to the budget module to bring it together?

Juliet: I think you covered all the bases correctly and I didn’t have any questions on it and it

was well put together.

Researcher: Well you jumped ahead to the next question, was the learning modules clear

and did you understand the concepts being taught?

Juliet: Yes I found everything to be very well spoken

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Researcher: Were any of the concepts presented in the module things that you already knew

about?

Juliet: I think it was just about handling your own budget

Researcher: What are some new concepts that were presented that you will use going

forward?

Juliet: I did like the concept of using the separate account with having and extra savings it’s

a smart idea

Researcher: Do you feel you know more about handling your money than you did before?

Juliet: Yes I do

Researcher: Can you tell me what you liked best about the Financial Literacy program?

Juliet: I liked that it wasn’t very dry course, it was fun, and I was able to understand things a

little bit better instead of just of being told to just do this, this and this, it was presented in a

more personal manner

Researcher: So you didn’t mind having people, you prefer that. A crowd of people taking it

or is there a limit to that?

Juliet: I definitely would say a small group of people would be fine. A room full of 40-50

people would be too much but if you had a room of 20 to maybe 30 that would be ok.

Researcher: What did you like the least?

Juliet: Probably the part where I was told I was doing it wrong, but other than that

everything was fine.

Researcher: Now we are trying to help people and improve the financial modules, so in your

opinion what can we do to make the modules better or more interesting?

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Juliet: I think it all went pretty well, I like that you can get the spreadsheets with the class

and you show how to put them into effect with what you have learned and you can reference

back to it

Researcher: We are trying to get more people to attend the modules so give us your

marketing tips, how do we reach people in the 18-25 range to get them to come?

Juliet: After hearing it I’m going to put it into effect for myself and I can say look I’ve taken

these tips and use them to save money and you can do the same. If they ask how did I learn

how to do that I can tell them that I went to these classes and they were easy, well spoken,

easily understood and you can learn a lot.

Researcher: So you are saying to market based on word of mouth. Now how do we connect

to w wider scope any ideas on how to do that?

Juliet: I would say for something along this line I see people at tables at certain events you

can do that you can do that and do small advertisement.

Researcher: Previously someone mentioned a kiosk at the mall with flyers and the full front

of it made appealing

Juliet: Yes it could be like those boat for sale advertisement and have all the modules

available so they can see and say hey, check out these modules they can help you save money

or work on your finances

Researcher: We can have your testimonial attached and local testimonials

Juliet: Yes that would be good because they can identify with myself or others

Researcher: Ok great ideas and thank you for coming.

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Participant Lee Brown

Researcher: Hi Lee Brown I appreciate you coming in for the interview for the Financial

Literacy Research Study.

Researcher: At what age did you attend the Money Smart Program 18-25, 26-35 or 36-50?

Lee Brown: 26-35

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Lee Brown: No

Researcher: How many people are in your household, adults over 18 and children under 18?

Lee Brown: There are two adults and two children in my household

Researcher: Do you have any bank accounts?

Lee Brown: Yes I do

Researcher: What kind?

Lee Brown: Checking and savings

Researcher: So how did you learn about the Money Smart Program?

Lee Brown: Through a family member

Researcher: Why did you decide to attend the program?

Lee Brown: It is good to get more information on how to save and budget and good to see

and get other ideas on how to save.

Researcher: You have in front of you a list of the 11 Money Smart modules and you

attended the Money Matters Budgeting and looking at the rest are there any of the remaining

modules that are of interest to you now or in the future and if not why?

Lee Brown: The Pay Yourself First would be one

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Researcher: Ok that one interests you, why is that?

Lee Brown: Well it would be good to save for an emergency so when you pay yourself first

and you put away any little bit for that it is a good way to save some kind of emergency fund

Researcher: Any other ones look interesting?

Lee Brown: Yes the Owning Your Own Home and the Home Buying Process

Researcher: Why are these other two of interest to you?

Lee Brown: Well because it is good to own a home and it is also a way to save as well

because when you own a property it is a good investment and it is a long term savings that

you can get out of it.

Researcher: Do you own a home already or are you looking to buy currently?

Lee Brown: I am looking to buy

Researcher: Now the others that you did not chose is there reasons why you would not be

interested; is it now or never that kind of thing?

Lee Brown: Not now

Researcher: So the rest of them don’t have any interest for you?

Lee Brown: Yes they do but maybe I would take them at a later time

Researcher: Now on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best; how

would you rate yourself in terms of understanding money management before you took the

program and after?

Lee Brown: Before the program I would say I was a 4 and after I would say I am about a 6

now.

Researcher: Why do you rate yourself these numbers?

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Lee Brown: I got some good information on how to eliminate credit card and how to pay

myself first, I think those was very good process of doing some saving.

Researcher: How would you describe your money management style and how you

developed it?

Lee Brown: My current style is not having enough reserve for emergency and I got to this

point by not planning properly.

Researcher: But how did you get your sense of money management, as a teen etc.

Lee Brown: I would say as an adult

Researcher: Who were you influenced by?

Lee Brown: By myself

Researcher: Ok so you were a self-learner

Researcher: Do you have any money habits, tricks of the trade things that you would

recommend to others that has worked for you?

Lee Brown: Pay everything with cash and stay away from the credit cards

Researcher: What did you expect to learn before you enrolled in the Financial Literacy

module?

Lee Brown: I really didn’t have any expectations; I just came to see what I could learn

Researcher: Do you have any future financial goals, you mentioned the house is that the

next big thing you are trying to save for, a car or something in between?

Lee Brown: To be debt free

Researcher: Were the learning modules clear and did you understand the concepts being

taught?

Lee Brown: Yes they were clear and the concepts were ok

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Researcher: Were any of the concepts presented in the module things that you already knew

about?

Lee Brown: Yes I think so

Researcher: Which ones do you remember?

Lee Brown: It wasn’t presented to me in that way but to put away some money for a rainy

day but it wasn’t presented like a pay yourself first format

Researcher: What are some new concepts that were presented that you will use going

forward?

Lee Brown: I like the credit card where this lady has a bill and she uses one credit card to

pay for the bill and before the six months expires she uses another card to pay for the first

card, so the interest rate does not accumulate.

Researcher: Do you feel you know more about handling your money than you did before?

Lee Brown: I would say yes somewhat

Researcher: Of the new things that you’ve learned is there anything that feels important?

Lee Brown: No it’s the same thing

Researcher: Can you tell me what you liked best about the Financial Literacy program?

Lee Brown: I liked the teaching

Researcher: What did you like the least?

Lee Brown: To me it was fine, I didn’t see anything that was least that I liked.

Researcher: Now we are trying to help people and improve the financial modules, so in your

opinion what can we do to make the modules better or more interesting?

Lee Brown: No I don’t think that there was anything more that could be added it was fine to

me

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Researcher: The big one is how we can get more people to attend the modules?

Lee Brown: I guess by word of mouth

Researcher: We would like to market the program better, so it there a place where we can

put up signs or things like that?

Lee Brown: Oh well maybe you can visit like a church setting and hand out flyers to church

members or a community center and hand out flyers there as well.

Researcher: Well thank you so much for coming and participating.

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Participant Margarita

Researcher: Hi Margarita I appreciate you coming in for the interview for the Financial

Literacy Research Study.

Researcher: At what age did you attend the Money Smart Program 18-25, 26-35 or 36-50?

Margarita: 36-50

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Margarita: No

Researcher: How many people are in your household, adults over 18 and children under 18?

Margarita: 1 adult and 3 children

Researcher: Do you have any bank accounts?

Margarita: Yes

Researcher: What kind?

Margarita: Checking and savings

Researcher: So how did you learn about the Money Smart Program?

Margarita: I heard about if from my friend

Researcher: Why did you decide to attend the program?

Margarita: I really need to fix my bills and I need to learn how to keep my money

Researcher: You have in front of you a list of the 11 Money Smart modules do you

remember which one you took?

Margarita: The Money Matters Budgeting

Researcher: Not it lists all of the others ones can you explain if any of them are of interest

that you would like to take as or if they are or not interest?

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Margarita: Well right now the one that interests me is the Budgeting that is more important

Researcher: Ok so right now you are fixated on that to start

Margarita: Yes

Researcher: Now on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best; how

would you rate yourself in terms of understanding money management before you took the

program and after?

Margarita: I would say before the program I was a 2 and not after the program I am now an

8

Researcher: Why?

Margarita: Well because I am able to understand more

Researcher: How would you describe your money management style are you a saver, a

spend as you go, what is it?

Margarita: Well I am a saver and I try to find different ways to save my money

Researcher: Do you have any money habits, tricks of the trade things that you would

recommend to others that has worked for you?

Margarita: Well coupons help a lot and try to get only what you need at home, like for

instance with your cable don’t get a lot of channels you can’t afford get smaller package and

save on your bill

Researcher: What did you expect to learn before you enrolled in the Financial Literacy

module?

Margarita: I wanted to learn how to better distribute my money for my bills and pay my

bills on time

Researcher: Were your expectations met for the programs?

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Margarita: Yes I think so

Researcher: Were the learning modules clear and did you understand the concepts being

taught?

Margarita: Yes

Researcher: Were any of the concepts presented in the module things that you already knew

about?

Margarita: No

Researcher: What are some new things that you learned in the module that has started to

help you manage your money better?

Margarita: That there are places that can help me

Researcher: Are some new concepts that were presented that you will use going forward?

Margarita: Yes there are

Researcher: Do you feel you know more about handling your money than you did before?

Margarita: Yes I do

Researcher: Can you tell me what you liked best about the Financial Literacy program or

what makes it positive that that you would recommend it to others?

Margarita: Well first of that you are going to be ok and that you are going to be ok and pay

your bills on time now that you know what to focus on first

Researcher: What did you like the least?

Margarita: I didn’t like anything the least

Researcher: Now we are trying to help people and improve the financial modules, so in your

opinion what can we do to make the modules better or more interesting?

Margarita: Reassure them that they will get what they expect from the program

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Researcher: The big one is how we can get more people to attend the modules? How can we

market the program so that more people who need help will come and get it, that what

marketing means, so how can we do that?

Margarita: Talking to other people if we know someone and letting them know about the

program and that it can help them

Researcher: Ok great so word of mouth by talking to people that brings them in

Researcher: Is there any kind of marketing that we can do and at what kind of location to

let people know there are these program and where should we put up these signs?

Margarita: You can go to the health places like the Spanish centers where we get help and

they can hand out the information

Researcher: Well thank you so much for coming and participating.

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Participant Monster

Researcher: Good evening Monster and thank you for participating in my research study

and your attendance in the money Smart Module

Researcher: What was your age when you attended the program 18-25, 26-35?

Monster: 18-25

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Monster: No

Researcher: How many are in your household and how many are under 18?

Monster: That I am responsible for? I have 7 roommates that are over 18, no children

Researcher: Do you have any bank accounts?

Monster: Yes

Researcher: Savings, checking

Monster: I have two checking accounts and a savings

Researcher: Now that you have finished the program are you going to open any other

accounts?

Monster: No, I plan on closing one of the checking accounts because I don’t use it any more,

the only reason I originally opened it was because that was where I got my money but then I

moved to another bank, I’ve taken out all the money I just have not closed it as of yet

Researcher: Now how did you learn about the Money Smart Program?

Monster: M y friend introduce me to it

Researcher: Why did you decide to attend?

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Monster: I’ve never been too responsible with money and I’ve never really fallen into the

negatives but I’m always scraping by and I’m lucky enough to make my bills on time but the

money that I need for myself for fun that I never have

Researcher: You took the Budgeting module but Money Smart offers 10 different modules,

so if you look through the list that I gave you is there any that you might be interested in

taking later or are any of them that you have no interest in at all?

Monster: I would say the home buying process because I plan on buying a home at some

point

Researcher: Is there any that you would not want to take?

Monster: I would say the Check it Out, because I already have a checking account

Researcher: Yes you are good with that one

Monster: And Borrowing Basics, because I have had credit cards and it’s like buy and pay

off as soon as I do and I tried to build my credit but then I got bored with it

Researcher: On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best, how would

you rate yourself on understanding your money management before you took the module and

after?

Monster: Understanding my money management before I would say well before, but I don’t

really follow the plan I set down but I don’t have the will power to go through with it. This

program has given me a little bit more of an understanding and before I was at a 7 and now I

am at about an 8

Researcher: So what is your money management style?

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Monster: I wait until I get paid and then I take care of everything that needs to get taken care

of and then the money that is left over is considered me money. But my money is always

blown on the most ridiculous things. I always write out a plan and I never follow it

Researcher: So do you have any money habits that you would recommend to others to use,

like tricks of the trade that you have developed that you would pass along that may help

someone else?

Monster: Well I have a million ideas, I have great ideas and if you follow them the plan

would work. One idea is to never, never eat out, cook for yourself, buy your own food, make

sure you know where the discounts are, couponing, I would love to get into couponing, I do

not have the will.

Researcher: What did you expect to learn before you enroll in the module?

Monster: Maybe a little bit better with the budgeting

Researcher: Were your expectations met?

Monster: For the most part, I’ve taken money management courses before and one very

similar to this one that may have been derived from this one and it got a lot more in depth

that the previous course as it was only powerpoint slides for like 2-3 hours and this one took

a bit longer and I had to read through and push myself forward

Researcher: Now that you have taken the course did you find that there is anything missing

or anything that you would add to the module that you help?

Monster: No I think, you broke down the whole idea of budgeting and that was the most

important aspect for me and you write everything down and you keep a nice little chart and

keep track of your daily expenses and what you spend most of your money on.

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Researcher: Now the module that you took was it clear and did you understand the concepts

presented to you?

Monster: Yes

Researcher: Were any of the concepts presented things that you already knew about?

Monster: yes a lot of them actually

Researcher: Like what?

Monster: Well a couple of the tax programs for example that they mention, I had heard of

them before.

Researcher: Were there any new concepts presents?

Monster: I can’t think of new ones at the moment

Researcher: Are you going to apply any of the concepts presented or are you thinking about

it but you are not sure how successful you will be?

Monster: It is all in my will power

Researcher: Is there something like if you had a mentor to check on you monthly that would

help or be a hindrance to you?

Monster: I think that would be more of a hindrance because I would feel like I would have a

bit of a pride issue with having someone checking up on me

Researcher: Well I was just saying you could sign up for a mentoring program where they

could say check on you and say how’s it coming because some people have a mother

syndrome where my mom’s calling so I have to do it? So I don’t know how to work your

psyche to get you to do it and make it come to fruition, but it may be that something comes

up that you need to save for and that may change your mind

Monster: I think that would be it, I do plan on saving up eventually to move somewhere

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Researcher: Do you feel that you know more about the banks and handling money than you

did before?

Monster: I would say about the same

Researcher: Can you tell me what you like best about the program and what you liked the

least?

Monster: I would say the monthly payment calendar, although I would never really consider

the monthly aspect like daily and break it down, that was the most informative to me

Researcher: It brought you into a longer term orientation verses a daily option

Monster: It opens the door for a yearly plan and it makes me looks towards the future rather

than daily

Researcher: What did you like the least?

Monster: I like the tax part, just because the word taxes scares me

Researcher: My research is to help the module get better so could you tell me anything to

help jazz it up and make it more exciting or what we can do to make it more exciting?

Monster: I would say just say the play on words, a lot of the things seem scary like loans

and credit. The way you approach it has to seem like an advantage, to make it fun and

inviting. Presented program in a more friendly, warm, and inviting way.

Researcher: So for your age group, how do we market the program so more people take it.

What is your suggestion for getting more people to take it and how can we market it?

Monster: Have the young crowd go out and talk about it mostly, especially because I see a

lot of successful people my age that are good with money management and if you can get

them to take your Money Management course and if they learn something from it and they

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push the word to their friends that are not good with money management and say this helped

me

Researcher: So word of mouth is key for your generation too

Monster: Social networking too like Facebook, Twitter if you can get actual people to say

things like that on behalf of the university for this program that would help

Researcher: Thank you for participating in my research study

Participant Oil Man

Researcher: Hi Oil Man I appreciate you coming in for the interview for the Financial

Literacy Research Study.

Researcher: At what age did you attend the Money Smart Program 18-25, 26-35 or 36-50?

Oil Man: 18-25

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Oil Man: No

Researcher: How many people are in your household, adults over 18 and children under 18?

Oil Man: 1 adult and no children, one on the way

Researcher: Do you have any bank accounts?

Oil Man: Yes

Researcher: What kind?

Oil Man: Checking and savings

Researcher: So how did you learn about the Money Smart Program?

Oil Man: I heard about if from my cousin

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Researcher: Why did you decide to attend the program?

Oil Man: Well it was pretty good and I try to save and put money away

Researcher: You have in front of you a list of the 11 Money Smart modules and you

attended the Money Matters Budgeting and looking at the rest are there any of the remaining

modules that are of interest to you now and why?

Oil Man: The Money Building so that I could try to put money aside for a college education

for my daughter before she gets here and by the time she turns 18

Researcher: Why aren’t any of the other ones interesting?

Oil Man: Well as for the credit card I’m not good with those, so if I don’t have any money I

don’t want to use a credit card

Researcher: Ok and so most of the modules seem to lean in that direction?

Oil Man: Yes

Researcher: Now on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best; how

would you rate yourself in terms of understanding money management before you took the

program and after?

Oil Man: I would say I was a 7 before

Researcher: That was before why?

Oil Man: Well I would spend a lot of money and I would not budget myself

Researcher: And now after the program?

Oil Man: Now I really started to write down what I spend

Researcher: So now how would you rate yourself after the program?

Oil Man: I would give myself about an 8 pretty good

Researcher: Why

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Oil Man: Now I start to budget myself and realize that I can’t just spend money like I want

and before I didn’t care I would just spend my money on stupid things

Researcher: With the baby on the way your mind set is switching

Oil Man: Yes even before I found that out, I use to spend $100 on an item if I wanted it, I

bought it without a care

Researcher: How would you describe your money management style and how you

developed it and what influenced you into your savings mode?

Oil Man: As I was growing I never use to save I would spend a lot of money and as I got

older I realize that I have to be more financially stable and start saving more

Researcher: So the influence was just your life experience, no one telling you that you have

to do it?

Oil Man: Yes that right

Researcher: Do you have any money habits, tricks of the trade things that you would

recommend to others that have worked for you?

Oil Man: No I don’t really have any

Researcher: What did you expect to learn before you enrolled in the Financial Literacy

module?

Oil Man: No not really, I didn’t know what to expect

Researcher: Do you have any future expectations or goals, you mentioned that you wanted

to save for your daughter to go to college, do you have any goals that are closer than that

because that is a long ways off?

Oil Man: Well no not right now no

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Researcher: I didn’t know because sometimes you might have a new car that you might

want or get a house

Oil Man: Well that is true and by the next year or two I told myself that we would like to

get a house by then

Researcher: So then we could coordinate because Own Your Own Home would be the next

to take.

Oil Man: Yes definitely in the future

Researcher: Were the learning modules clear and did you understand the concepts being

taught?

Oil Man: Yes

Researcher: Were any of the concepts presented in the module things that you already knew

about?

Oil Man: Yes the majority of them I knew

Researcher: Which ones do you remember?

Oil Man: They talked about the finance expense and bill that you have to put away, and how

you put the bill to come in at the same time. I was going to call and change that but I like to

pay my bill as soon as it comes in and in three week I have three more checks and I can do

whatever I want to with it.

Researcher: What are some new concepts that were presented that you will use going

forward?

Oil Man: I think I will have to review the paperwork again and see what I find that I can use

for myself

Researcher: Do you feel you know more about handling your money than you did before?

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Oil Man: I would say a little bit better

Researcher: Can you tell me what you liked best about the Financial Literacy program?

Oil Man: It was good

Researcher: What did you like the least?

Oil Man: I didn’t like anything the least it was all good

Researcher: Now we are trying to help people and improve the financial modules, so in your

opinion what can we do to make the modules better or more interesting?

Oil Man: Not that I see right now

Researcher: The big one is how we can get more people to attend the modules? What kind

of marketing schemes do you think we can use to get more interested about Money

Management?

Oil Man: Maybe advertise more.

Researcher: Ok but where?

Oil Man: Go to a school program and tell them that you would like to talk to more people

and invite to the program and see what they think about it.

Researcher: Well thank you so much for coming and participating.

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Participant Paul

Researcher: Hi Paul thank you for participating in my research study

Researcher: What was the age when you attend the Money Smart program module?

Paul: 39

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Paul: No

Researcher: What is the number of people in your household adults over 18 and children

under 18?

Paul: 1 under 18 and myself

Researcher: Do you have bank accounts?

Paul: Yes

Researcher: Which types?

Paul: Saving and checking

Researcher: Now that you have finished the program are you going to open any other types

of accounts or duplicate accounts?

Paul: Yes I was thinking about doing so

Researcher: Why?

Paul: I was thinking about setting up a checking account just for my expenses

Researcher: How did you learn about this Money Smart Program?

Paul: I learned about it through a friend

Researcher: Why did you decide to take the program?

Paul: I didn’t see anything wrong with learning new ideas and concepts with financial and

budgeting

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Researcher: Do you recall which money smart module you attended; the list is in front of

you?

Paul: Yes, the Money Matters Budgeting

Researcher: When you look the rest of them are any of them of any interest to you now or in

the future or if not which ones have no interest?

Paul: Well it’s always good to be looking at new ideas to better budget finances so I would

definitely be open to learn some of these modules

Researcher: Are there any of them if you look at the titles that you would not be interested

in?

Paul: Not really, everything seems relevant and it could become handy and one supports the

other at some point

Researcher: On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best, how would

you rate yourself in terms of understanding money management before and after you took the

program?

Paul: I would say before I took the program I was a 5 and after I was a 7

Researcher: What made the change?

Paul: Just different point here and there that made the change that I was not aware of and I

could definitely implement into my current budget

Researcher: How would you describe your current money management style?

Paul: I try to budget but I could definitely steer out of temptations here and there

Researcher: Do you have any money habits that you could recommend to others to use?

Paul: At this point not really, I just try to keep to necessities what I need

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Researcher: What did you expect to learn before you enrolled in the Financial Literacy

program and Budgeting Module?

Paul: How to better budget my finances

Researcher: Were your expectations met?

