Financial literacy — managing a paycheck, balancing a budget, and saving for unexpected crises — not only helps families stay fiscally healthy but also helps them improve their physical and behavioral well-being.
That’s why Amerigroup Texas launched our collaboration with Texas A&M University-San Antonio to support the Financial Literacy program at the university’s Mays Center for Experiential Learning and Community Engagement.
The program provides college students, community members, and families with learning opportunities related to credit management, savings, and investing. Over the past three years, it has reached more than 1,000 students through events or classes. It has also opened financial coaching appointments for dozens of Texas residents.
With inflation at historic levels and interest rates on the rise, financial literacy is even more critical.
Far too many families live one paycheck away from a crisis. Losing a month’s income could mean losing health insurance, choosing between medicine and bus fare, or relying on the emergency room instead of a family doctor for preventive care.
In Texas, 48% of residents have not set aside enough money to cover three months of expenses in case of sickness, job loss, economic downturns, or other emergencies. That ranks the state 37th in the nation.
Research also has shown that high debt correlates with poor physical and mental health and high blood pressure in young adults.
Strong financial literacy can help overcome that.
Financial literacy also can mean better understanding of and planning for college costs, which helps tomorrow’s graduates avoid life-altering student debt. That’s why Amerigroup is collaborating through the A&M-San Antonio program with GEAR UP, a federal program that helps low-income school districts prepare students and their families for the costs of attending college.