Kelsey Malcaitis, a youth financial education coordinator at A+ Federal Credit Union in Texas, said on Monday that while financial education is necessary help consumers make better financial decisions, credit unions need to help members alter their behavior.
“Look at health and fitness,” Balcaitis said, according to Credit Union Times. “We know we should work out and eat better. But a daily routine of going home after work, lying on the couch, watching TV and eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s is hard to break. No amount of information is going to change that. So why do we think it’s going to be any different for personal finance?”
Balcaitis said that despite educational outreach efforts over the past three years, data shows no improvement in financial literacy among youths.
“Environment is just as important as changing behaviors… I challenge you to help members change their behaviors,” Balcaitis said, Credit Union Times reports. “We can educate our members until our face turns blue, but until we help them take action, we will have failed them. Let’s start focusing on impact and start making a difference.”