Paul: Yes absolutely

Researcher: Did you find anything missing or things that maybe we should add to the

program?

Paul: Well with the charts that they had on the modules for someone that is learning

something new I think it is pretty basic. As to something new that could be added to it, I

don’t there is much maybe that is what I am only a 7 after the program.

Researcher: The learning module was it clear and did you understand the concepts presented

and the pretest was it clear enough that you understood the questions?

Paul: Yes to me it is pretty clear. I have taken some accounting classes so I am familiar with

it

Researcher: Were any of the concepts in the module things that you already knew?

Paul: Yes

Researcher: What were they?

Paul: Shopping smart, lower interest on credit card I was aware of that

Researcher: What were some new ones that you learned about?

Paul: Some tax credit, other information about taxes and certain agencies that can help you

out

Researcher: Do you think that you will be using any of the new things that you learned?

Paul: Yes absolutely

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Researcher: Do you feel that you know more about the banking system than you did before?

Paul: Yes I do

Researcher: What where some of the new things?

Paul: Just some habits and some pointers, and if I implemented getting into the habits it

could make a difference financially

Researcher: can you tell me what you liked best about the program that you took?

Paul: The clarity, it was very clear, straight forward and down to the point

Researcher: What did you like the least?

Paul: Probably that I could get a little more information and get a bit more in depth and then

it would have to be longer

Researcher: We want to help people improve their financial literacy and improve the

Financial Literacy modules, so can you give us any ideas to help to improve it?

Paul: Maybe even setting up something like some charts or some formulas pretty basic that

could be repetitive that can help the person get into habits

Researcher: How can we market the program so that more people can attend?

Paul: Well nowadays with the financial situations that we are having I think everyone is

more sassier about saving either with coupons or trying to save a buck and I think more

people are becoming more aware from being in this situation.

Researcher: But how do we get them to come and take the budgeting module, how do you

think we can market to get to the average Joe’s out there to come in?

Paul: What I’ve seen a lot especially with the internet is a lot social gatherings for different

people for different hobbies or interests and they get together. I know a friend who does real

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estate and he went online and found a social network where people from different areas met

online and he was able to connect with them and get market his business

Researcher: So we should market by into these social gatherings to get the word out there

Paul: Yes because people feel more relaxed more open in a social setting

Researcher: Thank you for coming

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Participant Raptor

Researcher: Hi Raptor thank you for participating in my research study

Researcher: You attended the Money Smart module at what age did you 18-25, 26-35, and

36-50

Raptor: 18-25

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Raptor: No

Researcher: How many people in your household adults over 18 and children under 18?

Raptor: 6 adults over 18 and no children

Researcher: Do you have bank accounts?

Raptor: Yes

Researcher: Which kind?

Raptor: Checking and savings accounts

Researcher: Now that you have finished the program are you going to open any additional

accounts or are you ok with what you have?

Raptor: I’m ok with what I have for right now

Researcher: How did you learn about this Money Smart Program?

Raptor: I learned about it through my roommate

Researcher: Why did you decide to take the program?

Raptor: I thought it would be a good idea to learn how to budget my money a little better

Researcher: You have a list in front of you of all the Money Smart Modules can you tell me

which module you attended?

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Raptor: The Money Matters Budgeting

Researcher: When you look all the titles Bank on It –information on banks, Barrowing

Basics, Credit Cards are there other ones you would be interested in taking and if so why?

Raptor: To Your Credit

Researcher: Why

Raptor: Well because I know my credit is messed up and I would like to know how to repair

it

Researcher: Are there any of them listed there that you would never be interested in?

Raptor: Not really, I would say that all of them would be pretty useful

Researcher: Would you be interested in me giving you information on how to get to the next

one To Your Credit?

Raptor: Sure, yes I would

Researcher: On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best, how would

you rate yourself in terms of understanding money management before and after you took the

program?

Raptor: Before the program I had an educated guess on everything and now I know I have

more of a direction on steps that other people take to do things and that always helps, having

a guide behind everything.

Researcher: So what is your scale or your rating of yourself before and after the program?

Raptor: My rating of myself before would be a 4 but now would be a 7 or an 8. I wound be

a 10 until I actually apply it and see how it works

Researcher: How would you describe your current money management style, how do you

manage your money?

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Raptor: For the most part I live day to day and I try to spend the least amount of money a

day but sometimes it happens. I end up getting lunch twice and sometimes I’ll get up before

work and I’ll eat breakfast and lunch and other times I won’t do that. I notice now how that

really impacts me and my finances.

Researcher: Do you have any money habits that you could recommend to others to use, like

tricks of the trade on how to stretch your money?

Raptor: Well my bank every time I use my debit card it puts $1 dollar into my savings

account so that really does help, so I try not to use any of that money, but it does not always

work but if I did not touch that money I would have a good amount of money saved. So I

would suggest something like that every certain amount put a bit aside to save.

Researcher: What did you expect to learn before you took the module?

Raptor: I just wanted to learn more of a guideline on how to save

Researcher: Were your expectations met?

Raptor: Yes

Researcher: Can you describe anything you might have expected but found missing or

things now after you reflect on it something that should have been in there?

Raptor: Not really I thought the program as a whole was pretty complete and organized how

it was presented. I think it was pretty much complete as is.

Researcher: Was the learning module was it clear and did you understand what was going

on?

Raptor: Yes to me it was very clear

Researcher: Were any of the concepts or methods presented things that you already knew

about?

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Raptor: Yes, like how to use a bank, which was pretty easy because I have been doing that

for years as well as the advice on direct deposit which I already knew as well.

Researcher: What were some new concepts that you were presented with?

Raptor: The models for savings and writing down expense and everything, I had considered

that in the past but I never realized how practical it would be until it was written on paper

until now so that was something that is new to me now and I like that idea a lot.

Researcher: Do plan to start using it now?

Raptor: Yes absolutely

Researcher: Do you feel that you know more about the banks and handling money than you

did before?

Raptor: Yes I do

Researcher: Can you tell me what you liked best about the Financial Literacy Program?

Raptor: That it was written in a way that was easy to understand and you don’t have to be

super smart to understand money and it was simplified so it was easy to comprehend.

Researcher: What did you like the least?

Raptor: There wasn’t anything that I liked the least about it. It was pretty easy, quick and

easy to understand and comprehensive. If I have to pick one thing it would be that I do have

a desire to learn more about certain things like my credit and other things.

Researcher: So the research is to try to help improve the modules, so can you can you give

any tips on what can be helpful to improve the Budgeting Module?

Raptor: Maybe do one on one, because then you review things that personally affect me,

like how I go about using my bank as oppose to everyone’s one banks

Researcher: Would you be interested in having a one on one session if it was scheduled?

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Raptor: Yes

Researcher: How can we market this program and the different modules to the people who

can use it? How do we get them to come or how do we present it to so that they sign up?

Raptor: Well I think word of mouth couldn’t hurt and obviously advertising is big and

maybe placing ads in papers or maybe on job websites that is one thing I realize that when I

am looking for a job I am always worried about my finances as well, so perhaps something

like that may help some more people that are working or are not working but they are

looking for a new job so they can see that they can come take a class like this and realize that

sometimes it’s easier to be told to flex money than doing it yourself.

Researcher: Well that is a great idea; I have not had that idea presented before. Thank you

for participating.

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Participant Sarah

Researcher: Good evening Sarah, thank you for participating in my research study Financial

Literacy.

Researcher: I would like to start off with your age when you attended the program 18-25 or

26-35

Sarah: 18-25

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Sarah: No it is under $30, 000

Researcher: The number of people in your household adults over 18 and children under 18

Sarah: 1 under 18 and two over 18

Researcher: Do you have any bank accounts

Sarah: Yes

Researcher: Saving, checking, other

Sarah: Savings

Researcher: Now that you have finished the program, will you open additional banks

accounts, checking account

Sarah: I will probably open a checking account

Researcher: Do you know why

Sarah: I spend my money a bit crazy and I try to put some in my savings and I need

something else

Researcher: How did you learn about the Money Smart Program

Sarah: From my father

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Researcher: Why did you decide to take the program

Sarah: My father brought up the program to me and at first I was unsure about it but after

thinking about it more, I decided to it made sense to try

Researcher: Do you recall which Money Smart Module you attended or did you attend more

Sarah: Money Matters Budgeting

Researcher: Out of all of the remaining ones are you interested in taking them now or in the

future and why or why not?

Sarah: Pay Yourself First sounds really interesting because I run my money like crazy and I

need to constantly save more money for myself

Researcher: are there any other ones, or any time-frames on taking them?

Researcher: So on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the best 10 being the worst, how would you

rate yourself on understanding the banking, checking, savings and all aspects of your money

management before taking the program and then after.

Sarah: I give myself a 5

Researcher: Before and now what after

Sarah: Now after I give myself a 7

Researcher: Why did you rate yourself as a 5 and a 7

Sarah: I rate a 5 because as soon as I get my paycheck from work, I just spend it. It mostly

goes to gas, but I spend it on food and clothes and I should not and I need to cut back with

that.

Researcher: Describe your current management style

Sarah: I just let it go

Researcher: You just let your money come in and go out

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Sarah: Yes

Researcher: Do you have money habits that you recommend for others to use, like tricks of

the trade

Sarah: Split your money in half first, I get paid every two weeks, so this half of the money I

use for the first week and my second half of the money for my next week so that by the next

pay period I will have some money left over from the last check.

Researcher: What did you expect to learn before you enrolled in the Budgeting Module?

Sarah: How to manage my money more

Researcher: Were your expectations met

Sarah: Yes

Researcher: Can you describe any information you expected or found missing

Sarah: I think it covered everything for me

Researcher: Was the Budgeting Module that you took clear and did you understand the

concepts being taught?

Sarah: Yes I did

Researcher: Were any of the concepts on Money Management Methods presented in the

modules things that you already knew about?

Sarah: They were things that my mother had talked to me about it but for some reason it

never clicked but for some reason now reading it now it made more sense.

Researcher: What new concepts or information were presented to you in the modules. Tips

or anything that you learned and you will take forward with you?

Sarah: I think getting a checking account to start giving myself money

Researcher: So you now know more about the bank and handling money than you did

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before. What other new things did you learn?

Sarah: Help in saving your money. Carpooling ideas, I don’t usually carpool because I like

to drive and I realize that I waste more money on gas

Researcher: How far is it from where you live to where you work?

Sarah: 30-35 minutes, it is a drive

Researcher: So public transportation is not really available

Sarah: I have a friend that lives in Milford and she lives about 10-15 minutes away, so that

might be an idea

Researcher: So can you tell me what you liked best about the Financial Program and what

you liked least

Sarah: What I liked the most is that it targeted me personally because I knew exactly what

was going on and that everything that was being taught I had to take seriously and it was to

help me with my spending problem

Researcher: So more with organization

Sarah: Yes

Researcher: Did you like the idea of having financial goals so that you can try to meet them

better

Sarah: Yes I did

Researcher: What did you like the least

Sarah: There wasn’t anything that I did not like, it was more of a learning experience for me

Researcher: Based on your opinion, what do you think we can do to improve the modules

Sarah: Having more people in the group would be better because you can talk about your

problems within the group and come up with a solution

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Researcher: We want to get more people to attend the Financial Literacy Modules, as you

can see not a lot of people come. How do you think we should market the program to get

more people to come?

Sarah: I will tell more people to come myself as well as my friends, because it has been

really beneficial to me. They might be skeptical at first but hopefully after l listening to it

they will have a better understanding. Possibly post something on the website as everyone is

on the web now a days

Researcher: Well there is a lot on the website Financial Literacy FDA, but how do we direct

them to that, how do we link into your age grow to get them interested in money

management

Sarah: Maybe try to go on Facebook

Researcher: Interest through Facebook, that’s a good idea

Sarah: Yes because everyone is always on it even if it is for 5 minutes, they check updates

and such. You can get many people to read it and understand it especially all ages.

Researcher: Sarah, Thank you for participating

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Participant Snow White

Researcher: Thank you for participating in the Financial Literacy program

Researcher: At what age you attended the program 18-25, 26-35, 36-50

Snow White: 26-35

Researcher: Is your income over $30, 000

Snow White: No it is not

Researcher: What is the number of people in your household, adults over 18 and children

under 18?

Snow White: There are 4 adults and 3 children

Researcher: Do you have any bank accounts?

Snow White: Yes I do, I have a savings and checking

Researcher: Now that you have finished the program are you going to open any additional

accounts?

Snow White: No I am not

Researcher: How did you learn about the Money Smart Program?

Snow White: I learned of it through a friend of mine

Researcher: Why did you decide to attend the program?

Snow White: I have money spending issues

Researcher: There is a list of the 10 Money Smart modules, can you recall which one you

attended?

Snow White: It was the Money Matters module

Researcher: When you look at the remaining modules are any of them of interest to you?

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Snow White: Yes I actually like the Financial Recovery one

Researcher: Why do you like that one?

Snow Whiter: Well because I have horrible credit from when I was younger, so I would like

to repair it and get and fresh start

Researcher: Is there any on the list that you have no interest in at all?

Snow White: Probably Bank on It, I would not be interested in that just because you can go

into the bank and get the information on the bank if you needed it.

Researcher: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best how would

you rate yourself in terms of your money management skills before the program and after the

program?

Snow White: Before the program I would say it was a 7 and now after the program I would

say it is a 9

Researcher: Why do you rate yourself these numbers?

Snow White: Well a 7 before because I am one of those frequent spenders. I go into the

stores and if I see something, even if it is not on my list I buy it. The 9 now because I actually

make a list an try not to veer from it and I actually use a couple of the ideas that are in the

program such as the keeping daily track.

Researcher: Do you have any money habits that you would recommend for other people to

use?

Snow White: Probably not

Researcher: Any tricks of the trade, how to bring in money through your hobbies and

making that a business?

Snow White: Yes, I have been thinking about it, because I am artistic

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Researcher: So what was the trick that helped you turned your hobby into a business? It may

be something that can inspire other people.

Snow White: Well it was more money. Basically, we do things like for example for my

daughters party or for her room. I will do a whole mural I can paint and such and I am a part

time worker and a full time mom. Obviously I can’t work fulltime like I use to and the

money would be utilized better if we made more, so I was brainstorming about what I could

do to bring in more income and still be a mom without having to work fulltime. So what we

like to do is draw, and create artistic stuff and parties so we were discussing getting a art

table for some of the craft table for some of the art festivals and in some of our spare time

when the kids go to bed we can do jewel boxes and paint and do what we know how to do

and then profit from it and still be stay at home at and I only at home until 12pm every day.

Researcher: Did you have any expectations of what you would learn in the financial

modules before you took it?

Snow White: Not really, I was not sure what to expect. I assumed that it would have

something to do with budgeting tips

Researcher: Now that you think about it is there something missing, something triggered

that might be helpful to add to the program?

Snow White: Yes, there is now that you have said that to me. If someone is taking a

budgeting class it is because they are having money issues because they are not spending

their money correctly which most likely means they are financially strapped or in my case I

have horrible financial history so maybe in the next class you can include phone numbers of

credit help. But other than it was good

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Researcher: Were the learning modules clear and did you understand what was being

taught?

Snow White: Yes I did

Researcher: Were any of the concepts presented things that you already knew about?

Snow White: Yes

Researcher: Which ones

Snow White: The direct deposit and the banking

Researcher: Were there any new concepts that you learned?

Snow White: Yes, the spreadsheets, the taxes, tax numbers, and a couple of the ideas for

savings such as the list and not getting anything that is not on the list.

Researcher: Are you going to use any of these new concepts that you learned about?

Snow White: Yes I am

Researcher: Do you feel that you know more about the banks and how to handle money that

you did before taking the program?

Snow White: Not more about the banks but yes about the money, as far as like different

revenues of savings and keeping daily spending reports which are things that I don’t

normally do and the receipt thing as well.

Researcher: What did you like the best about the Financial Literacy Program?

Snow White: What I liked best was the financial saving reports and the ideas that were given

to help steer you into saving money and budgeting.

Researcher: What did you like the least about the program?

Snow White: The direct deposit because I already knew about it

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Researcher: My research is to try to get the program up and running and doing better, so the

first question is – on the module that you took what do you think can be done to improve it,

besides providing the numbers for the credit agencies?

Snow White: Besides providing those numbers, I thought it was pretty good and I don’t

think it was lacking in anything

Researcher: How can we get more people to come, you came through word of mouth?

Snow White: To get more people to come it depends because everyone is motivated by

different courses but if someone is going to be taking the budgeting class or something of

that nature it is because they are have money issues so the one thing that would stimulate

people that are having budgeting issues is money.

Researcher: So how do we get to that target, how do we find them to give them the

information about the class and where do you think we can target them?

Snow White: As far as marketing?

Researcher: Yes, a marketing program so that they know that it is there for them to access

and come and take it?

Snow White: I’m not sure how they operate but maybe you can sign up through the things

that pay you to test their products

Researcher: Where do we posts the signs about the class to let people know about it so that

they can come?

Snow White: Well I would post the signs in the stores and maybe even in the papers, a lot of

people flip through the paper, so that would be a good advertisement but not where you have

to spend a lot of money because obviously there are people who are financially strapped who

would benefit from taking a budgeting class. So as far as a marketing strategy maybe you can

264

talk to CL&P and see if you would be able to send a letter out with the monthly electric bill

and tie into some of the companies that bill people. I know that CL&P is really good for the

conservation and they send flyers with their bills for that so why would they not want to help

out with this as well.

Researcher: Well, I appreciate you participating and thank you.

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Participant Wetgrass

Researcher: Good evening and thank you for coming for the interview process.

Researcher: What was your age when you attended the Money Smart Program 18-25, 26-

35?

Wetgrass: 18-25

Researcher: Is your income over $30,000

Wetgrass: No

Researcher: What is the number of people in your household adults 18 and older and

children under 18?

Wetgrass: There are 6 adults including myself

Researcher: Do you have any bank accounts?

Wetgrass: Yes I do, I have both a checking and a savings account

Researcher: Are they both currently open?

Wetgrass: Yes

Researcher: Now that you have finished the program, will you open any additional

accounts?

Wetgrass: Yes I think so, I think I will open accounts at a different bank

Researcher: Ok and Why? Would it be a check or savings account?

Wetgrass: Probably a savings account at a different bank so that if anything ever happen to

the original accounts that I have money saved someplace else

Researcher: So it’s about access, not being able to easily get to the money

Wetgrass: Yes

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Researcher: How did you learn about the Money Smart Program?

Wetgrass: From my roommate

Researcher: Why did you decide to attend the program?

Wetgrass: I thought I was a good opportunity for me to learn how to budget and save some

money that I need to save and put it where it needs to go

Researcher: I have given you a list of all of the Money Smart modules, do you recall which

one you attended?

Wetgrass: The Money Matters

Researcher: There are 10 total modules are there any others that are of interests to you to

take later?

Wetgrass: Yes, I would probably take the Keep it Safe, To Your Credit and Charge it Right

Researcher: Why do these look interesting to you?

Wetgrass: Just ways to save money and maintain good credit and keep money for future

Researcher: Now why not the other ones?

Wetgrass: I know stuff about banks and information on banking and understanding credit

cards and how to use them, so I feel that the one I chose are the ones that I would need help

with

Researcher: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best, how would

you rate yourself in terms of money management before the program and then after?

Wetgrass: Before the program I would say a 5 and now I would probably say a 6 or 7

Researcher: Why are you rating yourself this way?

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Wetgrass: I feel like only a 5 because if it were higher than that I would have a lot of money

saved up and I would not need to take this class, but now I do have a better grasp on things I

can do to save money

Researcher: Now how do would you describe your money management skills?

Wetgrass: Not great, I save for things that I want and then after I get those things I have to

start all over and I don’t have any savings left.

Researcher: So do you have any money habits that you would recommend for other people,

tricks of the trade that you do to extend your money that other people might find helpful?

Wetgrass: Actually I have a system with my bank accounts where it takes $10 from my

checking account and puts it into my savings every month

Researcher: What did you expect to learn before you enrolled in the module?

Wetgrass: Honestly I didn’t know what to expect from it but I feel like my expectations

were exceeded

Researcher: Now that you put it together with the budgeting it there anything missing from

the module that would be helpful to throw in there?

Wetgrass: I don’t think that there is anything that I can come up with that was not in there

Researcher: The learning modules that you took were the concepts clear enough to

understand?

Wetgrass: I think so yes, they were explained well, I have a better grasp on different

concepts

Researcher: Were any of the concepts presented in the module things that you already

knew?

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Wetgrass: No actually, I know it’s a good idea to know how much money you are earning

and know what you use your money for but when it comes to the concepts I think I learns a

bunch of different ways to save more money

Researcher: The new concepts that were presented to you will you start using any of them?

Wetgrass: I think so, I like the expense envelop system it is a good way to not spend your

money and put them in different places and keep them separate, label them for things that

you need them for and know that you cannot take from there and then you have that money

set aside and you know what you can take from and what you can’t

Researcher: So did you like any of the written out presentation, the daily plan verses the

income statement to analyze your expenses, was that something that you think you will be

able to do?

Wetgrass: Yes I think so

Researcher: Now do you feel you know more about banks and handling money than you did

before?

Wetgrass: Yes I do, I think will find another bank to put money in separately that I won’t

take from, I’ll save that money and keep it in a savings and not take from there

Researcher: Can you tell me what you liked best about the program?

Wetgrass: I liked all the different tools that I have, all the different sheets that were given to

me to help me manage my money, different worksheets like the monthly expense worksheets

and the monthly payment schedule and the monthly payment calendar I think that will be

useful in the future.

Researcher: What did you like the least?

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Wetgrass: The least I liked, was learning that I don’t have a grasp on saving my money and I

should probably become more serious about that

Researcher: I’m trying to make sure the program flourishes and gets better so can you give

me any suggestions to help the modules get better, presentations or anything that would make

it where you can absorb more information?

Wetgrass: I think the worksheets are good and will keep people interested and give them

something to do that is not just for during the course and they will use them for throughout

their lives and that is a good thing. I’m not sure of any other ways to make it more

interesting, but like I said it exceed my expectations.

