Archive for January 2014

Press Release: Elementary education program translated into Spanish


Media Contact

Melody Bell


Elementary financial education program translated into Spanish

PORTLAND, Ore., January 30, 2014Financial Beginnings, a Portland-based nonprofit that provides financial education programs, is pleased to announce they have translated their kindergarten – 2nd grade and 3rd– 6th grade curriculum into Spanish.

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, partnered with Financial Beginnings by allowing their Consumer Information Specialist, Fernando A. Vélez to do the translation of the curriculum.  David Tatman, Administrator of the Division of Finance and Corporate Securities, a division under the Department said; “Financial literacy is important at all ages.  We are excited to partner in providing financial literacy education for some of our youngest Oregonians so that they can start off their lives learning skills to make good financial decisions.”

The translation of the Financial Footings Elementary Financial Education Program comes just one year after Financial Beginnings developed and launched the program, which was made possible through funding provided by Umpqua Bank.  The program has been well received by elementary schools and to date has educated over 1,500 elementary students in the basics of personal finance.

Financial Beginnings provides the program at no cost to schools and community groups.  Each participant is provided with a student manual, which has interactive activities to engage them in both in the classroom and at home.  Financial Beginnings has trained volunteers who deliver the lessons in Spanish.

Financial Beginnings and the Department of Consumer & Business Services will be continuing to work towards translating Financial Beginnings’ financial education curriculum.  This summer, Financial Beginnings will be launching a translated version of their Financial Foundations young adult curriculum.

Schools and community-based organizations interested in finding out more about this free program can visit

About Financial Beginnings

Formed in 2005 and based in Portland, OR, Financial Beginnings is a nonprofit organization that provides free financial education programs throughout the Pacific Northwest.  Financial Beginnings’ largest program educates youth and young adults in the basics of personal finance through visits to schools or community groups.  Financial Beginnings’ courses incorporate all aspects of personal finance to provide individuals the foundation needed to make informed financial decisions. More information is available at

52 Week Money Challenge

As a Finance major, volunteer, and intern at Financial Beginnings I frequently teach the subject of Banking and often the fact that I have no savings account comes up in class. I have been making excuses for myself to explain this and I would say to the students “Oh I used to have one, but now I’m in college full time and can’t maintain the minimum balance”. So I have decided that 2014 is a new year for me and I need to start following my own advice. I got the idea to start saving again while browsing the subject of “Finance” on Pinterest. I came across “The 52 Week Money Challenge” and all you have to do is save the dollar amount of the week you’re in for the year. For example in week 1 you would put away $1 and in the last week of the year you would put away $52. At the end of the year you should have saved $1,378.The first two weeks were so easy to save for, but then it started getting more difficult. I learned in Personal Finance (taught by Melody Bell) that the hardest thing about using your money wisely is actually doing it, and I am discovering how true that is. Since I still do not have a savings account, I have to withdraw the cash I save from my checking account and ended up getting behind. However, in week 5 of The 52 Week Money Challenge, I am actually ahead of the game. Instead of having the planned $15 saved for week 5, I am already up to $23. I look forward to saving even more and I intend to stay ahead of the savings plan from now on.


Adrienne Prevost



My New Favorite Use for Spare Change

Like most people nowadays, I rely heavily on my debit or credit card to make my daily purchases. To help myself keep on track with my budget a little better, I decided that making my transactions with cash could help me monitor my recreational spending on a weekly basis. Though I have been better about how much I am spending on leisure items, I started to remember the reason why I don’t like to use cash… SPARE CHANGE. Not only does it make my wallet and purse heavy, but I never have a great use for it, and my pile never seems to get smaller, and I was determined to find a good use for all of those pennies and nickels. Though my credit union has a coin machine where I can exchange my spare change for cash or put in my account, I remembered what a friend had told me before, and I quickly had a new favorite use for spare change.


Now I usually shy away from the Coinstar machines at the grocery store because of the fee they charge to exchange your change, I have learned that they now have two services that I was previously unaware of. Users now have the option to forgo those fees by purchasing a gift card or giving to one of fourteen charities. Using Coinstar to get rid of all of that change can not only help you treat yourself, but treat others with ease.  With gift card options such as Amazon, Nike, and Southwest Airlines, I couldn’t wait to exchange my first batch of change, start my collection of gift cards in my wallet, and help my purse with one of its new years resolutions, to feel a little lighter.



Basha Gitnes