Some skills come naturally to us, but for many Americans, learning to be savvy with money takes a lot of work! Despite its role in daily life, financial literacy is not a primary focus at most K-12 schools in the U.S. That’s a shame—especially for girls, who will need to navigate barriers like the gender pay gap when they grow up, as well as the fact that women are more likely to be the heads of single-parent households and to face economic abuse.*
But when girls understand what a successful financial future looks like, they are better equipped to overcome these obstacles. And girls know it! According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, 90 percent of girls say it’s important to learn how to manage money. However, only 12 percent feel “very confident” making financial decisions.
Luckily, that’s where Girl Scouts comes in. We believe that financial literacy is a critical building block for success in life, no matter whether a girl wants to successfully run a business, a corporation, a nonprofit, or a household. And our unique programs prepare all girls—from kindergartners to high school seniors—to take charge of their financial educations and futures.
How do we do that? Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program: one of the largest, and definitely the most iconic, financial literacy programs available to girls. The program offers 22 Financial Literacy and Cookie Business badges for Brownies through Ambassadors, and 4 Leaves for Daisies. These badges are designed to simulate real-life situations, ensuring girls are poised to budget, save, and spend wisely.
For example, Brownies earning their Money Manager badge learn the difference between wants and needs, and use “elf money” to practice shopping for groceries, clothes, and school supplies. In the last step, they use their elf money to plan an outing such as a trip to the movies, an outdoor adventure, or a Girl Scout trip. They then have the opportunity to create a real-life budget. Badge activities such as these offer “fun with purpose” and set girls up to be savvy decision makers when it comes to money matters.
And in Southern Arizona, 70% of Girl Scout troops earn at least one of these badges, and learn valuable lessons in budgeting, financial planning, money management, and so much more.
In other words, being a Girl Scout and a #CookieBoss isn’t just fun—it opens doors for girls to have their biggest, brightest dreams come true. Encourage her cookie business, help her practice s budgeting and philanthropy, and above all, let her lead. The financial literacy and confidence in money matters she’ll gain in the process will last her a lifetime, and empower her for future success, no matter what path she pursues.
*Want to learn more about the impact of financial literacy for women, and how Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona’s programming sets girls up for success? Check out our Financial Literacy factsheet at our website.