Researcher: The last but not least thing is we are trying to market to that more people take

these modules, what kind of ideas can you come up with that we can use to bring more

people in? What do you thing is keeping people away and what can we do to bring

them in?

Wetgrass: I feel like if it is explained that this is to help people budget and help I feel that

they will be more likely to take the course if they realize it is solely to benefit them and if

they are going to get tricks out of it and it will be useful so maybe explain to them how much

debt people are in and let them know that it is for their benefit

Researcher: Now how do we present it out there to your age group 18-25, how can we reach

them, what is your preference of information. How do we get your friend from work without

you telling her about it, notified about the program? Or should it be mostly word of mouth?

Wetgrass: I feel like word of mouth is one of the best advertising techniques. I’m not sure

of any ways you can make it seem like it is a fun thing but I feel like people are very into like

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benefiting themselves and helping themselves and if they hear that they can get heal to save

money they might be more inclined to go take the course.

Researcher: So presentation in the marketing

Wetgrass: maybe make different titles for each module and make them sound more exciting

and more like they are going to benefit people and telling them

Researcher: Because for instance this Money Matters is about budgeting and it’s supposed

to grab you and it didn’t do that

Researcher: Ok great, well thank you for coming.

THE EFFECTS OF A FINANCIAL LITERACY INTERVENTION ON TEACHERS’

FINANCIAL LITERACY, AWARENESS, AND ADVOCACY

by

Janice Louise Little

Copyright 2014

A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment

Of the Requirements for the Degree

Doctor of Management

University of Phoenix

All rights reserved

INFORMATION TO ALL USERS
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iii

ABSTRACT

The problem in this quasi-experimental research study is the lack of certainty of whether a

relationship exists between a financial literacy intervention for teachers, which may result in a

positive change in financial literacy, financial awareness, and their subsequent advocacy for

financial literacy courses for elementary and middle school age students. The purpose of this

quantitative study was to examine the effects of a financial literacy intervention on teachers’

financial literacy, awareness, and advocacy. This study used an independent t-test, one-way

analysis of covariance, and chi-square to analyze the data. The results of the analysis showed

there was a statistically significant relationship between financial literacy intervention and

teachers’ financial literacy and teachers’ financial awareness. The results did not indicate a

relationship between the financial literacy intervention and advocacy; however, 69% of the

experimental group and 53.2% of the control group would advocate for financial literacy

courses. Results of this study can be used to provide educators, researchers, and government

officials a broader understanding of financial literacy, financial awareness, and advocacy of

financial literacy courses on the elementary and middle school level. Recommendations to

incorporate financial literacy into teachers’ professional development, a curriculum, an after-

school program and approaching the school board to explore incorporating financial literacy into

a school system were discussed.

iv

DEDICATION

In God’s name, I dedicate this dissertation to my mother, who passed during this dissertation

experience. I will always remember her supportive attitude and belief that I can achieve

anything within Major League Baseball. My father, Henry and my brother, Rupert

who passed on long before this academic journey. I will always remember their entrepreneurial

spirit of chasing dreams and starting a new business. My family, Lindell, Shelia, Wayne,

Allan, Kedrick, Graham, Shonda, Betha, and Rita, continue to provide the motivation, support,

and encouragement for me to chase my dreams. My friend Erika, ongoing support,

encouragement, and displaying courage and persevering during a natural disaster (snow storm).

Angel completed the application for me to start this journey and as one of her role models, I am

including her in this dedication.

v

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

First, I want to acknowledge God for being the head of my life, giving me the strength,

wisdom, and endurance to complete the doctoral program. Second, I want to acknowledge my

mentor, Dr. Carla Lane-Johnson for her guidance, professionalism, expertise, patience and

willingness to provide exceptional mentorship. Thanks to Dr. Anthony Hamlet and Dr. Linda

Pates for accepting my invitation to be on my committee and providing feedback in a timely

manner. I would also like to thank Dr. Ronnie Davis for having the patience of an elementary

teacher, serving as my statistician and allowing me to attend numerous tutorial sessions. I have a

deep appreciation for understanding the numbers. A special thank you to my colleagues, Sandra

Thomas, Linda Coleman, Paulette Bray, Dr. Vonda Washington, Connie Sims, and Algrenon

Nelson for providing support, coverage, and encouragement throughout this journey. Thanks to

the many faculty and administrative staff of University of Phoenix (former Sugar Land and

Houston Central Campus) who encouraged and assisted me in every aspect of my dissertation

pursuit. I want to thank my doctoral peers who started this journey with me and continue to

support me as I make this dream a reality. Thank You, Lonnie Mathews for providing the

intervention in this study. Thank you to all the GOOD Divas who put up with me doing

homework and papers during our DIVAS’ adventures. ArLena Richardson, thank you for being

the best publicist and providing unconditional support throughout all of my educational and

career adventures. Thank you David Casserly and Jump$tart Coalition for allowing me to modify

and use the survey instrument.

vi

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Contents Page

List of Tables……………………………………………………………………………………..x

Chapter 1: Introducation ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1

Statement of the Problem ………………………………………………………………………………………… 3

Purpose of the Study ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4

Significance of the Study ………………………………………………………………………………………… 4

Nature of the Study ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5

Overview of the Research Method …………………………………………………………………………… 6

Overview of the Design ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6

Theoretical Framework …………………………………………………………………………………………… 8

Research Questions ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 9

Hypotheses ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10

Definition of Terms………………………………………………………………………………………………. 10

Assumptions ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11

Scope and Limitations…………………………………………………………………………………………… 11

Delimitations ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12

Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12

Chapter 2: Literature Review ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14

Title Searches, Articles, Research Documents, Journals Researched, Historical Overview,

and Current Findings…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14

High School and Financial Literacy ……………………………………………………………………….. 16

College Students and Financial Literacy …………………………………………………………………. 19

vii

Theoretical Framework …………………………………………………………………………………………. 29

Integrating Financial Literacy into School Curriculum ……………………………………………… 32

Barriers to Integration …………………………………………………………………………………………… 32

Financial Literacy Influences …………………………………………………………………………………. 33

Advocacy ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 33

Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 34

Chapter 3: Methodology ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 36

Research Method and Design Appropriateness ………………………………………………………… 36

Research Questions ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 39

Hypotheses ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 39

Population and Sample …………………………………………………………………………………………. 40

Recruiting the Population ……………………………………………………………………………………… 41

Informed Consent and Confidentiality…………………………………………………………………….. 41

Geographical Location ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 42

Data Collection ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 42

Instrumentation ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 44

Validity and Reliability …………………………………………………………………………………………. 45

Internal Validity and External Validity……………………………………………………………………. 46

Data Analysis ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 47

Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 48

Chapter 4: Results …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 49

Statement of the Problem ………………………………………………………………………………………. 50

Research Questions ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 51

viii

Hypotheses ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 51

Data Collection Procedures ……………………………………………………………………………………. 52

Data Analysis ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 54

Examination of Hypotheses …………………………………………………………………………………… 56

Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 69

Chapter 5: Conclusions and Recommendations ………………………………………………………………… 70

Limitations ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 73

Delimitations ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 74

Findings………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 74

Hypothesis One ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 74

Hypothesis Two …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 75

Hypothesis Three …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 76

Implications…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 77

Implications for Leadership …………………………………………………………………………………… 77

Recommendations for Incorporating Financial Literacy ……………………………………………. 79

Recommendations for Future Research …………………………………………………………………… 80

Summary and Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………… 81

References ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 82

Appendix A: Jump$tart Coalition’s College Questionnaire (Modified Version/Survey

Monkey) …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 91

Appendix B: Informed Consent Form ……………………………………………………………………………. 108

Appendix C: Premise, Name And/Or Subjects ………………………………………………………………… 110

Appendix D: Informational Email………………………………………………………………112

ix

Appendix E: Permission to Use An Existing Survey……………………………………………114

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY……………………………………………………………………………………………… 115

x

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1. Independent t-Test Results/Teachers’ Pretest Financial Literacy

Table 2. Analysis of Covariance Results/ Teachers’ Posttest Financial Literacy

Table 3. Independent t-Test Results/Teachers’ Pretest Financial Awareness (Spending)

Table 4. Analysis of Covariance Results/ Teachers’ Posttest Financial Awareness (Spending)

Table 5. Independent t-Test Results/Teachers’ Pretest Financial Awareness (Saving)

Table 6. Analysis of Covariance Results/ Teachers Posttest Financial Awareness (Saving)

Table 7. Independent t-Test Results/Teachers’ Pretest Financial Awareness (Credit)

Table 8. Analysis of Covariance Results/ Teachers Posttest Financial Awareness (Credit)

Table 9. Chi Square Results of Advocacy (Financial Literacy)

Table 10. Teachers’ Responses to Advocating for Financial Literacy

1

Chapter 1

Introduction

A great concern among educators is the fact that America’s teenagers are not financially

literate (Varcoe, Martin, Devitto, & Go, 2005). Current educational academic stressors may

create difficulty for students to include financial literacy courses in their academic plan (Borden,

Lee, Sergio, & Collins, 2008). Individuals are finding that financial behaviors impede an

individual’s ability to accomplish long-term goals; for example, owning a home, obtaining a

higher education, and financial retirement (Rosacher, Ragothaman, & Gillispie, 2009).

One of the major problems in the United States is the large amount of consumer credit

card debt. A large number of Americans have deficiencies in managing their finance as

evidenced by a negative national saving rate, consumer debt over a trillion dollars, and

increasing number of individuals filing for bankruptcy (Pickard & Reichelt, 2008). Lucey and

Maxwell (2009) posited that developing financial literacy of youth requires preparing teachers to

teach these important skills. Leech and Fulton (2008) affirmed that educational leaders have to

support the idea of transformational leadership that inspires individuals by renewing their

dedication to the organization’s vision, which includes advocating for financial literacy training.

One of the primary hurdles for educators and financial trainings is teacher education programs

across the nation (Sasser & Grimes, 2010).

Chapter one addressed the problem of the lack of financial literacy, financial awareness,

and advocacy for elementary and middle school-aged students to receive financial literacy

courses by providing an overview of the background, purpose, significance of the study, and

nature of the study. The research problem, questions, and hypotheses were followed by the

conceptual and theoretical framework, definition, scope, limitation, and delimitation of the study.

2

In 1997, Jump$tart Coalition first survey discovered that only 57.3% of the participating

high school students correctly answered all 30 questions relating to financial literacy (Cory &

Pickard, 2008). Jump$tart conducted different surveys that documented the low level of

adolescent financial literacy. In 2008, the results reveal that financial literacy is even lower; now,

only 48.3% of the students answered all 30 questions correctly, which represents a decrease from

1997 (Cory & Pickard, 2008).

Davis and Durband (2008) asserted that a plausible explanation for the low scores in

America’s high school financial literacy is because of the national education legislation known

as “No Child Left Behind” and college preparation. The focus has not been on courses with

practical application such as financial literacy (Davis & Durband, 2008). “Despite the growing

emphasis on financial education, little attention has been paid to understanding the

characteristics and needs of the population that is pivotal to the implementation and success of

personal financial education –the teachers” (Way & Holden, 2009, p. 64).

Young adults are finding that having sizeable amounts of credit card debts or student

loans, which hinders the ability to accumulate wealth (Lusardi, Mitchell, & Curto, 2010).

Joireman, Kees, and Sprott (2010) posited that credit cards are mostly difficult for college

students, as 91% of the participating seniors had at least one credit card and 56% had four or

more credit cards. College students’ poor choices, lack of knowledge about debt, and not paying

card bills may cause them to withdraw from school (Dale & Bevill, 2007). A large number of

college students are having financial management problems, which include credit card debt that

carries over into their lives after college. Goetz, Mimura, Desai, and Cude (2008) affirmed that

little financial literacy and bad financial management adds to the problem of college students

having high debt levels.

3

Borden, Lee, Serido, and Collins (2008) asserted that financial institutions have targeted

college students as a source of revenue for a profitable market (Borden, Lee, Serido, & Collins,

2008). According to Grable and Joo (2006), students have an overflow of credit card offers with

special enticements to obtain debt. The mixture of credit card debt, student loans, and making

bad financial decisions are guiding students into a financial catastrophe (Grable & Joo, 2006).

These individuals may not understand the influence of using credit cards, the fees and penalties

associated with using the credit card (Joo, Grable, & Bagwell, 2003).

The total household debt grew four times faster between 2001 and the middle of 2006

than in the 1900s (Weller, 2007). Many adults do not have the basic skills of budgeting and

balancing their checkbook, which is evident in their financial illiteracy that manifest into a large

amount of credit card debt (Cory & Pickard, 2008). The original worldwide financial crisis of the

modern banking-financial era was in 2007, which started in the United States and every type of

financial market felt the impact (Rehman, 2010). The recent economic downturn is the direct

results of the devastations from top leaders misconduct and mismanagement of the firm’s assets

(Rakotobe-Joel & Sabrin, 2010).

Statement of the Problem

The root cause of many financial management problems is that the lack of personal

financial literacy and basic personal financial skills are not being taught in school system except

sporadically across the states (Wilhelm & Chao, 2005). Young people are acquiring huge amount

of student loans and credit card debts and one critical need is for researchers to explore students’

financial knowledge (Lusardi et al., 2010). Americans are overextended and deep in debt because

of consumers having readily accessible credit, insufficient emergency savings and not having

self-control. Consumers spending during the boom of 2002 to 2007 were a major issue that

4

influenced the domestic and international imbalances (Schneider & Kirchgassner, 2009). The

high levels of consumer debt, alarming rates of bankruptcy, poor financial management, and low

financial literacy needs demonstrates a need for financial education (Fox, Bartholomae, & Lee,

2005).

Individuals do not have the financial literacy that is needed to make crucial financial

decisions concerning their best interest (Perry, 2008). The specific problem is the lack of

certainty whether a relationship exists between a financial literacy intervention for teachers,

which may result in a positive change in financial literacy, financial awareness, and their

subsequent advocacy for financial literacy courses for elementary and middle school age

students.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this quantitative, quasi-experimental study was to examine whether a

financial literacy intervention can influence changes in teachers’ financial literacy, financial

awareness, and advocacy for elementary and middle school-aged students to receive financial

literacy courses. Quantitative research problems entailed showing the influence that one or more

sets of variables have on other variables. Creswell (2005) identified the four criteria to determine

the appropriateness of quantitative research. 1) measurement of the variables is possible, 2)

assessing the impact of the variable is possible, 3) results can be used to test theories or provide

explanations, and 4) the results can apply to a large group of people.

Significance of the Study

Low financial literacy and bad financial management behaviors are contributing factors

to the high consumer debt levels, disturbing rates of bankruptcy, and foreclosures. These

financial behaviors have proven a need for financial education (Fox et al., 2005). “Without a

5

collaborative financial literacy and social change effort combining the best thinking of financial

planners, business, government, employers, and mass media, at-risk middle America’s

undereducated choices and unfortunate decision in mismanaging their retirement years pose a

serious threat to the nation” (Neiser, 2009, p.57).

Rakotobe-Joel and Sabrin (2010) affirmed that the business world has not focused on

business leaders’ financial behaviors, which directly relates to top executive misconduct and

mismanagement of their firm’s assets. Economist, business owners, financial planners,

government officials, and educators may benefit from this study as it offers insight into how a

financial literacy intervention may influence teachers’ financial literacy, financial awareness, and

their advocacy for elementary and middle school aged students to receive financial literacy

courses as well as make recommendations for further research. The significance of the study was

that it may create new knowledge about financial literacy interventions, teachers’ financial

literacy, and awareness. Teachers may also advocate for elementary and middle school-aged

students to receive financial literacy courses. This study adds to previous research on the topic of

financial literacy, financial awareness, and advocacy. The research study contributes to the

knowledge participants could gain from the awareness of their financial literacy that may assist

with managing their personal and business finances. The results of this research study are useful

for the National Council on Economic Education, Jump$tart Coalition, and the President’s

Advisory Council on Financial Literacy.

Nature of the Study

Quantitative studies examine the relationship between variables using research questions,

hypotheses, and data collection with statistical tests (Neuman, 2003), whereas, qualitative studies

focus on perceptions and experiences (Sorin-Peters, 2004). A quasi-experimental design was

6

used in this study, which entailed using a pretest, an intervention, and a posttest. This design

showed the relationship between the financial literacy intervention and how it influenced

teachers’ financial literacy, financial awareness, and advocacy for students to receive financial

literacy courses. True experimental designs are the most rigorous experimental designs to show

causation, in education it is not always feasible to randomly select participants to treatments of

the independent variable (Creswell, 2005). Shuttleworth (2008) affirmed that a quasi-

experimental design is the most commonly used research design in educational environment.

Quasi-experiments entail choosing groups without any random pre-selection process and testing

a variable (Shuttleworth, 2008). This design used a sample of convenience.

Overview of the Research Method

Several research methods could be used to address the variables in this study, for

example mixed methods, qualitative, or quantitative. According to Howe (2004), the notion of

experimentation is problematic in qualitative research. Quantitative research attempts to examine

a cause-effect relationship through investigating the past factors and discovering the cause,

significant relationship, meaning and suggested characteristics (Simon & Francis, 2001). This

examination entails comparison of two groups.

Overview of the Design

This study used a non-equivalent control group design. A quasi-experimental design

involved individuals not be randomly assigning to the experimental or control groups. Salkind

(2009) asserted that non-equivalent control group design is the most frequently used design when

randomization is not possible. This design showed the relationship between the financial literacy

intervention, financial awareness, and advocacy for financial literacy courses for elementary and

middle school-aged students.

7

Both groups of suburban school district teachers were administered a pretest regarding

financial literacy, financial awareness, and advocacy before the treatment. At the onset, teachers

were informed that the materials would assist them in enhancing their financial knowledge.

Furthermore, those teachers who remained in the experimental and control groups received a

posttest.

Following the pretest, the experimental group of teachers received access to Alliance

Financial Ministries’ Money University webinars. Money University is a six-lessons money

management course designed to assist with improving an individual’s financial well being

(Mathews, 2012). Alliance Financial Ministries’ founder hosted the six sessions, which were

approximately 45 minutes per session. The topics included: 1) Organizing Your Financial Life,

2) Banking and Budgeting, 3) Loans and Credit Cards, 4) Debt and Debt Management, 5) Saving

and Investing, and 6) Understanding Interest and Insurances.

The control group of teachers (those teachers not exposed to Alliance Financial

Ministries’ webinar) did not receive the intervention. The sample selection was based upon a

group of teachers who were in a position to influence change in financial curricula for students.

Leadership influences change in the actions of others as an activity to achieve desired results

(Nowicki & Summers, 2007). The identifiable independent variable was financial literacy and

the dependent variables were financial awareness and advocacy for elementary and middle

school-aged students to receive financial literacy courses as measured by the pretest and posttest.

By raising awareness of financial literacy, teachers can advocate for students to receive financial

literacy courses.

8

Theoretical Framework

Teachers are in a position to influence change in students’ behaviors as well as their

peers’ behavior, which could be instrumental in leading change within the organization.

Nowicki and Summers (2007) affirmed that leadership influences change in the actions of others

as an activity to achieve desired results. The guiding premise for this study was Rogers’ (1995)

adoption and diffusion theory and Transtheoretical Model of Change. A basic understanding of

the theory includes defining innovation and diffusion. Innovation is introducing a new idea,

practice, or object to people or other units of adoption (Rogers, 1995). Diffusion is the way in

which the new idea, practice or object is communicated throughout the system (Rogers, 1995).

This system refers to the setting, culture, and environment in which people are involved. System

was defined as a set of interrelated units that are engaged in joint problem-solving to accomplish

a common goal (Rogers, 1995). Straub (2009) affirmed that social standards and structure

influences and affect how innovation penetrates a group or organization.

Xiao and Wu (2008) affirmed that it is necessary to identify a theory, because the theory

could assist with recognizing the key factors related to the targeted behavior. The relevant

theoretical framework was the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM), which studies methods

to motivate individuals to change unwanted behaviors and develop positive behaviors through

stage matched intervention (Schuchardt, Hanna, Hira, Lyons, Palmer, & Jing Jian, 2009).

Limited research has concentrated on measuring the effectiveness of an intervention or the

process of reducing debt research. Xiao, Newman, Prochaska, Leon, Bassett, and Johnson (2004)

conducted the first study using the transtheoretical model of change to measure consumers’

willingness to eliminate credit card debt. Shockey and Seiling’s study (2004) used the trans-

9

theoretical model of change to measure financial behavioral changes of participants who

participated in a financial education program.

This theory can also assist with understanding how individuals can use motivation to

reduce debt and increase savings (Schuchardt et al., 2009). The trans-theoretical model of change

key constructs includes the stages of change, processes of change, decision balance, and self-

efficacy (Xiao et al., 2004). When members of an organization participate in the planning and

implementation of change, meaningful change takes place during the process (Leech & Fulton,

2008). The basis for the conceptual framework includes financial literacy, financial awareness

and advocacy and their relationship.

Research Questions

The research question is the proposition that shapes a study’s object (Cooper &

Schindler, 2003). Research questions are the essential tools to find facts and collect information

(Cooper & Schindler, 2003). Identifying the problem and purpose statement, significance, and

nature of the study, leads to the following research questions:

1. Is there a significant difference in the financial literacy of teachers who receive a

financial literacy intervention and those teachers who will not receive a financial literacy

intervention?

2. Is there a significant difference in the financial awareness of teachers who receive a

financial literacy intervention and those teachers who will not receive a financial literacy

intervention?

3. Is there a significant difference in the advocacy of teachers who receive a financial

literacy intervention and those teachers who will not receive a financial literacy intervention?

10

Hypotheses

Ho1: A financial literacy intervention does not significantly increase teachers’ financial

literacy.

Ha1: A financial literacy intervention significantly increases teachers’ financial literacy.

Ho2: A financial literacy intervention does not significantly increase teachers’ financial

awareness.

Ha2: A financial literacy intervention significantly increases teachers’ financial literacy

awareness

Ho3: A financial literacy intervention does not significantly influence teachers so that

they advocate for elementary and middle school aged students to receive financial

literacy courses.

Ha3: A financial literacy intervention does significantly influence teachers so that they

advocate for elementary and middle school aged students to receive financial literacy

courses.

Definition of Terms

Alliance Financial Ministries (AFM): A non-profit organization whose mission is to

promote financial literacy (Mathews, 2013).

