Bank of America and Khan Academy today announced a financial education collaboration that will provide both bank customers and non-customers alike free, self-paced, easy-to-understand resources to develop better money habits. These resources will be available on a new website, BetterMoneyHabits.com, which will incorporate educational content from Khan Academy and Bank of America and be promoted throughout Bank of America’s vast network.
Bank of America and Khan Academy recognize that no matter where you are starting from, the best way to improve long-term financial success is by changing habits slowly, step by step. The online program allows consumers to learn at their own pace, from a teaching style that is casual and commercial-free.
“At Khan Academy, our mission is to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere, and we believe that financial understanding is now an economic imperative for all,” said Sal Khan, founder, Khan Academy. “Partnering with Bank of America will help us reach a significantly larger group of people searching for unbiased information on personal finance and other topics we teach.”
The relationship is part of a broader Bank of America initiative to help people understand how to make their money work harder.
“We have heard clearly from our customers that they want to build better money habits, but often lack straightforward and accessible guidance,” said Andrew Plepler, Corporate Social Responsibility and Consumer Policy executive at Bank of America. “We approached Khan Academy because of their proven ability to translate complex topics into simple, self-paced, on-demand learning materials.”
In a style made popular by Khan, BetterMoneyHabits.com features videos that take a bite-sized, plain-language approach to simplifying complex financial topics, making the information easy to grasp and put into action. The first set of videos addresses topics such as easy ways to save, steps to get out of debt, setting and sticking to a budget and understanding mortgages.
The Bank of America – Khan Academy partnership addresses a startling financial knowledge deficit in our nation today. According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) 2013 Financial Literacy Survey, when asked to grade themselves on their knowledge of personal finance, 40 percent of respondents gave themselves a grade of C, D, or F. However, Americans demonstrated a strong desire to improve their level of financial capability, as the survey also revealed that an overwhelming majority (78 percent) agreed that they would benefit from advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional.
Building upon its online financial education initiative, Bank of America is piloting a series of in-person financial workshops in several markets nationwide, including Boston and Detroit, and later Philadelphia, Seattle, Los Angeles and Long Island. The company will join NFCC member agencies in hosting free 60- to 90-minute sessions in banking centers and other community locations. The hands-on workshops will cover basic money management, including the building blocks of financial success: budgeting, saving and understanding credit reports and scores. The first workshop will take place in the Boston area at the end of April.
This financial education initiative augments the company’s ongoing work through its lines of business and philanthropic/volunteer partnerships to provide financial education tools and resources to individuals and families.