The Savvy Consumer Toolkit is an innovative financial education curriculum that uses popular education methods to raise awareness about predatory financial products and connect consumers to low-cost alternatives.
What makes this Toolkit different from other financial education curricula is its incorporation of popular education, emphasis on connecting participants to local, low-cost alternatives, and its analysis of industry marketing and messaging strategies. The Toolkit is best used as a supplement to financial education programs that develop skills and knowledge including budgeting, account management, financial planning, and saving.
The Savvy Consumer Toolkit contains in-depth information on eight of the most common predatory products including how they work, their real cost to you and your neighborhood, questions to ask, and local low-cost alternatives.
The Savvy Consumer Toolkit consists of six separate materials that are designed to be used together to deliver a workshop to a group or to work one-on-one with clients.
Goals for the Toolkit
Increase the awareness of predatory financial products and services present in the community
Help consumers avoid predatory products by developing an analysis of marketing and messaging strategies used in the financial industry
Connect consumers to low cost, community-based financial products and services
Explore the impact of predatory financial products and services at the individual, family and community levels
Facilitating a Workshop
To use the toolkit in a workshop, please download these materials:
Participant Materials Packet for each workshop attendee – these materials are intended to be used as takeaways
Wallet Sized “Ask Yourself” Cards to hand out to participants for use after the workshop ends – these are intended to be shared with family, friends, and community members
One-on-One With a Client
To use the toolkit directly with a client, please download these materials:
Wallet Sized “Ask Yourself” Cards
Use the Facilitator Manual to educate yourself on the curriculum’s principles and context, and use the Product One-Pagers with clients to educate them on the costs predatory financial products and practices. Finally, use the Wallet Sized “Ask Yourself” Cards as quick reference at your desk or at a VITA site.
Designed to help prepare, deliver, and evaluate the workshop. The manual accomplishes this by providing an overview of the curriculum content, its underlying education principles, and a step by step guide to facilitate each module.
Designed as a takeaway for participants that can be used as a reference guide after the workshop ends. The Guide includes answers to questions about predatory products, the marketing strategies used by businesses in the fringe banking industry, a cost comparison of various financial products, and detailed information about low-cost financial product alternatives.
Designed to be a reference guide for use after the workshop ends, the packet includes a one page summary on each of the eight predatory products included in this curriculum. The one-pagers summarize what the product is, and answer three questions: What should I watch out for?, What is the real cost?, and What can I do to save money?
*Participant Materials Packet includes both the Participant Guide and Product Overviews and are available in English, Español, tiếng Việt, 汉语/漢語 Hànyǔ, and Tagalog.
Designed as a quick reference guide for participants and community members, the Wallet Card Handouts contain key “questions to ask” in order to help people avoid using predatory products for each of the eight predatory products included in the curriculum.