Advocacy: An approach where an individual goes beyond the traditional “give and take,”

based on theoretical premises and techniques. The individual have a nonjudgmental attitude,

patience and persistence, honest belief that change can be achieved for an individual, group, or

issue (Field & Baker, 2004).

Financial Awareness: Successful strategies and informed judgments for making

thoughtful spending, saving, and credit use decisions (Schagen, 2007, as cited in ANZ, 2013).

11

Financial Literacy: Relates to a person’s competency for managing money (Remund,

2010).

Money University Webinar: A money management course webinar that assists

individuals with improving their financial well-being (Mathews, 2013).

Teachers: Individuals who teach elementary and middle school courses within the

suburban school district.

Texas Suburban School District: A school district located outside of an urban area in

Texas.

Trans-Theoretical Model: TTM are stages of change, processes of change markers of

change, and context of change (Palmer, Bliss, Goetz, & Moorman, 2010).

Assumptions

The following assumptions are made regarding this study. One assumption was that all of

the teachers would complete the pretest, posttest, and participate in the financial literacy

intervention. The second assumption was that the selected population is a representation of

teachers across the school district. The third assumption was that the financial literacy

intervention would be user friendly. The fourth assumption was that participants would be

receptive to sharing information regarding their financial literacy, awareness, and willingness to

advocate for financial literacy.

Scope and Limitations

The scope of the study consisted of teachers who were employees of the suburban school

district. This was an experimental study to test whether or not a financial literacy intervention

has an influence on teachers’ financial literacy, financial awareness, and advocacy for

12

elementary and middle school aged students to receive financial literacy courses. The plan was to

use an experimenter who is unaware of the anticipated results to avoid experimenter bias.

Delimitations

The delimitation of this study consisted of elementary and middle school teachers who

teach kindergarten to eighth grade students in the state of Texas. Elementary and middle school

teachers were selected because of the United States’ mandate (President’s Advisory Council,

2008) for financial education for all Kindergarten through 12th grade students. In 2008, the

President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy recommended that the United States

congress or state legislatures must order financial education for all Kindergarten through 12th

grade students. Maloney (2010) affirmed that a small number of schools have addressed financial

literacy from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Elementary and middle school teachers are in a

position to build a foundation that impacts students’ financial literacy. Greenspan (2005) stated,

“improving basic financial literacy at the elementary and secondary levels could provide a

foundation of financial literacy that could help prevent young people from making poor financial

decision that could take years to overcome” (p. 65). The study was delimited to the examination

of teachers’ financial literacy, awareness, and advocacy. Teachers’ personal and business

financial behaviors were not considered.

Summary

Chapter One identified the specific problem as the lack of certainty whether a

relationship exists between a financial literacy intervention for teachers, which may result in a

positive change in financial literacy, financial awareness, and their subsequent advocacy for

financial literacy courses for elementary and middle school age students. An overview of

financial literacy background, purpose of the study, significance of the study, and nature of the

13

study provided insight into the development of the research questions and hypotheses. The

discussion of the conceptual and theoretical framework, definition, scope, limitation, and

delimitation of the study identified the relevance of the study among other studies, clarified the

terms used in the study and specified the limitation of the study. Additional relevant studies and

important issues are provided in chapter two.

14

Chapter 2

Literature Review

The purpose of chapter two was to identify the literature findings on the subjects of high

school students and financial literacy, college students and financial literacy, families and

financial literacy, teachers and financial literacy, theoretical framework, integrating financial

literacy into school curriculum, barriers to integration, financial literacy influences, and

advocacy. These subjects directly related to the purpose of the research study, which was to

examine whether a financial literacy intervention can influence changes in teachers’ financial

literacy, awareness, and advocacy.

Title Searches, Articles, Research Documents, Journals Researched, Historical Overview,

and Current Findings

A significant amount of information is available on financial literacy, high school and

college students’ financial literacy, but previous literature did not address the possible

relationship between financial literacy intervention and teachers’ financial literacy, financial

awareness, and advocacy. The literature review focused on the problem statement, purpose

statement, and variables. The search focused on three main areas, students and financial literacy,

teachers and financial literacy, and advocacy. The key terms consisted of financial literacy, high

school and financial literacy, college students and financial literacy, families and financial

literacy, teachers and financial literacy, integrating financial literacy, barriers and financial

literacy, financial literacy influences, and advocacy.

The search for relevant information required using many resources, which included peer

reviewed articles from the University of Phoenix’s EBSCOhost database, ProQuest database and

15

Business Source Complete database. Google and Yahoo search engine were resources used to

locate additional peer reviewed articles, books, and government reports.

The current increase of bankruptcies, consumer debt, and housing foreclosures has

prompted government to incorporate a mandate that requires students to be proficient in

economics and financial literacy (Yates & Ward, 2011). Hogarth (2002) asserted that the

previously, the subject of financial literacy has been on the agendas of government agencies,

community organizations, educators, businesses, and policy makers. It appears that everyone is

discussing financial literacy and creating substantial initiatives targeting addressing the issue

(Hogarth, 2002).

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 prompted many states to reevaluate their

academic standards in mathematics and reading (Maloney, 2010). This provided states an

opportunity to consider including financial education in mathematics and reading. High school

students are required to be proficient in financial literacy and economics in numerous states

(Maloney, 2010). In the United States, the Financial Literacy and Education Improvement act

was created to improve financial literacy and education, this was also part of the Fair and

Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003 (Schuchardt et al., 2009).

In 2008, President George Bush created the first President’s Advisory Council on

Financial Literacy (Maloney, 2010) encouraging the American people to focus on financial

literacy and the government to create policies. The Council (2009) presented a report

recommending schools, workplaces, colleges and universities, non-profit organizations, and

government to improve financial literacy (Maloney, 2010). One of the first recommendations

from the Council (2009) was that the United States Congress and legislatures should order

financial education for all Kindergarten through 12 grade students. A large number of school

16

districts have financial literacy initiatives but a few states have ordered financial literacy for the

classroom (Maloney, 2010).

The National Council on Economic Education (NCEE) has the only national set of data

that tracks the progress of personal finance and economics (Yates & Ward, 2011). Thirteen states

graduation requirement includes students taking a personal finance or economics class before

graduating. In addition, nine states have a requirement to test the students’ knowledge on

personal finance (Yates & Ward, 2011). Lucey and Maxwell (2009) affirmed that developing

financial literacy of youth requires preparing teachers to teach these critical life skills.

High School and Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is having the knowledge and skills to make effective decisions

regarding the management and use of money (Noctor, Stoney, & Stradling, 1992; Beal &

Depachitra, 2003; ANZ, 2008). In 2007, Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy

published the National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education (Jump$tart Coalition,

2013). A resource that provides a program design and evaluation framework that combines

financial concepts into existing course (Maloney, 2010). In 2013, Khan Academy and Bank of

America developed a partnership to learn the “why” and “how” behind personal finance

(http://www.bettermoneyhabits.com/en/home.html#fbid=vbT36CTdPR-). This collaboration was

developed to assist with putting knowledge into practice. Casserly (2006, as cited in Jump$tart

Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, 2013) reported that 17% of the high school senior

participants who took the 2006 Jump$tart survey, completed a money management or finance

course. Conversely, the high school participants scored an average of 52.4%.

Jump$tart 1997 survey results revealed that the average high school student could not

successfully complete an easy exam on financial literacy. The results of the 2000 and 2002

http://www.bettermoneyhabits.com/en/home.html#fbid=vbT36CTdPR-

17

showed a decline from that low level. The results of the 2004 and 2006 survey showed the

descending trend in financial literacy might have changed; however, the results in 2008 exposed

the lowest results, which indicated a need for improvement. The Jump$tart survey (2008) of high

school students revealed a decrease of 4.1% from the number of correct scores of the 2006

Jump$tart survey. This survey was categorized into four components, 1) money management, 2)

income, 3) saving and investing, and 4) spending.

The 2008 results revealed that the students scored the highest on the question relating to

income with an average of 56.1%. The students had the lowest scores on the questions relating to

money management with an average of 40.9%. The overall score for saving and investing was

43.2% and spending was 50.8% (Jump$tart, 2013). Norvilities, Merwin, Osberg, Roehling,

Young, and Kamas (2006) used the Jump$tart survey to decide whether or not college students

had more financial knowledge than high school students. Mandell (2006) asserted that generally

financial literacy has not improved with education based on the results of the first four Jump$tart

surveys.

Gratton-Lavoie and Gill’s (2009) study assessed the knowledge of students who had

received formal economic classes during their high school senior year. The sample in the study

included seven high schools in two large school districts in Orange, California. A semester of

economics was one of California High School graduation requirements. This study measured the

students’ economic knowledge before they received the required senior-year economics

instructions, it focused on the differences in students’ economic literacy based on their ethnicity

and gender.

Gratton-Lavoie and Gill (2009) analyzed improvements in economic knowledge among

students after they completed one-semester economics course by gender and ethnicity. The study

18

revealed that the students’ initial knowledge of economics was not strong. White students

obtained the highest pretest TEL score, followed by Asians, and Hispanics, and males out

performed females (Gratton-Lavoie & Gill, 2009). The post-test revealed that there was not a

significant difference on being Hispanic, relative to White, on post-test scores, once there was

control for differences in pretest scores. Asian students performed better on the post-test,

controlling for pretest scores, even though the sample size for Asians was small (Gratton-Lavoie

& Gill, 2009).

Valentine and Khayum (2005) conducted a study examining the relationship of economic

socialization factors, urban and rural high school students, and their financial literacy. The

economic socialization factors included the number of hours students worked, student car

ownership, students’ use of checking and savings accounts, the number of students’ credit cards,

and the amount students saved each week. The study’s questionnaire was divided into six

particular topics: 1) checking and savings, 2) credit cards, 3) food purchases, 4) automobile

insurance, 5) housing rental, and 6) car purchases. The economic socialization questions

pertained to the students’ family backgrounds, the students’ participation in financial decision-

making, education ambitions, projected family incomes, and the number of completed business

classes, and several other demographic characteristics.

The results revealed that none of the students scored above 53% on credit card questions,

none of the students scored above 47% on automobile questions, and none of the students scored

over 54% on food purchases question. The students who scored 60% on questions relating to

checking and savings accounts had parents who were both college graduates, had used four or

more credit cards, and projected family income between $50,000 and $75,000 or over $100,000.

The students who scored 60% on questions relating to car purchases had parents who had post-

19

secondary educations, lived with their biological father and step-mother, had projected family

income of $125,000 or more, and had completed three or four other business or economic

classes.

Valentine and Khayum’s (2005) study also revealed that there were not any significant

differences in overall financial literacy between urban and rural high school students. There was

a significant difference in knowledge between the two groups of students with regard to

automobile insurance, housing rental, and food purchases. In particular, the urban high schools

students’ scores were higher than the students from rural high schools in the housing rental and

food purchases categories. The rural high school students on average attained higher scores than

the urban students in the automobile insurance category. Some of the economic socialization

factors contribute to financial literacy, for example, working 10 to 20 hours a week, having a

savings account, and being a member of a family with income between $50,000 – $75,000. The

findings suggested an opportunity to use different economic socialization factors in pedagogical

techniques and in the design of personal finance curriculums (Valentine & Khayum, 2005).

College Students and Financial Literacy

Yates and Ward (2011) conducted a study to examine how financial knowledge transfers

from high school level to college level and to adult level. The goal of the study was to evaluate

the content areas of personal financial education and determine the alignment while examining

the competencies at the high school, college and adult levels. The results revealed there is a

societal deficiency in personal financial literacy and there was no evidence of any progression of

financial literacy being threaded from high school level through college and then into adulthood.

Yates and Ward (2011) stated, “financial educators, policy makers/state mandates, and course

curricula need to be better informed how knowledge is threaded through these levels” (p. 65).

20

Joo’s, et al. (2003) study found that multiple credit cards figure has increased, reporting

that 70% of all undergraduates at four-year institutions have at least one credit card. On the

collegiate level, students are expected to have the essential financial knowledge to handle a

difficult and stressful lifestyle with limited financial resources (Chen & Volpe, 1998). Their

parents’ finance support provided the financial safety net, which is often limited from many of

the first generational college students’ life (Kashworm, 2003). The students enter into a new

environment that exposures them to access to student loans, credit cards, financial aid, a different

set of peers, and employment without the necessary skills and knowledge that is required to

manage and succeed (Joo et al., 2003).

Volpe, Haiyang, and Pavlicko’s (1996) study examined college students’ personal

investment knowledge and the relationship between investment literacy levels, academic

discipline, experience and gender. They affirmed that personal investment decisions couldn’t be

exaggerated because these decisions directly impact on the person’s quality of life. The “What’s

Your Investment IQ?” was the instrument used because it covered a variety of personal

investment topics, for example, risk, stocks, bond mutual funds, financial advisor qualifications,

business math, global investing, diversification, tax planning and impact of interest rate change.

The results revealed that on average the individuals’ personal investment knowledge was

wholly insufficient (Volpe et al., 1996). Examining the responses showed illiteracy was spread

through different topics relating to personal investments basics. 59% of the participants correctly

answered questions relating to financial advisor qualification and 56% answered questions

relating to diversification and mutual fund performances. Only 53% answered questions

correctly on bonds and 52% on business math. A larger gap was revealed in the participants’

knowledge about risk, stock market valuation, global investing, impact of interest rate changes

21

and tax planning. 48% of the participants correctly answered question relating to risk, 33%

correctly answered questions relating to stock market valuation, 38% correctly answered

questions about global investment, 28% about interest rate changes, and 17% about tax planning

(Volpe et al., 1996).

Volpe’s et al. (1996) study investigated the differences between female and male

participants’ knowledge about investment basic. The results revealed that the correct number of

answers for female participants’ were lower than those of the male participants. The differences

were more evident in the areas of business math, stock valuation, mutual funds, and global

investment performances.

Volpe’s et al. (1996) study also attempted to show evidence about difference in

participants’ level of investment literacy. The sample population consisted of business and non-

business students. The business majors were also divided into finance and accounting majors and

non-finance and accounting majors. The results revealed that business majors had a higher IQ

score than those of non-business majors. The finance and accounting majors scored higher than

the marketing and management majors. The findings suggested that additional education in the

business field, particularly in finance and accounting areas could assist college students with

enhancing their investment knowledge (Volpe, et al., 1996).

Volpe’s et al. (1996) study investigated if there was a difference in the IQ scores of

students in terms of previous investment experience and age. Those students who had previous

investments experience in stocks, mutual funds, and bonds before participating in the study were

classified as prior investment experience and the others were classified as not having experience.

The results revealed generally low IQ scores, which suggested investment illiteracy existed

through all age groups with or without prior investment experience (Volpe et al., 1996).

22

Chen and Volpe (1998) conducted a study to examine college students’ personal financial

literacy, the association between students’ characteristics and literacy, and the influence of the

literacy on students’ decisions and opinions. This study had three purposes: 1) Provide evidence

of college students’ personal financial literacy, 2) test why some college students are

comparatively more knowledgeable than others, and test how students’ knowledge influences

their decisions and opinions relating to personal financial issues.

Chen and Volpe’s (1998) questionnaire was created to include main features on personal

finance, which includes general financial literacy information on borrowing, saving, investments,

and insurance. To refine the questionnaire, a pilot study was conducted. Chen and Volpe (1998)

affirmed that the most of the students were in the early stages of their financial life cycle. The

students were introduced to financial issues pertaining to basic financial literacy information,

borrowing, savings, investment, and insurance. Chen and Volpe (1998) asserted that the majority

of the students’ incomes were spent on consumption rather than investment.

The results of the study revealed that students’ educational background had a significant

influence on their knowledge. The business major students were more knowledgeable than the

non-business major students. Sixty point seventy-two percent of the business major students

answered the questions correctly; whereas, 49.94% non-business major students answered the

questions correctly. Graduate students knew more than the undergraduates, junior, and senior

students were more knowledgeable than sophomore and freshman students. The results also

revealed that female students scored 50.77% correct answers, which were lower than the 57.40%

of correct answers of the male participants. Participants from different ethnic backgrounds had

different financial knowledge levels. Chen and Volpe (1998) affirmed that none of the groups

23

could maintain the highest total through the four segments. Foreign students scored lower than

the Americans and African-American students scored the lowest through the different segments.

Chen and Volpe’s (1998) study also investigated college students’ ages and work

experience, the students who had more experience at work were more knowledgeable than those

with less experience at work. Students who were in the subgroup age of 23 to 29 and 40 or older

had more knowledge than the other groups. Students who were in the category of having higher

personal income correctly answered more questions than those with lower income. Overall, Chen

and Volpe’s (1998) study suggested that the need for college students to improve their personal

finance knowledge. Previous research has provided evidence and this study’s findings suggested

that our educational system has a lack of personal finance education (Chen & Volpe, 1998).

Maurer and Lee (2011) compared students’ learning gained from teaching financial

literacy using two approaches, peer financial counseling and traditional classroom instruction.

The participants received instructions through a family economic course or one hour per led

session. The results indicated similar learning improvements between the two methods on

planned financial behaviors and shared content.

Hayes (2012) identified numerous higher education programs that are spreading

awareness of good money management principles to students. Hampton University offers a

mandatory class on financial literacy to freshman students. Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo

College of Business and Economics has a program with a component that encourages middle

school students to save for postsecondary education. Clark Atlanta, Spelman, and other

Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) have partnered with Operation Hope to offer

Banking on Our Future, which is a curriculum based workshop that focuses on effective money

24

management. Hayes (2012) asserted that most universities are addressing financial literacy, loan

repayment, wealth building, home ownership, and credit management.

Families and Financial Literacy

Worthington (2006) studied the impact of financial literacy on employment status, family

and personal income, age of individual and motivation. The study used ordered logic models to

examine socioeconomic, demographics, financial characteristics, and financial literacy in adults

(Worthington, 2006). Males, older adults, professionals, executives, farm owners, semiskilled

trade, small business owners, university educated individuals, and those with a higher level of

income, mortgage debt and savings have a greater likelihood of a high level of financial literacy

(Worthington, 2006). Whereas, the unemployed, females, people with occupations of farm

workers, and individuals with an educational level that is year 10 or lower, year 12 or technical

college have a greater probability of a low level of financial literacy (Worthington, 2006).

The educational attainment (university) was incorporated in the study, but particulars

about the participants studied or the level of performance (other than completion) were not

known. Numerous financial covariants, such as savings, income, and debt, were included, but

limited details were known about their arrangement and if the arrangement contributes

differently over time (Worthington, 2006). Worthington (2006) affirmed that attempts have been

made to link financial literacy to financial behaviors and financial outcomes.

Since Worthington’s study (2006), several research studies have addressed financial

literacy and financial behaviors. Lusardi and Tufano’s study (2009) revealed that individuals

with low financial literacy are more likely to have debt problems. Their study found a strong

relationship between debt literacy, and debt burdens and financial experience. The individuals

who lack the knowledge and understanding of how the United States financial system works are

25

more likely to experience a larger debt burden and experience more high-cost debt services than

those with more knowledge (Lusardi & Tufano, 2009). Those individuals are less likely to invest

in the stock market (van Rooij, Lusardi, & Alessie, 2007), less likely to select mutual funds with

lower fees (Hasting & Tejeda-Ashton, 2008), less likely to build and manage wealth effectively,

(Stango & Zinman, 2007), and less likely to plan for retirement (Lusardi & Mitchell, 2009).

Hilgert, Hogarth, and Beverly (2003) discovered that financial education positively

influences consumer financial behaviors. Kim’s (2007) study revealed that workplace financial

education contributed to positive financial behaviors. Several studies attempt to demonstrate the

contributing factors on the effect of financial literacy. Bad financial choices harm productivity in

the workplace (Kim & Garman, 2004). Volpe, Chen, and Liu (2006) survey results indicated that

basic personal finance as a significant area in which employees’ knowledge was deficient and

suggested implementing educational programs that concentrate on improving basic personal

finance knowledge.

Schwab (2010, as cited in Schwab, 2013) affirmed that parents of children known as

Baby Boomers have been referred to as the “sandwich generation” reflecting the stress of caring

for elderly parents and raising children. Schwab’s Families & Money study (2010) revealed that

41% of “sandwich generation” parents continue to financially support to their adult children.

The parent participants cited that unemployment (31%) and college debt (32%) as the primary

reasons for supporting their children. These parents also believed that certain financial stressors

were within their children’s control (Schwab, 2013).

These parents also cited consumer debt (19%) and overspending (25%) as reasons for

their children late independence. This survey also indicated that parents whose children did

regular household chores growing up were more likely to believe their young adult children were

26

“very financially responsible” (53%) as compared to the parents whose children did fewer or no

household chores (46% and 39%). Those parents whose children did any regular chores also

viewed themselves as being poor financial role models (Schwab, 2013).

Schwab’s Families & Money study (2010) also revealed that parents believed main three

money management area that their children need to improve were: 1) budgeting and staying

within the budget (48%), saving money (42%), and investing wisely (33%). Two-thirds of

parents (66%) considered that the recent economic recession had a silver lining. The participants

learned two lessons, which included living within their means (49%) and being actively involved

with their finance (43%) (Schwab, 2013).

There were several significant differences in the relations to the women versus men

outlook. Women were more likely to have positive changes in their behavior, which included

discussing finance with their children (59% versus 47%). Women were less likely to reveal that

there has been any silver lining to the economic recession (29% versus 39%). Another prevalent

families and financial literacy study was the Financial Literacy Survey of adults.

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Inc. conducted the 2010 Financial

Literacy Survey of adults, which revealed that 34% of the participants gave themselves a C, D,

or F as a grade. Seventy-eight percent of the participants agreed that they could use the advice,

recommendation, and assistance from a financial expert, and 31% strongly agree. Forty-three

percent of the participants careful monitor their spending; however, 56% do not use a budget,

and 5% ignore their spending and do not understand how much they are spending on

entertainment, food, and housing.

Hogarth (2002) identified a consistent theme through the different definitions of financial

literacy. The themes include 1) being educated, knowledgeable, and informed on the issues of

27

banking, investments, taxes, credit, insurance, managing money and assets, 2) understanding the

fundamentals of money management and assets, and 3) using that knowledge and understanding

to plan and make informed financial decisions. Financial literacy is important to family

households and to the communities (Hogarth, 2002).

