January 31, 2012
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Learning the ins and outs of proper money management and building strong credit is about to get a whole lot easier with the launch of New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority's FindFinancialFreedom.org website on Jan. 16. Developed by Designing Digitally, Inc., Find Financial Freedom offers learners the keys to their financial future. The project was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.
The new website is designed to provide students financial training in a fun, game-like setting as they work on budgeting and developing the skills they need to improve their credit. The website was designed specifically to provide students with not only the educational materials they need, but also with activities and coaching to make learning money management skills enjoyable and rewarding.
The site's administrators will provide users the support they need to get going. They'll do this by setting up agencies as group managers. These group managers, in turn, will assign students their own coach upon registration to their agency.
Coaches will provide the hands-on assistance students need to succeed on FindFinancialFreedom.org and in the real financial world. Coaches will watch student progression and encourage them throughout the entire program.
Students will learn such things as:
  • How to create a realistic family budget;
  • Planning for debt reductions while meeting financial savings goals;
  • Planning to improve credit scores;
  • Strategies to safeguard identity and credit
The program consists of two main modules, Household Budgeting and Credit Counseling, that together give students the keys to their financial futures.
The Household Budgeting module contains numerous lessons that teach students what they need to know to be successful with money management. Lessons include Asset Building, IDAs, EITCs, Communication, Goal Setting, Expense Tracking, True Cost of Credit, Consumer Debt, Savings and Spending.
In the Credit Counseling module, students will learn a variety of other skills that will help them build and protect their credit. Lessons include Credit Reports, Contacting your Creditors, Understanding and Improving Credit Scores and Identity Theft.
Students enrolled in the program will take a pre- and post-assessment to gauge their financial knowledge and will receive a certificate for successful completion.
Website Makes Learning About Finances Fun
The game concept used in FindFinancialFreedom.org makes sure students remain engaged throughout all 12 lessons.
Students will work through a mock scenario of trying to pay off debt and purchase the house and car of their dreams by the end of the program. They will gain money for viewing each topic and they can earn bonus cash for answering preliminary topic questions and review questions correctly.
Once a house and car are purchased, students can enhance their virtual homes and yards by using a 3D simulation. This simulation lets students customize their homes by adding a garage, changing colors, upgrading the yard and more.
To help students succeed, the website also includes a number of tools such as an expense tracker, discussion board, periodic savings calculators and more.
For more information about Designing Digitally, Inc.'s project development visit http://www.designingdigitally.com/portfolio/elearning/find-financial-freedom-program. For more information about the Find Financial Freedom program, visit FindFinancialFreedom.org.