Encouraging Financial Conversations
Personal finances are just that – personal! Positive conversations around money are grounded in respect, confidentiality, and creating a judgment-free zone. Many helping professionals have on-going relationships with their clients and are in a position to provide resources to individuals who may not seek out financial education.
This website is designed to share proven resources used and/or developed by UW-Madison Division of Extension Financial Education professionals. All materials are free for personal use.
These financial capability resources are divided into the following core Financial Competencies:
Budget worksheets can be valuable in helping you budget your money.
Monthly Spending Plan – One page basic budget worksheet with room to add additional expenses.
4 Week Money Management Plan – Breaks down income and expenses into weekly amounts. Helpful for individuals who get paid weekly or need to save across several paychecks to cover larger expenses.
Four Steps to a Monthly Spending Plan– Includes categories for income, monthly expenses, irregular expenses, and more. Best for people who love budgeting!
Additional worksheets to help you track your spending and find ways to cut back.
Credit and Debt Handouts
Where do you start if you can’t pay bills?
Deciding which bills to pay first
Credit repair options
Quick facts on debt collections, judgments, garnishment and repossession
How to handle debt collectors
Sample letter to creditors
Nontraditional financial products and services
Credit Reports and Scores Handouts
How to Start the Conversation
Talking about money may feel uncomfortable, especially if it’s something you’re not used to doing. Check out these resources for talking about financial management:
- Powerful questions – Starting with a question is a great way to learn more about what’s important to someone. This handout provides many questions to consider for starting a financial conversation.
- Financial well-being – Research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) suggests that individuals who report higher levels of financial well-being share some common themes around financial security and financial freedom of choice, both in the present and in the future. Find out more about financial well-being in this handout or share this idea sheet to create your own financial well-being plan. You can also take an online financial well-being quiz from CFPB in English or in Spanish.
- Financial problem-solving – These problem-solving guides walk you through a range of financial concerns, such as trouble making ends meet, having overdue bills, or falling behind on rent. Guides contain resources for Wisconsin families coping with financial challenges.
Financial coaching is one approach for engaging others in conversations around financial goals. To find out more about financial coaching, visit the UW-Madison Financial Coaching Strategies website.
We invite you to share these Financial Management Newsletters with your program participants. These 16 two-page newsletters cover financial basics, such as creating a budget and using credit. Similar newsletters are available in Spanish through our UW Money $mart in Head Start program.
Educator resources are available on Sharepoint.