Creating a Culture of Financial Literacy

Lack of financial literacy – the ability to make wise decisions with one’s personal finances – contributes to some of the most prevalent social issues our country faces. Poverty, lack of job opportunities, unemployment, and wealth inequality are often the result of a lack of awareness and understanding of personal finance basics.

Fortunately, research shows that increasing personal financial literacy is an effective and fundamental tool that can lead to lower national poverty rates and improve community stability.

In alignment with Home Bank’s goal to improve the overall financial wellness of the communities we serve, we have partnered with Banzai! to provide our customers and communities a FREE online tool that teaches core competencies of financial literacy to children and adults of all ages. Regardless of proficiency level, Banzai! is a “learn by doing” program that teaches healthy spending habits, planning ahead and financial responsibility.  Through online interactive tutorials and coaching, participants are exposed to real-life financial dilemmas such as taming a budget, paying auto insurance and navigating taxes. With guidance from the Banzai! tutorials, students will know how to track where their money is, recognize financial trade-offs, build a budget, and so much more. To learn more about Banzai!, visit our website at

Per the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, nonprofits spend nearly $500 million each year on financial education, making them the primary channels through which financial literacy services are delivered to lower-income adults. For that reason, Home Bank’s initial focus for the Banzai! product is working with community organizations to incorporate this FREE financial education into their existing services. Through customized curricula and direct access to support services, Home Bank strives to walk beside each organization to optimize both the Banzai and the banking experience for their clients.

Home Bank recognizes that when a significant population remains outside the banking system predatory practices flourish. These include high-cost payday loans and car title loans that can trap borrowers in a cycle of debt. Lower income individuals often believe they have no other options since they often have little access to banking services.

Research indicates that the majority of unbanked adults are interested in having a bank account but don’t believe financial services providers care about their financial health. As a committed community bank, Home Bank recognizes the unique needs of the underserved and continues to implement programs and practices to challenge that perspective.

Home Bank firmly believes that a basic understanding of financial concepts can help consumers re-establish a banking relationship that facilitates improvements in credit-worthiness and full participation in the economic mainstream.

Home Bank would welcome the opportunity to partner with your organization to help equip your clients with the knowledge, skills, confidence and motivation necessary to effectively manage their money with the Banzai! program and access to banking services.

Bonnie Arnold
Director of Community Funding Development

Bonnie is a long term resident of Martinsville with 25 years in pharmaceutical research and 5 years banking experience.  She has served on the boards of numerous non-profits in Morgan County and is an active member of the Martinsville Noon Lions Club.

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