Hogarth (2002) asserted that numerous organization and agencies have initiatives for

financial literacy, which include government agencies, schools, military, faith-based

organizations, cooperative extension, colleges, employers, and others. These organizations have

an interest in sharing resources to address five broad categories. These categories include credit

management and repair, basic financial services and asset building programs, avoiding abusive

lending practice, homeownership counseling, small business and micro-enterprise technical

assistance (Hogarth, 2002).

Xiao, Newman et al. (2004) asserted that little research has concentrated on the process

of reducing debt and measuring the effectiveness of intervention to eliminate excessive debt and

change behaviors. They conducted a study using the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM) to

measure consumers’ willingness to eliminate consumers’ credit card debt. TTM key constructs

include the stages of change, decisional balance, self-efficacy (confidence), and the process of

change.

The measure included 24 items for process or change, eight items for decisional balance,

and six items for self-efficacy (Xiao, Newman et al., 2004). This instrument was developed to

measure individuals’ willingness to change their behaviors and could assist professionals with

understanding their clients’ intention to change. Xiao, Newman et al. (2004) recommends

considering the following to individuals who are interested in financial education programs: 1)

designing an educational program that targets behavioral change, 2) developing educational

28

components that match the stages of change, 3) discussing pros and cons of the target behavior,

4) using confidence items in case discussion, and 5) using data collection and program

evaluation.

Xiao, O’Neil, Pochaska, Kervel, Brennan, and Bristow (2004) conducted a study to

identify change procedures that are pertinent to an individuals’ goal achievement behavior and

the stages of change. The study results revealed that theory-based programs are productive and

worthwhile, the TTM is a valuable model for creating a financial education program, the TTM

defines several unique change strategies compared to other change theories. Their

recommendations consisted of focusing on saving and debt reducing behaviors separately and

developing a reliable and valid measure based on the TTM to measures each of those behaviors.

Teachers and Financial Literacy

The National Endowment for Financial Education conducted the Teachers’ Background

& Capacity to Teach Personal Finance study, which revealed that 89% of K-12 teachers concur

that a financial competency tests should be given to students or the students should pass a

financial education course for high school graduation. Some teachers believed they are

sufficiently ready to teach financial courses. This study found that prospective teachers and K-12

teachers are developing limited formal education in financial courses through credit or non-credit

offerings. The study revealed that only a handful of prospective teachers and K-12 teachers had

completed any formal training to teach financial courses. Merely 11.6% of the K-12 teachers had

attended a workshop that prepares them to teach personal finance.

The study indicated that the state mandates did not have any influence on student teachers

and regular teachers whether the teachers had taken a finance class, taught a finance class, or

thought they were competent to teach a finance class. Over 60% of the teachers did not feel

29

qualified to teach students their state’s educational standards on finances. A positive conclusion

of this study is that most of the teachers were receptive to receiving additional education

pertaining to financial literacy (two-thirds of the student teachers and three-fourths of the regular

teachers said they would be at least “somewhat likely” to participate in further education on

teaching financial courses).

Theoretical Framework

Teachers are in a position to influence change in students’ behaviors as well as their

peers’ behavior, which can be instrumental in leading change within the organization. Nowicki

and Summers (2007) asserted that leadership influences change in the actions of others as an

activity to achieve desired results. The theoretical framework of the research study directly

relates to Rogers’ (2003) Diffusion of Innovation Theory and Transtheoretical Model of Change

(TTM). The Diffusion of Innovation theory is a theory of communication, which has been

studied lengthily from different disciplines and with detail to different services, products and

ideas (Cheng, Kao, & Julia Ying-Choa, 2004).

Cheng et al. (2003) noted that Rogers identified diffusion in innovation adoption

framework into five phases: 1) innovators, 2) early adopters, 3) the early majority, and 4)

laggards. Rogers (2003) believed that four elements significantly affect adopting innovation,

which include the innovation itself, communication channels, time, and the social system. The

social system refers to the context, culture, and environment of individuals. Rogers (1995)

classified it as “a set of inter related units that are engaged in joint problem-solving to

accomplish a common goal” (p. 23). Straub (2009) asserted that social norms and structure

influences and affect how innovation penetrates a population.

30

Xiao and Wu (2008) asserted that a theory is important because it would recognize key

factors connected with the target behavior. The Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM) is also

a relevant theory, which studies ways to inspire consumers to acquire positive behaviors through

stage-matched interventions and eliminate undesirable behaviors (Schuchardt et al., 2009).

Limited research has addressed the effectiveness of intervention and the process of reducing

debt. Xiao et al. (2004) conducted the original study to measure the readiness to eliminate

consumers’ credit card debt using the trans-theoretical model of change to assess change in

financial behaviors of participants enrolled in a financial education program.

This theory can also assist with understanding how individuals can use motivation to

reduce debt and increase savings (Schuchardt et al., 2009). The trans-theoretical model of change

key constructs includes the stages of change, processes of change, decision balance, and self-

efficacy (Xiao et al., 2004). Meaningful change in an organization’s culture is possible through

the participation of the organization’s members during the planning and implementation of the

change (Leech & Fulton, 2008).

Several behavior theories are prevalent when addressing financial behaviors. The trans-

theoretical model of change (TTM) is appropriate to use when studying ways to encourage

individuals to eliminate unwanted behaviors and to develop positive behaviors (Schuchardt et al.,

2009). Examining previous literature identifies gaps in research in financial behaviors, financial

literacy, and financial education. Bristow suggested that TTM could be used to change people’s

financial behaviors in Money 2000, a USDA extension program on financial education.

Kerkman (1998) presented a case to demonstrate using TTM in financial counseling. Shockey

and Seiling (2004) incorporated the framework of TTM with the Independent Development

Account financial education program for low-income individuals.

31

Suggestions were given to financial advisors and counselors on how to utilize concepts of

the TTM to help individuals’ behavior change regardless of their current practices (Loibl & Hira,

2007). Xiao, O’Neil et al. (2004) supports TTM intervention strategies and affirms that the TTM

was effective in forecasting behavior change processes related to credit and debt.

Trans-theoretical model of behavior change consists of different ranges of readiness to change a

problem behavior or develop a desirable behavior through the stages of change.

Schuchardt, et al. (2007) identified the stages of change as pre-contemplation,

contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. During the pre-contemplation stage the

person’s intention is to change the undesirable behavior. During the contemplation stage of

change, the person realizes the problem, but has not committed to changing the behavior. During

the preparation stage of change, the person has a plan to change. During the action stage of

change, the person has implemented several strategies to change the undesirable behavior.

Finally, during the maintenance stage of change, the person implements a prevention strategy to

avoid relapsing. The process of change is influenced by the individuals’ desire to change the

undesirable behavior (Schuchardt et al., 2007).

There is a need to use theory-based research to discover the associations between

financial behaviors. Relevant behavior theories are necessary to define sought after financial

behaviors by taking into account the specific life cycle stages, contexts, and macroeconomic

environment (Schuchardt et al., 2007). Schuchardt et al. (2007) asserts that research is needed to

get a clearer interpretation of the financial education process that influence modifying

individuals’ decision-making and financial behaviors. Limited researchers have examined the

relationship between financial education and effective intervention. Schuchardt et al. (2007)

32

established that additional studies are needed to decide whether financial education is an

effective tool at getting individuals to participate in some financial habits.

Integrating Financial Literacy into School Curriculum

After the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, several states revisit their academic

standards in mathematics and reading, providing an opportunity for states to consider the

inclusion of financial education in mathematics and reading standards (Maloney, 2010).

Standards could dictate test content and curriculum; this inclusion would help ensure financial

education in the classroom (Maloney, 2010). In 2007, Jump$tart Coalition for Personal

Financial Literacy published the National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education as a

resource for organization to facilitate the inclusion of the standards (Jump$tart, 2013). This

resource provides a program design and evaluation framework to integrate financial concepts

into existing courses (Jump$tart, 2013).

Barriers to Integration

Godsted and McCormick’s (2007) study examined barriers to implementing financial

literacy into the classroom. The results revealed that the majority of the teachers thought it was

important to teach financial literacy in classroom, only half of K-12 teachers indicated they

taught some type of financial literacy. The teachers acknowledge that their financial literacy

knowledge was lacking in some areas (Godsted & McCormick, 2007). The issue of financial

literacy has received state and national levels attention. Department of education and state

legislatures are increasingly interested in providing financial education in the classroom

(Maloney, 2010). Maloney (2007) affirmed that many states are reluctant to mandate a stand-

alone financial literacy course due to financial and curriculum constraints.

33

Financial Literacy Influences

One important agent of socialization for emotional and factual uses of money is the

family. The children’s primary influence on how they handle money is their parents. Children

observe their parents and learn financial management behaviors as well as through participation

and intentional socialization with their parents (Rettig & Mortenson, 1986, as cited in

Schuchardt, et al., 2009). Whereas, Bachmann, John, and Rao’s (1993) study examined the role

of how peers influence children’s purchasing decisions.

Advocacy

Increasing property taxes and restricted school budgets is the unfortunate reality that

school districts encounters during a budget crisis and school boards cut funding for programs or

specialized courses to address the budget crisis (Elpus, 2008). Individuals tend to organize

groups to support a particular cause during a crisis state. Elpus (2007) affirmed that it is

important that supporters of the threatened programs be organized before the budget cuts and

program elimination for advocacy to be successful. A well-organized group can do aggressive

advocacy to the school board for a particular program or course. Elpus (2007) supports and

encourages advocacy groups to develop a non-profit organization to take advantage of tax-

exempt status.

Kaplan (2003) posited that the advocating process could be achieved through different

perspective and roles. The perspective and role of the teacher is important but is sometimes

overlooked. Kaplan (2003) affirms that teachers as advocates demand using educational skills

relating to learning principles. Applying these principles to the process of advocacy shifts the

message and type of communication (Kaplan, 2003). Teachers should incorporate different

34

strategies that include the principles of learning, such as motivation, scaffolding, metacognition,

and transfer.

Motivational strategies allow teachers to clarify the practicality and purposes motivating

the demanded activity and identify the way to achieve the objective and lead the development of

communication between the advocates and constituents (Kaplan, 2003). Scaffolding strategies

allow teachers as advocates an opportunity to build the advocacy message on the assessed

background knowledge of the selected individuals. Kaplan (2003) affirms that individuals who

are familiar with the cause in which to build advocacy best implement action on the students’

behalf.

Metacognition strategies allow teachers to look at their behavior and reflect as they

advocate for the educational needs of gifted students (Kaplan, 2003). The transfer strategy allows

the teachers an opportunity to pressure the different contexts that information assimilated can be

transferred during the advocacy process. Kaplan (2003) posited that teachers as advocate to

facilitate transfer includes making information clear and challenging enough to motivate the user

to transfer it to other situations.

Kaplan (2003) also identifies a checklist or lesson plan for advocates. The checklist

includes: 1) Define the objectives and how to achieve the objectives. 2) Assess the background

knowledge of the individuals supporting the idea. 3) Assist the individual with reflecting and

monitoring their own thinking and behaviors so they can be successful advocates. 4) Present the

information communicated and the need to transfer it to other situations and programs.

Summary

Chapter two provides literature findings on the subjects of high school students and

financial literacy, college students and financial literacy, families and financial literacy, teachers

35

and financial literacy, theoretical framework, integrating financial literacy into school

curriculum, barriers to integration, financial literacy influences and advocacy. Based on the

literature reviewed, the need for the current study was established. There is a lack of information

on the relationship between financial literacy interventions and financial literacy, financial

awareness, and advocacy. The Council (2009) submitted a report recommending improving

financial literacy through different venues, such as schools, colleges and universities,

workplaces, non-profits, and government (Maloney, 2010).

36

Chapter 3

Methodology

A non-equivalent control group design was used in this research study. This quantitative,

quasi-experimental study examined whether a financial literacy intervention can influence

changes in teachers’ financial literacy, financial awareness, and advocacy for elementary and

middle school-aged students to receive financial literacy courses. Quantitative research problems

entailed showing the influence that one or more sets of variable have on other variables. The

purpose of this study was to see whether a financial literacy intervention can have an influence

on teachers’ financial literacy, financial awareness, and advocacy for elementary and middle

school-aged students to receive financial literacy courses. Gelo, Braakman, and Benetka (2008)

affirmed that gathering and investigating data are the actual steps that provide answers to the

research questions.

Chapter three included a discussion of the rationale for using a quantitative, quasi-

experimental design, the appropriateness of the design, the research questions, sample and

population, geographical location, informed consent, and confidentiality. Additionally, within the

chapter there was a discussion of the instrumentation, data collection, data analysis, and the

validity and reliability of the study.

Research Method and Design Appropriateness

Creswell (2003) identified the four criteria to determine the appropriateness of

quantitative research. 1) Measurement of the variables is possible, 2) assessing the impact of the

variable is possible, 3) results can be used to test theories or possible, and 4) the results can apply

to a large group of people. Quantitative studies examine the relationship between variables using

37

research questions, hypotheses, and data collection with statistical tests (Neuman, 2003),

whereas, qualitative studies focus on perceptions and experiences (Sorin-Peters, 2004).

A quasi-experimental design entailed using a pretest, an intervention, and a posttest,

which shows the relationship between the financial literacy intervention and how it influences

teachers’ financial literacy, financial awareness, and advocacy for students to receive financial

literacy courses. True experimental designs are the most rigorous experimental designs to show

causation, in education it is not always feasible to randomly select participants to treatments of

the independent variable (Creswell, 2005). Shuttleworth (2008) asserted that a quasi-

experimental design is the most commonly used research design in educational environment.

Quasi-experiments entail choosing groups and testing a variable without the randomly pre-

selection processes (Shuttleworth, 2008). This design uses a sample of convenience. Salkind

(2009) affirmed that when randomization is not possible, a non-equivalent control group design

is the most often used design.

The pretest and posttest included questions from Jump$tart Coalition’s College survey

(modified version) (Appendix A). A pretest and posttest was administered to the suburban school

district’s elementary and middle school teachers. Following the pretest, the experimental group

of teachers received access to Alliance Financial Ministries’ Money University webinars. Money

University is a six-lessons money management course designed to assist with improving an

individual’s financial well-being (Mathews, 2012). Alliance Financial Ministries’ founder hosted

six sessions that were approximately 45 minutes per session. The topics included: 1) Organizing

Your Financial Life, 2) Banking and Budgeting, 3) Loans and Credit Cards, 4) Debt and Debt

Management, 5) Saving and Investing, and 6) Understanding Interests and Insurances.

38

The Organizing Your Financial Life session focused on the eight basic areas to

organizing your financial life. Mathews (2012) asserted that organizing finances assist

individuals with making better decisions about money. The Banking and Budgeting session

focused on the basics of banking, which included checking account and savings accounts. The

lesson included understanding opening an account, using the account, managing and balancing a

checking account properly. This session also included understanding and creating a budget with

a spending plan. The Loan and Credit Cards session focused on understanding the terms of a

loan and different types of credit and credit cards. This session also included understanding your

credit report and using credit wisely.

The Debt and Debt Management session focused on understanding the consequences of

debt as well as the different types of debt. This session also included debt management

strategies, which include understanding debt ratios and how unpaid debts impact their financial

future. The Saving and Investing session focused on the different ways to save and invest for the

future. This discussion included emergency fund, retirement, college savings, stocks, and bonds.

The Understanding Interest and Insurance session focused on understanding credit card interest

and compound interest. This session also included a discussion on the different types of

insurances and coverage. The control group of teachers (those teachers not exposed to Alliance

Financial Ministries’ webinar) did not receive an intervention.

The identifiable independent variable was financial literacy and the dependent variables

were financial literacy, awareness, and advocacy for elementary and middle school aged students

to receive financial literacy courses as measured by the pretest and posttest. By raising awareness

of financial literacy, teachers can increase their financial literacy, financial awareness, and

advocacy for students to receive financial literacy courses.

39

Research Questions

The research question is the proposition that shapes a study’s objective (Cooper &

Schindler, 2003). Research questions are the essential tools to find facts and collect information

(Cooper & Schindler, 2003). Identifying the problem and purpose statement, significance and

nature of the study leads to the following research questions:

1. Is there a significant difference in the financial literacy of teachers who receive a

financial literacy intervention and those teachers who did not receive a financial

literacy intervention?

2. Is there a significant difference in the financial awareness of teachers who

received a financial literacy intervention and those teachers who did not receive a

financial literacy intervention?

3. Is there a significant difference in the advocacy of teachers who received a

financial literacy intervention and those teachers who did not receive a financial

literacy intervention?

Hypotheses

Ho1: A financial literacy intervention does not significantly increase teachers’

financial literacy.

Ha1: A financial literacy intervention significantly increases teachers’ financial

literacy.

Ho2: A financial literacy intervention does not significantly increase teachers’

financial awareness.

Ha2: A financial literacy intervention significantly increases teachers’ financial

awareness.

40

Ho3: A financial literacy intervention does not significantly influence teachers so

that they advocate for elementary and middle school aged students to receive

financial literacy courses.

Ha3: A financial literacy intervention does significantly influence teachers so that

they advocate for elementary and middle school aged students to receive financial

literacy courses.

Population and Sample

The suburban school district’s general population consisted of 8500 full-time employees,

600 part-time employees, 3929 teachers, and 1,300 substitutes. Nineteen of the suburban schools

were designated to participate in the study. The suburban district has 944 middle school teachers

at 14 middle schools and 1220 elementary teachers at 45 elementary schools. Twenty schools

participated in the research study.

Gay (1995) affirmed that the minimum acceptable sample size depends on the type of

research: descriptive research should be 10% of the population; correlational research should be

30 subjects; causal-comparative research should be 30 subjects in determining the sample size,

and experimental research should be 15 subjects per group. The sample size should be as large as

possible so that the results are more likely to be generalizable (Gay, 1995). Using a calculation of

5% margin of error, 95% confidence level, and 350 teachers, Raosoft’s website calculator

assisted with identifying that a sample size of 184 was necessary to represent the suburban

school district (Raosoft, 2013). It was assumed that participants would opt out of the study,

participants would start and not complete the study, and recruiting additional participants would

be needed to have an appropriate number of participants. The sample population for this study

consisted of 207 teachers.

41

Recruiting the Respondents

All of the selected suburban school district’s elementary and middle school teachers

received an informational email from their campus principal explaining the research study

and selection process. The informational email included information regarding the sample

population, and type of research design, which included experimental group and control group.

The email also informed participants that materials used in the research study could enhance

their financial knowledge. The eligible participants had an opportunity to express their

interest in participating in the research study.

The teachers who expressed an interest to participate in the study received the

informed consent form, which required an authentic signature. They were instructed to

return the signed informed consent form via fax, interoffice mail or pick up. Once the consent

form was returned, the consenting participants received an individual email with the pretest.

The first 110 participants who returned the consent form were assigned to the experimental

group and the next 97 participants were assigned to the control group. The experimental group

received an informational email with the registration instructions for the Money University

webinar hosted by Alliance Financial Ministries. This organization was selected for the

intervention because of the founder’s extensive financial background and experience.

Informed Consent and Confidentiality

All participants received the informed consent form (Appendix B), which required an

authentic signature. The consenting participants were instructed to return the signed consent

form via fax, their organization’s interoffice mail, or pick up. The consent form explained that

their participation was voluntary. The informed consent form stated that the participants were at

least 18, described the research study, identified any foreseeable risk, discussed the

42

confidentiality of the participants, and discussed publications. The informed consent also stated

that participants who decided to withdraw from the study would not receive any negative

consequences for their decision to withdraw from the study. The participants were instructed to

email or telephone researcher to withdraw from the study.

All participants’ identities remained confidential and anonymous throughout the research

study. Participants identifying information was not disclosed to any publications or outside party.

The data were securely maintained using Survey Monkey’s password protected website and will

be deleted after three years.

Geographical Location

The teachers participating in this study were Texas residents who work in a suburban

school district. The districts’, schools’, teachers’, or principals’ names did not appear in the study

to assist in ensuring anonymity for the participants. The district’s 2011-2012 operating budget

was over $481,382,227.00 with 64% of the budget allotted to instruction. The district serves over

69,000 students at 74 campuses. The district is a majority minority school district, which

includes 29.5% of African Americans 19.48% Caucasian, 26.23% Hispanic, 21.82%

Asian/Pacific Islander, and .51% American Indian. The city is an affluent area and one of the

fastest growing cities in Texas with an estimated population of 84, 511.

Data Collection

Gelo, Braakman, and Benetka (2008) asserted that gathering and investigating data are

steps that provide answers to research questions. Surveys, tests, questionnaires, interviews, and

closed end protocols are the primary tools for quantitative research (Neuman, 2006). Qualitative

research uses interviews, observations, case studies, and focus groups (Salkind, 2011). The

difficulties of conducting face-to-face interviews include the high cost of transportation, training

43

staff, supervision, and face-to-face interviews are the high cost of training staff, supervising staff,

and travel costs (Neuman, 2006). The difficulty of using telephone interviews is that participants

without telephones may be difficult to contact and may call back at a difficult time (Neuman,

2006).

This research study used online instruments to collect information from participants.

Neuman (2006) affirmed that a survey instrument is an excellent tool to answer research

questions about behaviors and self-reported beliefs. Surveys allow researchers to measure

multiple variables and examine multiple hypotheses in one survey (Neuman, 2006). Salkind

(2011) identified four steps to collecting data, which includes creating a form to collect the data,

developing a coding system, gathering the data, and inputting the data into a system or onto a

form.

A copy of the research proposal was emailed to the research department of the suburban

school district. The letter explained the purpose and logistics of conducting the research (see

Appendix C). Once the authorization letter was received from the research department, the

researcher submitted proposal to University of Phoenix, after obtaining approval, the researcher

began the selection process. The potential participants in the study received an informational

email from their campus principal requesting their assistance to participate in the research study

(see Appendix D).

The informational email included information regarding the sample population and type

of research design, which included experimental group and control group. The email also

informed participants that materials used in the study could enhance their financial knowledge.

The information email also explained the research study requirements of teachers who agree to

participate. The participants who replied to the email received the informed consent form to

44

confirm participation, which required an authentic signature (see Appendix B). The consenting

participants were instructed to return the form via fax, interoffice mail, or pick up.

