Carol Bralich, Human Development and Relationships Educator
Money Matters is an online self-study Extension financial program that is available to anyone in the community statewide and can be designed as a built in component with an existing or new agency program. The program coordinator at Forward Careers at Workforce Development Center contacted Carol searching for a financial education program that would fulfill the educational requirement for the Work ‘N Wheels vehicle loan program implemented in fall 2020 for Washington, Ozaukee, and Waukesha residents. Since the pandemic, an online program continues to best meet the needs of the applicants.
Carol developed a specific program description, participant directions and organization procedures for Work ‘N Wheels participants. Participants complete the required module quizzes: Your Financial Strengths, Making a Spending Plan, Credit Scores and Credit Reports and When You Can’t Pay Your Bills. In addition, a financial coaching session provides an opportunity for the participant to plan financial goals and action steps, ask questions from the online modules and learn more about local resources. Participants receive a certificate of completion.
During the third year of the program in 2023, there have been 23 individuals who have completed the Money Matters Program as the financial educational component of the Work N Wheels vehicle loan program. In addition, West Bend is in the top ten of Wisconsin cities with the most engaged Money Matters website total visits as of May 2023. Statewide post-program evaluation shows that 97% of Money Matters participants state they are either very confident or somewhat confident in their ability to reach a financial goal they set for themselves.