Monthly Archives: May 2016

Scout Badges for Financial Literacy

Unfortunately, personal finance is a huge blind spot in the American public education system.   Thankfully, there are some private enterprises working to address this need for our youth.  Both Boys and Girl Scouts of America offer concentrations in issues like personal budgeting, investing, and credit.

Girl Scout troops have been known to partner with local banks to visit and hear firsthand what to expect when trying to reach future goals. Cadettes have a Budgeting Badge that uses a mock auction format.

Gscouting badges fin
Boy Scouts offers a Personal Responsibility Merit Badge that addresses budgeting, spending habits, stocks, lending, and goal setting.
However, financial personality Dave Ramsey takes issue with the Girls Scout’s acceptance that some debt is common and okay.  He quotes educator Rachel Cruze:
“It’s unbelievable how early companies start feeding kids the lie that you have to ‘build your credit,'” she said. “You can exist in life without a credit score. It is possible to go to college and own things like a car and house without going into debt.”  Rachel adds, “But instead of teaching kids how to save and spend wisely, (Girl Scouts are ) teaching them how to make the most of borrowing other people’s money. We need to provide kids with a message of hope and encouragement–one that tells them they can live their life debt-free.”
It is unrealistic to expect young people to never need to borrow money–for even the biggest purchases of homes and cars– and so educating them in how loans and credit lines work is a worthwhile endeavor.
What will it take for the public school system catch up?  Unless and until we have reduced the wealth gap in education, housing, and healthcare, our lending society is not going anywhere.

Walgreens to Treat Mental Health Like Physical Health

Walgreens (Nasdaq: WBA),  is putting itself out front of one of America’s most pressing problems: lack of mental healthcare services. A press release put out on May 10th details their plan to increase screenings, conduct telehealth treatments, conduct coordination of follow up care, and provide advanced education for its pharmacists and nurses.

“The Walgreens mental health platform aims to improve health outcomes through early screening and intervention, to heighten consumer awareness and reduce stigma associated with mental illness, and to connect more people with clinical resources in their community who can help.”

They also plan to conduct 3 million screenings by the end of next year!

20% of Americans have a mental health condition each year (more than either heart disease or diabetes), but half of those affected do not get treatment.

Thank you, Walgreens for continuing to be one of our favorite companies.