All consenting participants received an individual email with the pretest, which was the modified

version of Jump$tart Coalition’s College survey. The first 110 participants were assigned to

receive the intervention, which included access to six Money University’s webinars. The

consenting participants who were selected to participate in the intervention received the schedule

for the Money University’s webinars. These sessions were also recorded so that participants

would have access to preview any missed sessions. The next 97 participants were assigned to the

control group. At the completion of the study, all participants received the posttest.

Instrumentation

The pretest and posttest questions included questions from 2008 Jump$tart Coalition’s

College Survey of Personal Financial Literacy, (Jump$tart, 2013) and additional questions

developed by the researcher. The instruments combined to capture data regarding financial

literacy, financial awareness, and advocacy. The experimental group of teachers received access

to Alliance Financial Ministries’ Money University webinars. Money University is a financial

literacy program for adults. Alliance Financial Ministries’ founder hosted six sessions that were

approximately 45 minutes per session. The topics included: 1) Organizing Your Financial Life,

2) Banking and Budgeting, 3) Loans and Credit Cards, 4) Debt and Debt Management, 5) Saving

and Investing, and 6) Understanding Interests and Insurances.

The control group of teachers (those teachers not exposed to Money University webinar)

did not receive the intervention. Both groups of teachers were administered a pretest regarding

financial literacy before the treatment began. At the onset, teachers were informed that the

45

materials they had access to could enhance their financial knowledge. Furthermore, those

teachers who remained in the experimental and control groups received the posttest.

Validity and Reliability

A threat to validity consists of issues that may influence the outcomes of the pretest and

posttest scores (Creswell, 2008). A pilot study was necessary to ensure the data collection

instrument was valid and reliable. The pilot study participants consisted of nine of the suburban

school district counselors and social workers, who had previously participated in Dave Ramsey’s

Financial Peace University. The participants received the pretest and posttest questions to assist

with content validity and a reliable process for taking the online survey. The questions consisted

of questions from Jump$tart Coalition’s College Survey (see Appendix A) and additional

questions, which made the instrument a modified version of Jump$tart Coalition’s College

Survey. The 2008 Jump$tart Coalition’s survey instrument has been well tested and given to

6,586 high school students and 1,030 college students (Jump$tart, 2013). This survey is believed

to have established content, predictive, and construct validity through its prior use (Lucey, 2005).

The internal consistency reliability procedure was used to establish reliability for the

modified version of 2008 Jump$tart Coalition College Survey. The Cronbach’s Alpha and split

half reliability procedures were used to establish internal consistency on the investigative

instrument. An alpha coefficient of .793 and a split half with Spearman-Brown application of

.830 were computed for the test as a whole. Bruning and Kintz (1997) affirmed that a reliability

coefficient of .70 is considered reliability. Thus, the investigative survey was found to be reliable

for this investigation.

46

Internal Validity and External Validity

A possible threat to validity consists of unclear pretest and posttest questions. A pilot

study was necessary to validate the pretest and posttest in this research study. Neuman (2006)

believed that it is necessary to have pilot tests for an effective survey design. It reduces costs and

requires the least effort and time from respondents. The pilot study assisted with identifying

questions that needed clarifying, grammatical and typographical errors, troubleshooting and

navigating the online survey instrument. Simon (2011) posited that a number of logistical issues

could be addressed with a pilot. Several factors could be addressed before the main study. For

example, making sure that the instructions are clear and concise, the wording of the survey are

spelled correctly, ensuring the reliability and validity of results, and testing the statistical and

analytical procedures (Simon, 2011). A key advantage of performing a pilot study is that it can

provide advance notice as to whether the instrument is inappropriate or too complicated (Simon,

2011). Arain, Campbell, Cooper, and Lancaster (2010) asserted that a pilot study tests whether

the study’s components work together. The pilot study focuses on the processes of the actual

research study, to safeguard recruitment, randomization, intervention, and follow up run easily

(Arain et al., 2010).

Cooper and Schindler (2006) affirmed that a pilot test intends to reveal errors in design

and improper control of extraneous or environmental condition. Neuman (2006) affirms that

effective survey questions provide the researcher with valid and reliable measures. Creswell

(2008) affirms that threats to internal validity are important to consider because the possible

threats may compromise the experiment. The non-equivalent control group design like other

kinds of research paradigms has its methodological weaknesses. One of the key weaknesses is

the lack of randomizations randomly assigning participants to groups (Sapp, 2002). Although,

47

this design has its limitations, it is one of the strongest quasi-designs and is widely used in

educational research where the participating population consists of naturally assembled groups

(Gould, 2002).

“External validity is the ability to generalize experimental findings to events and settings

outside an experiment itself. If a study lacks external validity, its findings hold true only in

experiments, making them useless in both basic and applied science” (Neuman, 2003, p. 251).

Data Analysis

Quantitative data analysis includes data coding, entering data, cleaning, and measuring

data with statistical programs (Neuman, 2003). The statistical tool used was the “statistical

package for the social science (SPSS)” (Levesque, 2007, p.1). At the completion of the study, the

data were analyzed using SPSS Statistic GradPack 18 for Mac. This research study also used

inferential and descriptive statistics to analyze the data.

Quantitative research uses descriptive statistics to indicate general tendencies in the data

and allows a comparison of how one score relates to all other (Creswell, 2008). Descriptive

statistics summarize the general data obtained, measure certain characteristic that appear to be on

average, examine the variability that exists among the data, and measure how closely two or

more characteristics are related (Leedy & Ormond, 2010).

“Inferential statistics help the researcher make decisions about the data. For example,

they help decide whether the differences observed between two groups in the experiment are

large enough to be attributed to the experimental intervention rather than to a once-in-a-blue

moon fluke” (Leedy & Ormond, 2010, p. 31). Inferential statistics allows us to make inferences

about large populations based on a smaller sample set of data (Leedy & Ormond, 2010). This

study used the measure of central tendency and one-way analysis of covariance to see if a

48

financial literacy intervention has an effect on teachers’ financial literacy, financial awareness,

and advocacy for financial literacy courses. The mean was used as the measure of central

tendency.

Neuman (2003) affirmed that a measure of central tendency is a single number that

provides information about the entire group examined. Ritchey (2008) asserted that the one-way

analysis of variance is a statistical technique, which examines the independent effects of an

independent variable on a dependent variable utilizing mean differences. Qualitative analysis

was not appropriate for this study because it requires data notes to be read and reread, reflect

on what is read, and make a comparisons based on logic and judgment (Neuman, 2003).

Summary

Chapter three included a discussion of the method, design, design appropriateness,

research questions, hypotheses, geographical information, population and sample, data

collection, instrumentation, and data analyses. Quantitative research was to determine the

validity of the stated hypotheses through an analysis of variables interactivity (Creswell, 2008).

Quantitative research examines measurable and quantifiable variables and their interaction

(Gaytan, 2007). This quantitative, quasi-experimental study investigated whether a financial

literacy intervention could influence changes in teachers’ financial literacy, financial awareness,

and advocacy for elementary and middle school-aged students to receive financial literacy

courses.

49

Chapter 4

Results

The purpose of this quantitative, quasi-experimental research study was to investigate the

effects of a financial literacy intervention program on teachers’ financial literacy, financial

awareness, and advocacy for elementary and middle school-aged students to receive financial

literacy courses. Chapter one revealed that the root cause of many financial management

problems is that personal financial literacy and basic personal financial skills are not being taught

in school systems except sporadically across the states (Wilhelm & Chao, 2005). Collins (2012)

affirmed that a lack of financial literacy can hinder an individual from making well informed

financial decisions. Chapter two addressed the literature pertaining to the research hypotheses,

independent and dependent variables, current findings, and delineated gaps in the literature.

Chapter three outlined the methodology for the study and established supporting literature for

three hypotheses, which guided the research study.

The study included participants of a suburban school district who had access to Alliance

Financial Ministries’ Money University webinars. Two hundred and seven participants

consented to participating in this research study. One hundred and four participants completed

the study. The study examined survey data of a control group, which consisted of 62 teachers’

surveys and an experimental group of 42 teachers’ surveys. This study was conducted by

analyzing teachers’ financial literacy, awareness, and advocacy answers in the control group,

which the teachers did not have access to six Money University webinars and analyzing teachers’

financial literacy, awareness and advocacy answers in the experimental group where the teacher

had access to Money University webinars. The t-test of independent samples, analysis of

50

covariance, and chi square of independence statistical procedures were used to examine the

teachers’ responses of each group.

Chapter four expounds on the findings of this research study’s statistical analysis. This

chapter includes the statement of the problem, a review of the data collection process, a detailed

analysis of the collected data, the findings of the research study, and end with a summary of the

chapter. Quantitative results of the study are presented in Chapter four using statistical formulas

and tables.

Statement of the Problem

The problem addressed by this quantitative, quasi-experimental research study was the

lack of certainty as to whether a relationship exists between a financial literacy intervention for

teachers, which may result in a positive change in financial literacy, financial awareness, and

their subsequent advocacy for financial literacy courses for elementary and middle school age

students. Wilhelm and Chao (2005) affirmed that the root cause of many financial management

problems is that personal financial literacy and basic personal financial skills are not being taught

in school systems except sporadically across the states.

Young people are discovering that they are acquiring a large amount of student loans or

credit card debt and one critical need is for researchers to explore students’ financial knowledge

(Lusardi et al., 2010). Xiao, Newman et al. (2004) asserted that Americans are overextended and

deep in debt because of the easily accessible consumer credit, insufficient savings, and inability

to control one’s behavior. The consumers spending boom from 2002 to 2007 was a major issue

that influenced the domestic and international imbalances (Schneider & Kirchgassner, 2009).

Fox et al. (2005) posited that high consumer debt levels, alarming rates of bankruptcy, and other

51

negative outcomes that may results of poor financial management and low financial literacy

demonstrates the need for financial education.

Perry (2008) posited that individuals are not making good financial decision because they

do not have the basic financial literacy. This quantitative quasi-experimental research study used

dependent and independent samples of one-way analysis of covariances to determine the answer

to the research questions and to reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis.

Research Questions

The identifiable independent variable of this study was financial literacy and the

dependent variables were financial literacy, financial awareness, and advocacy for elementary

and middle school aged students to receive financial literacy courses as measured by the pretest

and posttest of Jump$tart Coalition’s College Questionnaire (See Appendix A). The research

questions to be answered in this study were:

1. Is there a significant difference in the financial literacy of teachers who received a

financial literacy intervention and those teachers who did not receive a financial literacy

intervention?

2. Is there a significant difference in the financial awareness of teachers who received a

financial literacy intervention and those teachers who did not receive a financial literacy

intervention?

3. Is there a significant difference in the advocacy of teachers who received a financial

literacy intervention and those teachers who did not receive a financial literacy intervention?

Hypotheses

The study investigated the effects of a financial literacy intervention on teachers’

financial literacy, awareness, and advocacy. The study examined the differences in mean survey

52

answers to identify the relationship of a financial literacy intervention to financial literacy,

awareness, and advocacy.

Ho1: A financial literacy intervention does not significantly increase teachers’ financial

literacy.

Ha1: A financial literacy intervention significantly increases teachers’ financial literacy.

Ho2: A financial literacy intervention does not significantly increase teachers’ financial

awareness.

Ha2: A financial literacy intervention significantly increases teachers’ financial literacy

awareness.

Ho3: A financial literacy intervention does not significantly influence teachers so that

they advocate for elementary and middle school aged students to receive financial

literacy courses.

Ha3: A financial literacy intervention does significantly influence teachers so that they

advocate for elementary and middle school aged students to receive financial literacy

courses.

Data Collection Procedures

Data were collected and analyzed to determine the answer to the research questions and

to reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis. The use of data were approved by the participating

organization (see Appendix C) prior to the research study. Written permission was obtained to

use Jump$tart Coalition’s College Questionnaire in this research study (see Appendix E). A

pretest was administered to the control group and experimental group to collect data before the

experimental group received the intervention. The pretest was a modified version of the

Jump$tart Coalition College Survey, which has been used to discover how financial literacy

53

develops as young individuals get older and enhance their education (Jump$tart, 2013). The first

110 participants were assigned to the experimental group and the remainder 97 participants were

assigned to the control group.

After the pretest data was collected, the treatment group received the intervention, which

was access to six Money University webinars hosted by Alliance Financial Ministries. Money

University webinars consisted of six-lessons money management designed to assist with

improving an individual’s financial well-being (Mathews, 2013). The sessions were

approximately 45 minutes. The topics included: 1) Organizing Your Financial Life, 2) Banking

and Budgeting, 3) Loans and Credit Cards, 4) Debt and Debt Management, 5) Saving and

Investing, and 6) Understanding Interest and Insurance.

The session about Organizing Your Financial Life focused on the eight basic areas to

organizing one’s financial life. The Banking and Budgeting session focused on the basics of

banking, which included checking and saving accounts. The Loans and Credit Cards session

focused on understanding the terms of loans, different types of credit and credit cards. The Debt

and Debt Management session focused on understanding the consequences of debt as well as the

different types of debt. The Saving and Investing session focused on the different ways to save

and invest for the future. The discussion included retirement, emergency fund, college savings,

stocks and bonds. The Understanding Interest and Insurance session focused on understanding

credit card interest and compound interest. The discussion also included the different types of

insurance and coverage.

The intervention was used to assist participants with learning the materials. The

participants received a schedule of the webinars. Participants were sent an electronic invitation

and a reminder email to attend the live webinar. If the participants were unable to attend the

54

scheduled sessions, a link was provided to listen to the recorded sessions. Participants were sent

reminder emails to preview the recorded sessions. The attendance of the live webinars and

viewing of recorded sessions were tracked using Anymeeting.com tracking system. Participants

were informed of the deadline for completing the study.

The posttest was administered to the control group and administered to the experimental

group after the verification was received that the experimental group had completed the six

Money University webinars. A total of 207 teachers consented to participating in this study.

One-hundred and ten participants were assigned to the experimental group and 97 participants

were assigned to the control group. The 110 experimental group participants and 97 control

group participants completed the pretest. Seventeen experimental group participants previewed

one to four recorded webinars. A total of 68 experimental group participants and 35 control

group participant did not complete the study. A total of 42 experimental group participants

completed the pre-test, all six of the Money University webinars, and the post-test. Whereas, 62

control group participants completed the pre-test and the post-test, which were required to

participate fully in the study. The Money University webinars had milestones that indicated

when each participant had completed section and this was used to track completions and non-

completions by all of the original participants.

Data Analysis

The statistical analysis consisted of employing an independent t-test, a one-way analysis

of covariances and chi-square of independence. An independent t-test was used to examine the

initial differences between the means of the two groups. A one-way analysis of covariance was

used to see if the financial literacy intervention had an effect on teachers’ financial literacy,

financial awareness, and advocacy for financial literacy courses. Hartman (2011) asserted that

55

the analysis of covariance is a general linear model, which tests whether certain variables have

an effect on the outcome variable. The mean was used as the measure of central tendency.

Creswell (2008) affirmed that descriptive statistics were to be used to specify general tendencies

in the data such as mean and standard deviation.

After the pretest was administered, the teachers in the experimental group received access

to six Money University webinars. At the completion of the intervention, the teachers in the

control group and the experimental group received the posttest.

The following questions on the Jump$tart Coalition College Survey (modified version)

were used to measure financial literacy: Questions 1, 2, 7, 8, 13, 14, 17, 18, 21, 22, 24, and 26

(see Appendix A). The 12 questions were selected from Jump$tart Coalition’s survey because

these questions directly related to Remund’s (2010) concept of financial literacy. Thus, the raw

score ranging from zero to 12 was calculated for the financial literacy component of the

Jump$tart Coalition survey. These questions were chosen to measure financial literacy. Remund

(2010) identified financial literacy as an individual’s capability for managing money.

The following questions on the Jump$tart Coalition College Survey (modified version)

were used to measure financial awareness: Questions 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 19, 20, 23, 25,

27, 28, 30, and 31 (see Appendix A). The 17 questions were selected Jump$tart Coalition’s

survey because these questions directly related to Schagen’s definition of financial awareness.

The questions were divided into three categories: 1) spending, 2) saving, and 3) credit. Four

questions were used to measure spending, eight questions were used for measuring savings, and

five questions were used for credit. These questions were chosen to measure financial awareness.

Schagen (2007, as cited in ANZ, 2013) defined financial awareness as successful strategies and

informed judgments for making careful decisions relating to saving, spending, and credit use.

56

The following questions on the Jump$tart Coalition College Questionnaire (modified

version) were used to measure advocacy: Question numbers 56 and 57 (see Appendix A). These

two questions were chosen to measure advocacy because the questions directly related to

advocating for financial literacy courses for students.

Examination of Hypotheses

The following three hypotheses were tested in this investigation.

Hypotheses One

Ho1: A financial literacy intervention does not significantly increase teachers’ financial

literacy.

An independent t-test was computed to examine the differences in the pretest financial

literacy scores of the experimental and control groups. This was done to establish initial

equivalence of the groups on the pretest. The more similar the experimental and control groups

are at the beginning of the experiment, the more this similarity is confirmed by the similar

groups means on the pretest. Consequently, the more credible the results on this non-equivalency

control group study. The t-test results shown in Table 1 revealed that no statistically significant

differences were found between the pretest scores. Thus, the groups were determined to be

equivalent on the pretest.

57

Table 1

Independent t-Test Results/Teachers’ Pretest Financial Literacy

Groups N Mean SD df t p

Experimental 42 9.10 1.64

102 .765 .446

Control 62 8.84 1.74

Once the independent t-test indicated no difference on the pretest financial literacy

scores, the one-way analysis of covariance was computed to remove the effects of any other

related extraneous variables to statistically equate the groups and test the hypotheses for

significance. The mean and adjusted mean results of the pretest and posttest financial literacy

scores of teachers who were exposed to the financial literacy intervention of Money University

webinars and those who were not exposed to the financial literacy intervention of Money

University webinars. Mertler and Vannatta (2010) affirmed that tables and figures are used to

support the results of analysis of covariance, which includes a table comparing unadjusted and

adjusted group means.

The 12 questions that were selected from Jump$tart Coalition’s survey directly related to

Remund’s (2010) concept of financial literacy. A total raw score ranging from zero to 12 was

calculated for the identified financial literacy component of Jump$tart Coalition’s survey.

The mean pretest financial literacy score of teachers who were exposed to the financial literacy

intervention of Money University webinars was 9.71 and the mean pretest of financial literacy

score of teachers who were not exposed to the financial literacy intervention of Money

58

University webinars was 8.89. Whereas, the adjusted posttest mean financial literacy scores of

teachers who were exposed to the financial literacy intervention of Money University webinars

was 9.60 and the adjusted posttest mean financial literacy scores of teachers who were not

exposed to financial literacy intervention of Money University was 8.96.

The result of the one-way analysis of covariance of teachers’ financial literacy scores is

shown in Table 2. The results include those teachers who were exposed to the financial literacy

intervention of Money University webinars and the teachers who were not exposed to the

financial literacy intervention of Money University webinars. A statistically significant

difference was found between the mean financial literacy scores of teachers who were exposed to

the financial literacy intervention and not exposed to the financial literacy intervention F (1, 101)

= 4.644, p = .05 at the .05 level. Thus, the null hypothesis for Ho1, was rejected, the alternate

hypothesis was accepted, and it can be concluded that those teachers who received the financial

literacy intervention of Money University had a statistically significant higher financial literacy

than those who did not have the financial literacy intervention of Money University. On average,

teachers who were exposed to the financial literacy intervention exhibited more financial literacy

knowledge than those who were not exposed to the financial literacy intervention.

59

Table 2

Analysis of Covariance Results /Teachers’ Posttest Financial Literacy

Source

Of

Variance

Sum

Of

Squares

Df Ms F p

Group 10.185 1 10.185 4.644 .034*

Pretest 157.245 1 157.245 71.689 .000

Error 221.536 101 2.193

Total 395.913 103

Pretest scores are the covariates

*Significant at the .05 level

Hypotheses Two

Ho2: A financial literacy intervention does not significantly increase teachers’ financial

awareness.

Financial awareness (spending) was formulated by summating four questions selected

from Jump$tart Coalition’s College survey. These questions directly related to Schagen’s

definition of financial awareness, which included spending. A total raw score ranging from zero

to four was calculated for the identified financial awareness (spending) component of Jump$tart

Coalition’s College survey. An independent t-test was computed to examine the differences in

the pretest financial awareness (spending) scores of the experimental and control groups. This

was done to establish initial equivalence of the groups on the pretest. The more similar the

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experimental and control groups are at the beginning of the experiment, the more this similarity

is confirmed by the similar groups means on the pretest. Consequently, the more credible the

results on this non-equivalency control group study. The t-test results (see Table 3) revealed that

a statistically significant difference was found between the pretest scores at the .001 level. Thus,

the groups were determined not to be equivalent on the pretest.

Table 3

Independent t-Test Results/ Teachers’ Pretest Financial Awareness (Spending)

Groups N Mean SD df t p

Experimental 42 3.57 .590

102 5.09 .000

Control 62 2.82 .820

Once the independent t-test indicated differences on the pretest financial awareness

(spending) scores, the one-way analysis of covariance was computed to remove the effects of

pretest difference and other relevant extraneous variables to statistically equate the groups

and test the hypotheses for significance. The mean pretest financial awareness (spending) scores

of teachers who were exposed to Money University webinars was 3.47 and the mean pretest

financial awareness (spending) scores of teachers who were not exposed to Money University

webinar was 2.82. Whereas, the adjusted mean financial awareness (spending) posttest scores of

the teachers who were exposed to the financial literacy intervention of Money University

webinars was 3.31 and the adjusted mean financial awareness (spending) posttest scores of the

teachers who were not exposed to the financial literacy intervention of Money University

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webinars was 2.93. There was a relative limited change in mean values for spending. When a

comparison group has an above-average mean on the control variable, then that group’s mean

score on the dependent variable will be lowered. Whereas, any group that has a below-average

mean on the covariate will have its mean score on the dependent variable raised. To bring about

the desired control, ANCOVA adjusts each group mean on the dependent variable (Huck, 2004).

Table 4 shows the one-way analysis of covariance results pertaining to posttest financial

awareness (spending) scores of teachers who were exposed to the financial literacy intervention

and those who were not exposed to the financial literacy intervention. A statistically significant

difference was found between the mean financial awareness spending scores of teachers who

were exposed to the financial literacy intervention and those teachers who were not exposed to

the financial literacy intervention F(1, 101) = 6.763, p = .011 at the .05 level. Thus, the null Ho2

was rejected, the alternate hypothesis was accepted, and it can be concluded that those teachers

who received the financial literacy intervention had significantly higher financial awareness

(spending) than those who did not have the financial literacy intervention. On average, teachers

who were exposed to the financial literacy intervention exhibited more financial awareness

(spending) knowledge than those who did not have the financial literacy intervention.

62

Table 4

Analysis of Covariance Results /Teachers’ Posttest Financial Awareness (Spending) by

Groups

Source

Of

Variance

Sum

Of

Squares

Df Ms F P

Group 2.802 1 2.802 6.763 .011*

Pretest 7.684 1 7.684 18.548 .000

Error 41.841 101 .414

Total 395.913 103

Pretest scores are the covariates

*Significant at the .05 level

Financial awareness (savings) for this study was formulated by summating eight

questions from Jump$tart Coalition College survey. The eight questions were selected because

these questions directly related to Schagen’s definition of financial awareness, which included

saving. A total raw score ranging from zero to eight was calculated for the identified financial

awareness (saving) component of Jump$tart Coalition’s survey. An independent t-test was

computed to examine the differences in the pretest financial awareness (saving) scores of the

experimental and control groups. The t-test results shown in Table 5 revealed that no statistically

significant differences were found between the pretest scores. Thus, the groups were determined

to be equivalent on the pretest.

63

Table 5

Independent t-Test Results/ Financial Awareness (Saving)

Groups N Mean SD df t p

Experimental 42 4.52 1.15

102 .984 .327

Control 62 4.77 1.35

Once the independent t-test indicated no difference on the pretest financial awareness

(saving) scores, the one-way analysis of covariance was computed to remove the effects of

pretest differences and other relevant extraneous variables to statistically equate the groups and

test the hypotheses for significance. The mean pretest financial awareness (saving) score of

teachers who were exposed to the financial literacy intervention of Money University webinars

was 5.07 and the mean pretest of financial literacy score of teachers who were not exposed to the

financial literacy intervention of Money University webinars was 4.32. Whereas, the adjusted

posttest mean financial awareness (saving) scores of teachers who were exposed to the financial

literacy intervention of Money University webinars was 5.16 and the adjusted posttest mean

financial awareness (saving) scores of teachers who were not exposed to financial literacy

intervention of Money University was 4.26.

Table 6 reveals the one-way analysis of covariance results of the financial awareness

(saving) posttest scores of teachers who were exposed to the financial literacy intervention of

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Money University and the teachers who were not exposed to the financial literacy intervention of

Money University.

A statistically significant difference was found between the mean financial awareness

(savings) scores of teachers who were exposed to the financial literacy intervention and not

exposed to the financial literacy intervention F(1, 101) = 13.886, p =.000 at the .05 level. Thus,

the null Ho2 (savings) was rejected and it can be concluded that those teachers who received the

financial literacy intervention had significantly higher financial awareness (savings) scores than

those who did not have the financial literacy intervention. On average, teachers who were

exposed to the financial literacy intervention exhibited more financial awareness (savings)

knowledge than those teachers who were not exposed to the financial literacy intervention.

Table 6

Analysis of Covariance Results /Teachers’ Posttest Financial Awareness (Saving)

Source

Of

Variance

Sum

Of

Squares

Df Ms F P

Group 20.168 1 20.168 13.886 .000*

Pretest 61.639 1 61.639 42.439 .000

Error 146.695 101 1.452

Total 222.375 103

Pretest scores are the covariates

*Significant at the .05 level

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Financial awareness (credit) for this study was formulated by summating five questions

from Jump$tart Coalition’s College survey. These five questions were selected because the

questions directly related to Schagen’s definition of financial awareness, which included credit.

A total raw score ranging from zero to five was calculated for the identified financial awareness

(credit). An independent t-test was computed to examine the differences in the pretest financial

awareness (credit) scores of the experimental and control groups. This was done to establish

initial equivalence of the groups on the pretest. The t-test results shown in Table 7 revealed that

no statistically significant differences were found between the pretest scores. Thus, the groups

were determined to be equivalent on the pretest.

Table 7

Independent t-Test Results/ Financial Awareness (Credit)

Groups N Mean SD df t p

Experimental 42 3.55 .59

102 .386 .674

Control 62 3.61 .98

Once the independent t-test indicated no difference on the pretest financial awareness

(credit) scores, the one-way analysis of covariance was computed to remove the effects of pretest

differences and other relevant extraneous variables to statistically equate the groups and test the

hypotheses for significance. The mean pretest financial awareness (credit) scores of teachers who

were exposed to Money University webinars was 3.95 and the mean pretest financial awareness

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(credit) scores of teachers who were not exposed to Money University webinar was 3.50.

Whereas, the adjusted mean financial awareness (credit) posttest scores of the teachers who were

exposed to the financial literacy intervention of Money University webinars was 3.82 and the

adjusted mean financial awareness (credit) posttest scores of the teachers who were not exposed

to the financial literacy intervention of Money University webinars was 3.58.

Shown in Table 8 was the one-way analysis of covariance results of posttest financial

awareness (credit) scores. The results include the teachers who were exposed to the financial

literacy intervention of Money University webinars and the teachers who were not exposed to the

financial literacy intervention of Money University webinars.

A statistically significant difference was found between the mean financial awareness

(credit) scores of teachers who were exposed to the financial literacy intervention and not

exposed to the financial literacy intervention F(1, 101) = 5.726, p =.019 at the .05 level. Thus,

hypothesis two was rejected, the alternate hypothesis was accepted, and it can be concluded that

those teachers who received the financial literacy intervention of Money University webinars had

significantly higher financial awareness (credit) score than those who did not have the financial

literacy intervention of Money University webinars. On average, teachers who were exposed to

the financial literacy intervention exhibited more financial awareness (credit) knowledge than

those teachers who were not exposed to the financial literacy intervention.

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Table 8

Analysis of Covariance Results /Teachers’ Posttest Financial Awareness (Credit)

Source

Of

Variance

Sum

Of

Squares

Df Ms F P

Group 5.807 1 5.807 5.726 .019*

Pretest 14.981 1 14.981 14.772 .000

Error 102.424 101 1.014

Total 122.529 103

Pretest scores are the covariates

*Significant at the .05 level

Hypotheses Three

Ho3: A financial literacy intervention does not significantly influence teachers so that

they advocate for elementary and middle school aged students to receive financial literacy

courses.

The chi-square of independence results of advocacy (financial literacy) of teachers who

were exposed to the financial literacy intervention of Money University and the teachers who

were not exposed to the financial literacy intervention of Money University. A statistically

significant difference was not found between advocacy (financial literacy) responses of teachers.

Thus, null hypothesis three was accepted and it can be concluded that a financial literacy

intervention does not influence teachers so that they advocate for elementary and middle school

students to receive financial literacy courses.

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Table 9

Chi Square Results of Advocacy (Financial Literacy) of Teachers

Group Advocacy

Yes

Advocacy

No

Total

Number

Control Group

Percent

33

53.2

29

46.8

62

100.0

Number

Experiment Group

Percent

Number

Total

Percent

29

69.0

62

59.6

13

31.0

42

40.4

42

100.0

104

100.0

X2 = 2.603, df = 1, p =.107

Question 57 was used to determine how teachers would advocate for financial literacy.

Table 11 presents the teachers’ responses to advocating for financial literacy. Thirteen

participants stated that they would talk with administrators to advocate for financial literacy. Six

participants stated that would vote or contact politicians to advocate for financial literacy.

Fourteen participants stated that they would advocate having financial literacy as a junior high or

middle school course. Seven participants stated that they would advocate having financial

literacy as a high school course. Whereas, 14 participants stated that they would advocate having

financial literacy provided by other resources.

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Table 10

Teachers’ Responses to Advocating for Financial Literacy

School

Administrators

and other

school staff

Policy/Legislature General

Courses

Middle

School

Course

High School

Course

Other

13

participants

would talk

with

administrators

6

participants

would vote or

contact politicians

14

participants

would

encourage to

have

financial

literacy as a

general

course

4

participants

would

encourage to

have

financial

literacy as a

junior high

or middle

school

course

7

participants

would

encourage to

have

financial

literacy as a

high school

course

14

participants

would

encourage to

have

financial

literacy

provided by

other

resources

Conclusion

Chapter four described the statement of the problem, research questions, hypotheses, data

collection procedures, data analysis, results, an independent t-test, non-correlated t-test,

independent and dependent one-way analysis of covariances, chi square of independence and

discussed the relevance of the theoretical framework. The methodology in chapter three was

implemented and the results were displayed in tables and narrative in chapter four. Chapter five

reports the importance, meaning and significance of the findings in chapter four (Creswell,

2008). Chapter five also reports the significance of the findings with respect to the research

hypotheses, conclusions, implications of the finding, and future recommendation.

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Chapter 5

Conclusions and Recommendations

The Financial Literacy and Education Improvement act, which was part of the Fair and

Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003, was created to improve financial literacy and

education in the United States (Schuchardt et al., 2009). In 2008, President George Bush created

the first President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy (Maloney, 2010) encouraging

financial literacy among American people as a rule of the government. The Council (2009)

presented a report suggesting improving financial literacy through different venues, such as

schools, workplaces, non-profits, colleges and universities, and government (Maloney, 2010).

One of the first recommendations from the Council (2008) was that the United States

Congress and legislatures must order financial education for all students in Kindergarten through

12 grade schools. While many school districts have financial literacy initiatives, a few states

have ordered financial literacy in the classroom and a small number have addressed financial

literacy from Kindergarten to 12th grade (Maloney, 2010). School districts are exploring ways to

integrate financial literacy into the curriculum and classroom. Kaplan (2003) asserted that people

who are familiar with the situation could develop advocacy and best implement action on behalf

of the students. Supon (2012) stated that as teachers and educators, it is the responsibility of the

teachers to enhance learning in the classroom and prepare the students. It is necessary to explore

the opportunities and strategies to teach student to be money smart (Supon, 2012). Teachers have

a frame of reference and can facilitate knowledge by creating and delivering clear, concise, and

provocative information, so that it motivates the students to use it in different situations.

The purpose of this quantitative, quasi-experimental study was to examine whether a

financial literacy intervention can influence changes in teachers’ financial literacy, financial

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awareness, and advocacy for elementary and middle school-aged students to receive financial

literacy courses. The outcomes were described in terms of financial literacy, financial awareness,

and advocacy. The results were collected from a suburban school district in Texas. The study

involved the use of an independent t-test, a non-correlated t-test, one-way analysis of covariance,

cross tabulations, and descriptive statistics to determine whether a statistically significant

relationship existed between financial literacy intervention, financial literacy, financial

awareness and advocacy.

Three hypotheses established the basis for testing the theoretical relationship between

financial literacy intervention and financial literacy, financial awareness, and advocacy for

elementary and middle school students to receive financial literacy courses. The null and

alternative hypotheses concerning financial literacy intervention and teachers’ financial literacy,

awareness and advocacy was the general framework for the dissertation. The results of the

independent t-test and non-correlated t-test indicated that no statistically significant differences

were found between the pretest scores. Consequently, the groups were considered to be

equivalent on the pretest. The results of the one-way analysis of covariance did establish a

relationship between a financial literacy intervention and teachers’ financial literacy.

The first hypothesis was tested using an independent t-test to determine the differences in

the pretest financial literacy scores. After which, one-way analysis of covariance was used to

determine whether a statistically significant difference existed as measured by teachers’ financial

literacy answers to questions 1, 2, 7, 8, 13, 14, 17, 18, 21, 22, 24, and 26 (see Appendix A) prior

to receiving the financial literacy intervention. These 12 questions were chosen to measure

financial literacy because the questions directly related to an individual’s competency for

managing money (Remund, 2010). Testing this hypothesis established a scale to determine the

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treatment’s success or failure. This analysis indicated that a statistically significant difference

existed between the financial literacy intervention and teachers’ financial literacy.

The second hypothesis was tested using an independent t-test to determine the differences

in the pretest awareness scores. After which, one-way analysis of covariance was used to

determine whether a statistically significant difference existed as measured by teachers’ financial

awareness answers to questions 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 11,12, 15, 16, 19, 20, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, and 31

(see Appendix A) after receiving the financial literacy intervention. These 17 questions were

chosen to measure financial awareness because the questions directly related to Schagen’s (2007,

as cited in ANZ, 2013) definition of financial awareness, which is successful strategies and

informed judgments for making careful decision relating to spending, saving, and credit use. The

questions were divided into three categories: 1) spending, 2) saving, and 3) credit. Four

questions were used to measure spending, eight questions were used for measuring saving, and

five questions were used for credit. Testing this hypothesis established a scale to determine the

treatment’s success or failure. This analysis indicated that a statistically significant difference

existed between the financial literacy intervention and teachers’ financial awareness.

The third hypothesis was tested using a non-correlated t-test to examine the differences in

the pretest advocacy scores. After which, chi square of Independence was used to determine

whether a statistically significant difference existed as measured by teachers’ advocacy answers

to question 56 (see Appendix A) after receiving the financial literacy intervention. This question

was chosen to measure advocacy because the question directly related to advocating for financial

literacy courses. Testing this hypothesis established a scale to determine the treatment’s success

or failure. This analysis indicated that a statistically significant difference did not exist between

the financial literacy intervention and teachers’ financial advocacy. Question 57 was used to

73

determine how teachers would advocate for financial literacy. There were 59.6% of the

participating teachers who made suggestions on how that they would advocate for financial

literacy.

The generalizability and validity of the findings of the study were subject to several

limitations and delimitations. The following sections contain a review of these limitations and

delimitations, followed by a presentation of the implications, findings, and recommendations

based on the analysis of data in the study. Chapter five also contains possible areas for further

research as well as a summary and conclusion.

Limitations

Creswell (2005) identified limitations as the problems underlying any research design.

Specific limitations may include weaknesses in the measurement instruments and errors in site-

level data collection (Creswell, 2005). This research study was limited to one financial literacy

intervention in one Texas school district. There was no random assignment to groups, limiting

the generalizability of the results. A non-equivalent design was used in this study. One of the

primary weaknesses of this design is not assigning participants to groups (Sapp, 2002). The first

110 participants were assigned to the experimental group and 97 were assigned to the control

group. Only two weeks was allowed to recruit participants and for participants to consent to

participate. The participants were not informed of the group assignment. While this design has its

limitations, it is one of the strongest quasi-designs used in educational research where

participating population consists of a naturally assembled group (Gould, 2002).

The Jump$tart Coalition College Survey (2008) is one instrument and may not measure

or provide a complete and thorough representation of financial literacy and financial awareness.

74

Delimitations

The delimitation of this study consisted of teachers’ personal and business financial

behaviors. Several areas limited the generalizability of the research, data, conclusion, and

findings. The study findings only apply to the specific school district selected for the study in

Texas. The study was limited to one school district. The sample population was limited to

elementary and middle school teachers.

Financial literacy, awareness and advocacy were measured by one instrument, the

modified version of Jump$tart Coalition College survey, which may or may not have been the

most effective instrument to focus on multiple areas. Lucey (2005) asserted that an instrument

must be reliable to be valid and a reliable instrument delivers the same results over replicated

assessment efforts. The internal consistency reliability procedure was used to establish reliability

for the modified version of 2008 Jump$tart Coalition College Survey. The Cronbach’s Alpha and

split half reliability measures were used to establish internal consistency on the investigative

instrument. An alpha coefficient of .793 and a split half with Spearman-Brown application of

.830 were computed for the test as a whole. Bruning and Kintz (1997) affirmed that a reliability

coefficient of .70 is considered reliability. Thus, the investigative survey was found to be reliable

for this investigation. The scope is limited to one distinct suburban school district. This area will

be beneficial for future research.

Findings

Hypothesis One

Three null hypotheses were tested in this research study. Hypothesis one was analyzed

using one-way analysis of covariance to determine whether a statistically significant difference

existed as measured by teachers’ financial literacy answers to questions 1, 2, 7, 8, 13, 13, 17, 18,

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21, 22, 24, and 26 (see Appendix A) prior to receiving the financial literacy intervention. These

12 questions were chosen to measure financial literacy because the questions directly related to

an individual’s competency for managing money (Remund, 2010). Testing this hypothesis

established a scale to measure the success or failure of the treatment. The results of this analysis

indicated that a statistically significant difference existed between financial literacy intervention

and teachers’ financial literacy. The alternate hypothesis one was accepted and it can be

concluded that a financial literacy intervention increased teachers’ financial literacy

Hypothesis Two

Hypothesis two was tested using one-way analysis of covariance to determine whether a

statistically significant difference existed as measured by teachers’ financial awareness answers

to questions 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 19, 20, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, and 31 (see Appendix A)

prior to receiving the financial literacy intervention. These 17 questions were chosen to measure

financial awareness because the questions directly related to Schagen’s (2007, as cited in ANZ,

2013) definition of financial awareness, which is successful strategies and informed judgments

for making careful decisions relating to spending, saving, and credit use. The questions were

divided into three categories: 1) spending, 2) saving, and 3) credit. Four questions were used to

measure spending, eight questions were used for measuring saving, and five questions were used

for credit. Testing this hypothesis established a scale to measure the success or failure of the

treatment. The results of this analysis indicated that a statistically significant difference existed

between financial literacy intervention and teachers’ financial awareness. Thus, the alternate

hypothesis two was accepted and it can be concluded that a financial literacy intervention

significantly increased teachers’ financial awareness.

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Hypothesis Three

Hypothesis three was tested using cross tabulation to determine whether a statistically

significant difference existed as measured by teachers’ advocacy answers to question number 56

prior to receiving the financial literacy intervention. Testing this hypothesis established a scale to

determine the treatment’s success or failure. This analysis indicated that a statistically significant

difference did not exist between financial literacy intervention and teachers’ advocacy. Thus,

hypothesis three was accepted and it can be concluded that a financial literacy intervention does

not significantly influence teachers so they advocate for elementary and middle school students

to receive financial literacy courses; however, 69% of the experimental group and 53.2% of the

control group responded that they would advocate for financial literacy. These percentages

indicate that teachers believe financial literacy is important and might advocate for financial

literacy if asked. Teachers are required to meet state mandates, such as No Child Left Behind.

These mandates include implementing required curricula and instruction programs, strict time

allocation for reading and writing, high stakes standardized tests, frequent classroom

assessments, and professional development initiatives (Hayes, 2006).

Teachers are overwhelmed with mandates of testing and tend to focus on students’

performance due to NCLB accountability measures. It is difficult to fit teaching financial literacy

into the existing curriculum because of the high stakes of teaching testing content. Minarechova

(2012) affirmed that most teaching time is dedicated to preparing for testing and doing testing.

This could have impacted the teachers’ willingness to advocate for additional courses. Some

teachers believed that financial literacy should be taught on the high school level, which could

have impacted their response. The structure of the question relating to advocating for financial

literacy could have also influenced the participants’ response. Perhaps, adding the word

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“courses” to the survey question could have had a significant impact on the chi square of

independence analysis.

Implications

The implications of this research confirmed that an intervention can enhance teachers’

financial literacy and awareness, which can assist teachers with educating students about

financial literacy. The intervention in this study increased teachers’ financial literacy as well as

teachers’ financial awareness in spending, saving, and credit. This new knowledge could be

shared through formal teaching in the classroom and informal interaction with students outside

the classroom. Similar studies have shown that financial education improves financial knowledge

(Chen &Volpe, 1998; Fox et al., 2005; Maurer & Lee, 2011)

Implications for Leadership

Financial literacy issues have increased on the agendas of policy makers, government

agencies, educators, community groups, and community organizations. It appears that everyone

is discussing financial literacy and creating substantial initiatives targeting addressing the issue

(Hogarth, 2002). Recently, Khan Academy and Bank of America developed a partnership to

learn the “why” and “how” behind personal finance

(http://www.bettermoneyhabits.com/en/home.html#fbid=vbT36CTdPR-). Their collaboration

could assist with putting knowledge into practice. This study provided valuable information for

economists, business owners, financial planners, educators, and government officials. The

Council (2009) recommended that the United States Congress and legislatures should order

financial education for all students in Kindergarten through 12 grade schools. While a large

number of school districts have financial literacy initiatives, a few states have mandated financial

literacy in the classroom and a small number have focused on addressing financial literacy from

http://www.bettermoneyhabits.com/en/home.html#fbid=vbT36CTdPR-

78

Kindergarten to 12th grade (Maloney, 2010). Thirteen states graduation requirements require

students to have completed a personal finance or economics class. In addition, nine states require

testing the student’s knowledge on personal finance (Yates & Ward, 2011). The legislative

recommendations and state requirements demonstrate a need for providing a resource to address

students’ financial literacy. This study focused on providing an intervention to teachers, which

concentrated on financial literacy, awareness, and advocacy because teachers are a vital resource

to educating children.

This study showed that a financial literacy intervention had a significant impact on

teachers’ financial literacy and awareness. However, it did not show a significant impact on

teachers’ advocacy for students to receive financial literacy courses in elementary and middle

school. There are several reasons that teachers would not advocate for financial literacy. For

example, teachers stated that they were overwhelmed with mandates of testing and the NCLB

accountability measures and did not have the time to advocate, they did not have the knowledge

about how to advocate, and did not feel comfortable advocating for something they were not

knowledgeable. Contrary to this finding, over 69% of the experimental group and 53.2% of the

control group responded that they would advocate for financial literacy.

Lucey and Maxwell (2009) asserted that developing financial literacy of youth requires

preparing teachers to teach these critical life skills. The role and perspective of the teacher is

important but is sometimes overlooked. Supon (2012) affirmed that the role of teachers has

transformed to include more than academic content and mentoring. Teachers have the important

duty to prepare students to be informed citizens in the community. Kaplan (2003) posited that

teachers as advocates demand using educational skills relating to principles of learning, which

improves the foundation of advocacy. Educational leaders must promote, conduct and respond to

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internal and external data regarding financial literacy, financial awareness, and advocacy for

financial literacy. Advocating for financial literacy growth in education requires leaders to have

evidence that supports the need for reform and to fully understand the nature of incorporating

change into the educational system. Participants in this study offered numerous suggestions on

ways to advocate for financial literacy in the educational system.

Recommendations for Incorporating Financial Literacy

Fifty-eight participants in this study offered suggestions on ways to advocate for financial

literacy that should be considered when incorporating financial literacy into an educational

system. The suggestions included contacting school administrators and other staff members,

contacting politicians and voting for financial literacy, offering financial literacy as a general

course, offering financial literacy as a junior high/middle school course, offering financial

literacy as a high school course, and allowing others to teach financial literacy courses.

The following steps are recommended ways to incorporate financial literacy courses into

teachers’ professional development: 1) identify and provide face-to-face financial literacy

training, 2) identify and provide online financial literacy training and 3) identify and provide

support to teachers who desire to receive out of the district financial literacy training. The

following steps are recommended ways to incorporate financial literacy courses into a

curriculum: 1) Identify the state legislative mandates and align the financial literacy component

of the course around the recent mandates. 2) Clearly identify an area that directly relates to

financial literacy such as fifth grade math or social studies courses. 3) Provide professional

development opportunities to teachers to enhance their financial literacy knowledge. 4) Design

lesson plans that include the financial literacy component. 5) Establish a timeline for students to

develop financial literacy content knowledge. 6) Provide students with an opportunity to utilize

80

project-based learning activities that incorporates real world experiences and 7) Assess students’

knowledge using traditional assessment tools such as quizzes, exam, and standardized test.

The following steps are recommended for incorporating financial literacy through an

After-School Program. 1) Develop or identify a program that specifically focuses on financial

literacy. 2) Develop or identify a curriculum to use during the program such as Jump$tart

Coalition. 3) Identify the key stakeholders for integrating the after-school program into a school

(principal, assistant principal, parents, teachers, and counselor). 4) Schedule a meeting to share

the after-school program goal, activities, and curriculum that will be used. 5) Identify needed

resources for implementations such as staff (teachers, volunteers, parents), transportation (school

or parents) and snacks (donation or purchased). 6) Set timeline for implementation (start date and

completion date). 7) Present the after-school program goal, activities, curriculum, needed

resources, and timeline for implementing to the stakeholders.

The following steps are recommended for approaching the school board to explore

incorporating financial literacy into the school system. 1) Research the board procedures for

open forum, 2) prepare a financial literacy presentation within the time limit of the board, 3)

complete a participation request form or application, and 4) present the financial literacy

presentation and stay within the time limit designated by the board.

Recommendations for Future Research

Additional research involving financial literacy is necessary. This study focused

primarily on teachers’ financial literacy, awareness, and advocacy for elementary and middle

school students to receive financial literacy courses. Replication of the current research study

with a focus on providing a financial literacy intervention that includes advocating for financial

literacy courses might provide further insights into the effects of financial literacy intervention

81

on teachers’ financial literacy, awareness and advocacy. Future researchers may also explore

further the effects of financial literacy interventions on elementary and middle school students’

financial literacy.

Summary and Conclusion

The purpose of this quantitative, quasi-experimental study was to examine whether a

financial literacy intervention can influence changes in teachers’ financial literacy, financial

awareness, and advocacy for elementary and middle school-aged students to receive financial

literacy courses. The results were described in terms of financial literacy, financial awareness,

and advocacy for elementary and middle school students to receive financial literacy courses as

measured by the modified 2008 Jump$tart Coalition College Survey. The results were collected

from a suburban school district in Texas.

The independent variable was financial literacy. The dependent variables were financial

awareness and advocacy for elementary and middle school-aged students to receive financial

literacy courses as measured by the pretest and post-test. By raising awareness of financial

literacy, teachers can advocate for students to receive financial literacy courses. This research

study offers recommendations to incorporate financial literacy into teachers’ professional

development, a curriculum, an after-school program and approaching the school board to explore

incorporating financial literacy into a school system. These recommendations contribute to the

body of knowledge and add value to individuals interested in financial literacy. Hogarth (2002)

asserted that financial literacy has increased on the agendas of educators, government agencies,

community organizations, business, community groups, and policy makers.

82

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Appendix A

Jump$tart Coalition’s College Questionnaire (Modified Version/Survey Monkey) (Jump$tart,

2013)

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Jump$tart College Questionnaire (Modified Version/Survey Monkey) (Jump$tart, 2013)

Thank you for agreeing to take this survey. The survey consists of two parts; part one has 31

questions and part two has 26 classifying questions, please answer all the questions. To advance

to the next question, click the next button.

The questions with:

* measured financial literacy

** measured financial awareness and

*** measured advocacy

Jump$tart (2013) “*1. Inflation can cause difficulty in many ways. Which group would have

the greatest problem during periods of high inflation that last several years?

a) Older, working couples saving for retirement.

b) Older people living on fixed retirement income.

c) Young couples with no children who both work.

d) Young working couples with children.

*2. Which of the following is true about sale taxes?

a) The national sales tax percentage rate is 6%.

b) The federal government will deduct it from your paycheck.

c) You don’t have to pay the tax if your income is very low.

d) It makes things more expensive for you to buy.

**3. Rebecca has saved $12,000 for her college expenses by working part-time. Her plan

is to start college next year and she needs all of the money she saved. Which of the

following is the safest place for her college money?

a) Locked in her closet at home.

93

b) Stocks.

c) Corporate bonds.

d) A bank savings account.

**4. Which of the following types of investment would best protect the purchasing power

of a family’s savings in the event of a sudden increase in inflation?

a) A 10-year bond issued by a corporation.

b) A certificate of deposit at a bank.

c) A twenty-five year corporate bond.

d) A house financed with a fixed-rate mortgage.

5. Under which of the following circumstances would it be financially beneficial to you

to borrow money to buy something now and repay it with future income?

a) When you need to buy a car to get a much paying better job.

b) When you really need a week vacation

c) When some clothes you like go on sale.

d) When the interest on the loan is greater than the interest you get on your savings.

**6. Which of the following statements best describes your right to check your credit

history for accuracy?

a) Your credit record can be checked once a year for free.

b) You cannot see your credit record.

c) All credit records are the property of the U.S. Government and access

is only available to the FBI and Lenders.

d) You can only check your record for free if you are turned down for credit based on

a credit report.

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*7. Your take home pay from your job is less than the total amount you earn. Which of

the following best describes what is taken out of your total pay?

a) Social security and Medicare contributions.

b) Federal income tax, property tax, and Medicare and social security Contributions.

c) Federal income tax, social security and Medicare contributions.

d) Federal income tax, sales tax, and social security contributions.

*8. Retirement income paid by a company is called:

a) 401 (k).

b) Pension.

c) Rents and profits.

d) Social Security.

**9. Many people put aside money to take care of unexpected expenses. If Juan and Elva

have money put aside for emergencies, in which of the following forms would it be of

LEAST benefit to them if they needed it right away?

a) Invested in a down payment on the house.

b) Checking account.

c) Stocks.

d) Savings account.

**10. David just found a job with a take-home pay of $2000 per month. He must pay $900

for rent and $150 for groceries each month. He also spends $250 per month on

transportation. If he budgets $100 each month for clothing, $200 for restaurants and

$250 for everything else, how long will it take him to accumulate savings of $600.

a) 3 months.

b) 4 months.

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c) 1 month.

d) 2 months

**11. Sara and Joshua just had a baby. They received money as baby gifts and want to put

away for the baby’s education. Which of the following tends to have the highest

growth over periods of time as long as 18 years?

a) A checking account.

b) Stocks.

c) A U.S. Govt. saving bond.

d) A savings account.

**12. Barbara has just applied for a credit card. She is an 18-year-old high school graduate

with few valuable possessions and no credit history. If Barbara is granted a credit

card, which of the following is the most likely way that the credit card company will

reduce ITS risk?

a) It will make Barbara’s parents pledge their home to repay Karen’s credit card debt.

b) It will require Barbara to have both parents co-sign for the card.

c) It will charge Barbara twice the finance charge rate it charges older cardholders.

d) It will start Barbara out with a small line of credit to see how she handles the

account.

*13. Chelsea worked her way through college earning $15,000 per year. After graduation,

her first job pays $30,000. The total dollar amount Chelsea will have to pay in

Federal Income taxes in her new job will:

a) Double, at least, from when she was in college.

b) Go up a little from when she was in college.

c) Stay the same as when she was in college.

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d) Be lower than when she was in college.

*14. Which of the following best describes the primary sources of income for most people

age 20-35?

a) Dividends and interest.

b) Salaries, wages, tips.

c) Profits from business.

d) Rents.

**15. If you are behind on your debt payments and go to a responsible credit counseling

service such as the Consumer Credit Counseling Services, what help can they give

you?

a) They can cancel and cut up all of your credit cards without your permission.

b) They can get the federal government to apply your income taxes to pay off your

debts.

c) They can work with those who loaned you money to set up a payment schedule

that you can meet.

d) They can force those who loaned you money to forgive all your debts.

**16. Rob and Mary are the same age. At age 25 Mary began saving $2,000 a year while

Rob saved nothing. At age 50, Rob realized that he needed money for retirement and

started saving $4,000 per year while Mary kept saving her $2,000. Now they are

both 75 years old. Who has the most money in his or her retirement account?

a) They would each have the same amount because they put away exactly the same.

b) Rob, because he saves more each year.

c) Mary, because she has put away more money.

d) Mary, because her money has grown for a longer time at compound interest.

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*17. Many young people receive health insurance benefits through their parents. Which

of the following statement is true about health insurance coverage?

a) You are covered by your parents’ insurance until you marry, regardless of your

age.

b) If your parents become unemployed, your insurance coverage may stop,

regardless of your age.

c) Young people don’t need health insurance because they are so healthy.

d) You continue to be covered by your parents’ insurance as long as you live at

home, regardless of your age.

*18. Don and Bill work together in the finance department of the same company and earn

the same pay. Bill spends his free time taking work-related classes to improve his

computer skills, while Don spends his free time socializing with friends and working

out at a fitness center. After five years, what is likely to be true?

a) Don will make more because he is more social.

b) Don will make more because Bill is likely to be laid off.

c) Bill will make more money because he is more valuable to his company.

d) Don and Bill will continue to make the same money.

**19. If your credit card is stolen and the thief runs up a total of $1,000, but you notify the

issuer of the card as soon as you discover it is missing, what is the maximum amount

that you can be forced to pay according to the Federal law?

a) $500

b) $1000

c) Nothing.

d) $50

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**20. Which of the following statements is NOT correct about most ATM (Automated

Teller Machine) cards?

a) You can generally get cash 24 hours-a-day.

b) You can generally obtain information concerning your bank balance at an ATM

machine.

c) You can get cash anywhere in the world with no fee.

d) You must have a bank account to have an ATM Card.

*21. Matt has a good job on the production line of a factory in his home town. During the

past year or two, the state in which Matt lives has been raising taxes on its

businesses to the point where they are much higher than in neighboring states. What

effect is this likely to have on Matt’s job?

a) Higher business taxes will cause more businesses to move into Matt’s state,

raising wages.

b) Higher business taxes can’t have any effect on Matt’s job.

c) Matt’s company may consider moving to a lower-tax state, threatening Matt’s

job.

d) He is likely to get a large raise to offset the effect of higher taxes.

*22. If you have caused an accident, which type of automobile insurance would cover

damage to your own car?

a) Comprehensive.

b) Liability.

c) Term.

d) Collision.

**23. Scott and Eric are young men. Each has a good credit history. They work at the

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same company and make approximately the same salary. Scott has borrowed $6,000

to take a foreign vacation. Eric has borrowed $6,000 to buy a car. Who is likely to

pay the lowest finance charge?

a) Eric will pay less because the car is collateral for the loan.

b) They will both pay the same because the rate is set by law.

c) Scott will pay less because people who travel overseas are better risks.

d) They with boy pay the same because they have almost identical financial

background.

*24. If you went to college and earned a four-year degree, how much more money could

you expect to earn than if you only had a high school diploma?

a) About 10 times as much.

b) No more, I would make about the same either way.

c) A little more, about 20% more.

d) A lot more, about 70% more.

**25. Many savings programs are protected by the Federal government against loss. Which

of the following is not?

a) A U.S. Savings Bond.

b) A certificate of deposit at the bank.

c) A bond issued by one of the 50 States.

d) A U.S. Treasury Bond.

*26. If each of the following persons had the same amount of take home pay, who would

need the greatest amount of life insurance?

a) An elderly retired man, with a wife who is also retired.

b) A young married man without children.

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c) A young single woman with two young children.

d) A young single woman without children.

**27. Which of the following instruments is NOT typically associated with spending?

a) Debit card.

b) Certificate of deposit.

c) Cash.

d) Credit card.

**28. Which of the following credit card users is likely to pay the GREATEST dollar

amount in finance charges per year, if they all charge the same amount per year on

their cards?

a) Jessica, who pays at least the minimum amount each month and more, when she

has the money.

b) Vera, who generally pays off her credit card bill in full but, occasionally, will

pay the minimum when she is short of cash.

c) Megan, who always pays off her credit card bill in full shortly after she receives

it.

d) Erin, who only pays the minimum amount each month.

29. Which of the following statements is true?

a) Banks and other lenders share the credit history of their borrowers with each

other and are likely to know of any loan payments that you have missed.

b) People have so many loans it is very unlikely that one bank will know your history

with another bank.

c) Your bad loan payment record with one bank will not be considered if you apply

to another bank for a loan.

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d) If you missed a payment more than 2 years ago, it cannot be considered in a loan

decision.

**30. Dan must borrow $12,000 to complete his college education. Which of the following

would NOT be likely to reduce the finance charge rate?

a) If he went to a state college rather than a private college.

b) If his parents cosigned the loan.

c) If his parents took out an additional mortgage on their house for the loan.

d) If the loan was insured by the Federal Government.

**31. If you had a savings account at a bank, which of the following would be correct

concerning the interest that you would earn on this account?

a) Earnings from savings account interest may not be taxed.

b) Income tax may be charged on the interest if your income is high enough.

c) Sales tax may be charged on the interest that you earn.

d) You cannot earn interest until you pass your 18th birthday ” (Jump$tart, 2013).

Part 2 – Classification Questions

32. What is your gender?

Male

Female

33. What is the highest level of education?

Associate degree (two-year)

Bachelor degree (four-year)

Master’s degree

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Doctorate, law or professional (six year or more)

34. What is your best estimate of your total income last year? Consider annual

income from all sources before taxes.

Less than $20,000.

$20,000 to $39,999

$40,000 to $79,999

$80,000 or more.

Don’t know.

35. How do you describe yourself?

White or Caucasian.

Black or African-American.

Hispanic American.

Asian-American.

Other.

36. How many credit cards do you use, include store credit cards?

None.

One.

Two.

Three.

Four.

37. Which of the following statements best describes the way in which you make

payments on your credit cards?

I always pay off the total balance each month.

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I occasionally do not pay off the balance for a month or so when I am short on funds.

I generally have an outstanding balance but occasionally am able to pay it off.

I seldom, if ever, pay off all my balances, but try to pay them down when I can.

I generally pay only the minimum required payment each month.

38. What the outstanding balance on all of your credit cards?

Under $1,000

$1,000 to $2,499

$2,500 to $4,999

$5,000 to $9,999

More than $10,000

39. How often are you late paying your credit card bills?

Never

Once or twice since I’ve had credit cards

Once or twice per year

More than two times per year

40. When you finished your undergraduate education, how much did you owe in

student loans?

Nothing

Less than $5,000

$5,000 to $9,999

$10,000 to $19,999

$20,000 to $29,999

$30,000 to $49,999

$50,000 or more

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41. Aside from any credit card debt or student loans you might have, what other types of

debt do you have? (Check ALL that apply)

Auto loans

Home Mortgage

Personal debt or other debt

Pay day loans

Title loans

42. Do you have a checking account?

Yes

No

43. How often have you bounced a check (had it returned for insufficient funds)?

Never

Once or twice in my lifetime

More than twice per year

44. How often do you balance your checkbook?

After every check, deposit and ATM withdrawal

About once a week

About once a month

Several times per year

Once or twice per year

Never

45. In what form do you hold for your savings and investments? (Check ALL that

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apply)

Savings account.

Certificates of deposit.

U.S. Savings Bonds.

Stocks.

Mutual funds.

Bonds other than U.S. Savings Bonds.

Retirement accounts such as 401k’s and IRAs.

46. How much do you worry about your debts?

Never

A little

Sometimes

Often

Nearly all the time

47. Who prepares your income taxes?

I do it myself by hand

I do it myself using a computer program

A tax preparer

My parents

48. Which of the following classes did you have in high school? (Check ALL that apply)

An entire course in personal money management or personal finance.

A portion of a course where at least a week was focused on personal money

management or personal finance.

An entire course in economics.

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A portion of a course where at least a week was focused on economics.

A course in which we played a stock market game.

None of the above

49. Which of the following classes did you take in college? (Check ALL that apply)

A semester-length course in personal money management or personal finance

Coverage of money management or personal finance (Including part of freshman

orientation)

Economics

Finance

Accounting

None of the above

50. How would you rate the savings and investments that you have?

Adequate for my needs right now

Slightly less than I should have right now

Much less than I should have right now

51. Do you believe students should take a financial literacy course?

Yes

No

52. What grade level should students take financial literacy courses?

Pre-K – 5th Grade

6th Grade – 8th Grade

9th Grade – 12th Grade

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53. Which of the following best describes your area of teaching?

Math

Science

Social Studies

Economics

ELA

Other _______________

54. Have you attended any financial trainings or workshops?

Yes

No

55. Have you advocated for any academic courses?

Yes

No

***56. Would you advocate for financial literacy?

Yes

No

**57. If you answered yes to the question above, please identify how would you advocate for

students to receive financial literacy courses?

_______________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

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Appendix B

Informed Consent Form

Consent of Participants:

Dear Participants,

My name is Janice Little and I am a student at the University of Phoenix working on a

Doctor of Management degree in Organizational Leadership. I am conducting a research study

entitled The Effects of a Financial Literacy Intervention on Teachers’ Financial Literacy,

Awareness, and Advocacy. The purpose of the research is to study the relationship between a

financial literacy intervention and elementary and middle school teachers’ financial literacy,

financial awareness, and advocacy for financial literacy courses.

Your participation would entail taking a pretest and posttest. Some participants will

receive access to a free financial literacy webinar intervention and others will not receive an

intervention. Your participation in this study is voluntary. If you choose not to participate or to

withdraw from the study at any time, you can do so without any penalty or loss of benefit to

yourself. To initiate withdrawing from the study, please send an email or call me. The results of

the research study may be published, but your identity will remain confidential and your name

will not be release to any outside party.

In this research, there are no foreseeable risks to you. There may be no direct benefit to

you, a possible benefit of your participation is an increase in your financial literacy, financial

awareness, and have an influence in advocacy for financial literacy courses.

If you have any questions concerning the research study, please call me at (832) 818-

1325 or send an email to [email protected]

As a participant in the study, you should understand the following:

mailto:[email protected]

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1. You may decline to participate or withdraw from participation at any time

without any consequences.

2. Your identity will be kept anonymous.

3. Janice Little, the research, has thoroughly explained the parameters of the

research study and all of my questions, and concerns have been addressed.

4. Data will be stored on a secure network server for a period of three years

and then destroyed.

By signing this form, you acknowledge that you understand the nature of the study, the

potential risks to you as a participant, and the means by which your identity will be kept

confidential. Your authentic signature on this form indicates that you are 18 years old or older

and that you give your permission to voluntarily serve as a participant in the study described.

Please fax the signed form to 281-327-2928. Thank for agreeing to participate in this study.

Signature of the interviewee________________________________Date___________________

Signature of the researcher_________________________________Date___________________

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Appendix C

Permission To Use An The Premise, Name And/Or Subjects

111

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Appendix D

Informational Email

November 13, 2012

Dear Elementary and Middle School Teachers,

My name is Janice Little and I am a student at the University of Phoenix working on a

Doctor of Management degree in Organizational Leadership. I am conducting a research study

entitled The Effects of a Financial Literacy Intervention on Teachers’ Financial Literacy,

Awareness, and Advocacy. The purpose of the research is to study the relationship between a

financial literacy intervention and elementary and middle school teachers’ financial literacy,

financial awareness, and advocacy for financial literacy courses.

Your participation would entail taking a pretest and posttest. Some participants will

receive access to a free financial literacy webinar intervention. Your participation in this study is

voluntary. If you choose not to participate or to withdraw from the study at any time, you can do

so without any penalty or loss of benefit to yourself. To initiate withdrawing from the study,

please send an email or call me. The results of the research study may be published, but your

identity will remain confidential and your name will not be release to any outside party.

In this research, there are no foreseeable risks to you. There may be no direct benefit to

you, a possible benefit of your participation is an increase in your financial literacy, financial

awareness, and have an influence in advocacy for financial literacy courses.

If you have any questions concerning the research study, please call me at (832) 818-

1325 or send an email to [email protected]

Sincerely,

Janice Little

mailto:[email protected]

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Appendix E

Permission to Use An Existing Survey

114

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AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Janice L. Little graduated from East Side High School in 1984. She attended Grambling State

University, Grambling, Louisiana where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Work in

1988. In 1990, she earned a Master of Social Work Degree at Florida State University. Upon

completion of her Master of Social Work Degree, she worked as a case manager for American

Red Cross. She has been employed as a social worker at DePelchin Children’s Center,

Communities in Schools, and MHMRA of Houston. Currently, she is employed as a social

worker for Fort Bend Independent School District and a guest service representative with the

Houston Astros. Janice is also the founder of Kids’ Money Klub After-school Program and Kids’

Money Mart. In 2002, she was named Texas School Social Worker of the year, 2007 Texas Top

Partnership Liaison, 2009 CSTEM School Partner Liaison, 2010 CSTEM Region 1 Coordinator

and Houston Astros’ employee of the month (August) in 2012. She currently resides in Houston,

Texas with WooWoo Little-Placide.